Title : On Entrepreneurs and the Summer of Political Change
Date : 9 September 2016
There have been four very significant political events this summer: the 'Brexit' referendum in the UK; Donald Trump winning the Republican Presidential nomination; the 5 Star win in the Rome Mayoralty race; and the AfD beating the CDU in Chancellor Merkel’s home territory.
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The pundits claimed that they all had one thing in common: they were all votes against 'the Establishment.'
So just who is this so called 'Establishment'?
In my experience, most of those so-named aren't anything of the sort. Most are simply successful at what they do. And is success in itself evidence of 'establishment' privilege? In my eyes, this is rarely the case.
Scratch the surface of most successful entrepreneurs, and you will find a story not of them being born into wealth or privileged access (though of course this may sometimes be the case), but of overcoming adversity and disadvantage.
My father was a successful entrepreneur – he started his businesses in post-war Britain when times were very bad – and he did everything within his means to raise the capital to get started. He was an inspiration to me because, although there were so many challenges thrown at him, he never ever gave up.
Now, it is our generation who must face the huge challenges that Brexit and this season of political change will bring (the full impact of which may not be felt for years to come).
But what I am seeing from those entrepreneurs I meet around Europe is that same age-old desire to press on; to not give up, regardless of the adversity that may come our way.
The successful entrepreneurs of the next decade won't come from those who only see the problems, but from those who are determined to exploit the opportunities. I know I am.