It used to be that entrepreneurs were looked down on. ‘The pirates of business’. Thanks to Richard Branson and Steve Jobs that’s changed. In some places it’s changed more than others. The US West Coast is full of entrepreneurophiles while parts of Europe are still violently anti. Some believe that the 21st Century will be centred on innovation and entrepreneurship. The entrepreneur will be king. Indeed, thanks to technological change and the ‘age of networks’ it’s never looked so good for entrepreneurs. Even given the current credit hiccups. Hey, a simple tool like Twitter, run by a handful of geeks has permanently changed the media communications landscape. The 21st Century has ushered in the power of small. Small teams with big dreams changing the world – and not just a little. As a result entrepreneurs will increasingly get their wish and become the true change agents of tomorrow. Society needs to learn how to support entrepreneurs and leverage them. In government, in education, charities, the third world and beyond. And entrepreneurs need to learn the value of extending. One of the key traits of every great entrepreneur is focus. This often means that they focus too much on their current venture alone. They should perhaps develop better peripheral vision and value extending their skills as change agents for the broader good. Yes, sometimes even helping government however absurd that might seem. I could not imagine a time when society needed change agents more. It also needs to figure out how to better help and support its entrepreneurs when they’re on the way up so that they sprinkle their magic dust a little wider. It’s a two way street.
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