Entrepreneur Recovery Government Support
Use Your Time Wisely!
That is the main advice from Michael Allen at Bouncepreneurs for entrepreneur recovery when engaging with government development agencies.
As a Bouncepreneur, you may be desperate for investment, capital or soft loans. You may well decide to approach a government Development Agency or Economic Development Agency to join a start-up or other entrepreneurial growth scheme.
This is our advice
Get your mind set right. Don’t go there like a beggar. Your first thought should be
“Is this a good use of my time?”
If it is then great – “Go for it.” But if it isn’t, move on to more productive activity.
Why do I say this? These are government agencies. They handle public money. They have procedures to ensure this money is not given to people who they consider to be too high a risk.
That is right and proper.
But you have to be circumspect here. You financial history IS in the public domain! They will find it and see it as part of their diligence processes.
Applications can take significant time and effort. So you need to know to a degree of certainty if your application effort is going to pay off.
These agencies will deploy credit rating or other investigations into your trading past. Like most “Failed” Entrepreneurs you will have poor credit and maybe bankruptcy on file. In applying for Development Agency support in terms of grants, soft loans or premises, you may start a long process in terms or time, meetings, form-filling and even pitches. Your expectations may be high and hope elevated.
If credit rating is being applied you may simply be wasting your time!
So when you approach Development Agencies (or they approach you), ask these key questions straight away. I would recommend emailing them in. Be totally honest and transparent from the start about your own financial situation. Again, remember, your past finances are in the public domain.
The two key questions to ask are:-
“Will the fact that I previously suffered a business failure exclude me from taking part?”
“Do you apply credit rating to the decision making process on your scheme?”
You may get the stock response
“Well, get the forms to us and we will take a look and let you know.”
Don’t accept this. Do remember many of these agencies are monitored on the basis of application quotas. So remember to be circumspect with your own time. Tell the person you are dealing with the key aspects of your financial situation and ask for a view BEFORE you start a long application process.
I want and hope to see Development Agencies that close the circle on entrepreneurialism, that are there as much for business failures as start-ups. At the moment Development Agencies or Economic Development Agencies are very good at
• Start up Support
• Fast Growth Projects
But only a minority understand Entrepreneurial Failure. They are measured on job creation and start-ups. Their political masters want Champagne Glass pictures of those start-ups, ethnic minority entrepreneurs and innovation successes.
Bouncepreneurs approached many Development Agencies in our early days but the response was pretty much the same all around. They sought to tell us that Bouncepreneurs was not needed. Three standard statements emerged.
- The scale of the problem was much smaller than we claimed Wrong!
- They knew all the failed businesses and were already helping them Wrong!
- A entrepreneur recovery is the same as a start up and can use the Start Up/Fast Growth or other services just like a first time start up – Ignorant and Wrong!
But I am glad to say this is changing, but it is very, very early days. But there are some visionaries out there AND you may just come across one, so don’t rule out some help from Government Agencies. Look at the opportunities on merit and especially in terms of likely success and time it takes to apply.
The Hole in Bucket within Start up Culture
There can be no doubt whatsoever that the scale of this issue is far, far larger than generally accepted.
Around the world many countries take part and use the excellent Global Entrepreneurship Monitor to better understand a range of issues. Business failure is one of them.
The Monitor interviews a sample of respondents in business and asks them who failed and why. This is a good research tool. It suggests that in the UK alone 250,000 (2015) business people stopped a business trading. Now there are reasons other than pure business failure in this group, but the main message is very clear.
There are a lot of people in this situation. All over the world in fact.
If they are paralysed by Entrepreneurial Grief for more than years the numbers are clearly substantial. Often “Failed” Entrepreneurs become a drain on the state financially and in terms of healthcare.
So providing a safety net and entrepreneur recovery process for “Failed” Entrepreneurs is vital:-
I read a lot about innovation and start-ups. I see people talking about lots of small steps to start ups rather than a big five year business plan. The Mike Tyson quote is widely used “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face!”
But the truth is government and big business love to fill up the bucket with start-ups. They love it. It is newsworthy and fulfils the Director’s Corporate Social Responsibility mission. But there is a huge hole in that bucket. The “failed” entrepreneur. Just who is there for them? The answer? Well as a “Failed Entrepreneur” you know by now.
Even at this early stage I would ask you to think about how you personally address this issue ONCE YOU HAVE RECOVERED.
It is vital you share openly and honestly your experience, testimony with new Bouncepreneurs and society as a whole. The elephant in the room which is the scale of entrepreneurial failure must not be allowed to perpetuate any longer.
That is why when you become a Bouncepreneur, you become once for life.
Written by Michael Allen – Founder of Bouncepreneurs