The Entrepreneur: Creator of Wealth, and Social Justice

Karen Kerrigan
The first World Entrepreneurship Forum was held November 13-15 in Evian, France. As a member of the first global think tank dedicated to entrepreneurship, I am excited about this new initiative. After all, if political leaders and larger corporations can have their annual global gatherings, why shouldn’t entrepreneurs? On a global basis, we are responsible for the bulk of wealth creation, new jobs, innovation, and remain the best hope for easing the world out of its current economic woes.

It seems that excessive time and resources are being spent on cleaning up the messes of larger companies and institutions. While work and reforms are certainly needed to bring stability to our financial systems, markets and economy, politicians and existing institutions seem to be overly focused on the wrong targets. At the World Entrepreneurship Forum, there was no bitterness or whining about this current state of affairs – only optimism and solutions. Our job was to develop a common agenda – an actionable list of recommendations – to accelerate global entrepreneurship. And that we did.

While we are fine-tuning the wording of this list of twelve recommendations, the general themes focus on building a more enabling environment – from education to government policies; improving support institutions, and increasing a cultural appreciation for entrepreneurs; and creating an inclusive framework to expose entrepreneurship as an option to more women, minorities and disadvantage groups.

Indeed, enabling business start-ups and entrepreneurship is critical to the economic future of our globe. But the entrepreneur, quite naturally, is a creator of social justice. Their innovations have greatly improved the lives of people around the world; their wealth-building capacity has lead to a better way of life and economic opportunity for untold millions; and their passion is unmatched for giving back to their communities, their causes and their countries.

Upon return from the forum, I stumbled upon an “open letter” on the business wires written by Philip Verges, Founder and CEO, NewMarket Technology Inc. While the letter was directed to “Fellow Shareholders and Small Equity Investors” its message certainly is one that needs to be read by political, social, education and business leaders.

In essence, Mr. Verges believes that the current global economic situation is an opportunity to “bring attention to a long overlooked business sector – a business sector that happens to account for the majority of economic activity around the world with historically little attention from Wall Street.” Of course, this would be the small business and entrepreneurial sector.

In his letter, Mr. Verges writes that he is optimistic that “this previously overlooked business sector will finally get the attention it deserves as institutions search for strength in the market.”

The letter is quite deep and thoughtful. (I hope he puts it on his company’s website as I only have a printed copy.) He concludes that “a new Wall Street” that emerges from the financial crises will do so “with a new appreciation for investment in the small businesses filling the gaps in the continuing market segmentation and the ongoing production fragmentation.”

According to Mr. Verges, “all of us share a vested interest in an improved investment environment surrounding the small business community.” He is confident that small firms will benefit in the new era.

Entrepreneurs are the solution to the global economic crises. This is the message from members of the World Entrepreneurship Forum. It certainly is the belief of thoughtful CEOs such as Philip Verges.

Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO SBEC
Copyright 2008. All Rights Reserved.

Print page