How to create jobs on a large scale?
There are two possible options to get started:
- create the next Google (30,000 jobs)
- or create many small business. They do not have to be something that will revolutionize the world on its own, but if each small business offer 20 jobs, many of them can be just as powerfull. And how do you create many jobs? By making sure entrepreneurs get an opportunity to start them, and by reducing the mortality rate once they do.
The reality is that there is no lack of entrepreneurs wannabes, but clearly there is a lack of an infrastructure to help them realize their dream. And most of what is available today are activities where entrepreneurs remains alone in the crowd. Networking events where they can collects business cards, but not much happen behind because there is no space to build the relationship. Or workshops where you can get a lot of good information on the theory of running a business, but no real support beyond that checklist of things to do, and not much follow up after the workshop has been delivered.
Except that entrepreneurs do not need advice on what to do, or even worse advice on things they should do on top of what they already do. Entrepreneurs need support so that they can make decisions now, based on the information and resources available now, and within their current context.
Entrepreneurs need a better environment for collaboration, because this is what will make the difference.
The good news is that such an environment has been tested before in the world of microfinance: small groups of entrepreneurs helping each others, and promoting the most mature projects to receive financing. The peer-support and peer-selection processes promoted by Entrepreneur Commons are proven methods.
If on the other side you do match the projects that bubble up from this process with money, you can have very positive results for both the entrepreneurs and the investors.
Entrepreneur Commons is providing this environment through chapters, small groups of 5 to 10 entrepreneurs that agree to help each others, and build trusted relationship over time through monthly meeting - a space for collaboration that allows entrepreneurs to build social capital. Because it takes 10 years to build a 10 years relationship, there is no fast tracking for building trust (the entrepreneur's social capital).
Of course there are factors that will help: if you belong to another Entrepreneur Commons chapter, and therefore you already function with a similar mindset of support and trust building, then I will give you credit for that. But this initial goodwill will still have to be replaced overtime by real trust.
Back to the orginal question: how do you create many jobs? Unless you are on the Google track, it can be done by creating many Entrepreneur Commons chapters. And it is as easy as agreeing to meet on a regular basis with at least 2 other entrepreneurs: they will not be your best buddies from the get-go, but they come from different walks of life, and they bring their own prospective to any discussion. As long as there are 3 people together, there is value created through the interaction and entrepreneurs will be better off than they would be otherwise. And they will learn overtime and through dialogue to trust and respect each other, getting more and more value from the process over time.
If in addition to this, if these chapters are connected through a global platform that allows them to share best practices beyond their own local group, then you have a global platform for collaboration and the sky is the limit for what can be done.
This global platform is what the Entrepreneur Commons Academy provides.
We are now at 15 chapters in 11 cities around the world, including chapters in Europe and in Asia. This is a good start. But in the end the goal is to have chapters in every city, and as as many chapters as possible in each of these cities.
If you are an entrepreneur, all it takes for you to make a difference, and help yourself in the process, is to get together with a couple of other entrepreneurs and create your own chapter. And once you have done this, let us know, so that we can include you in the network and so that you can also benefit from the larger network.
If you are already collaborating with other entrepreneurs through some other platform, let us know too so that we can include your group in this larger network so that we can all benefit from sharing of best practices.
How will we know that we are on the right track? One year from now (May 1st 2011) we should have 300 chapters spread over all major cities in the world, and 3000 entrepreneurs collaborating through these chapters. People will engage this collaborative process because abundance thinking is better than scarcity thinking: the competition economy were the winner takes all is not a sustainable process over time, as clearly demonstrated by the state of the current economy.
The Open Source movement has shown that it is possible to successfully build complex systems through collaboration, we can re-build complex economic systems through "Open Business" practices.