The entrepreneur is a resource, as well as an individual in their own right. The successful businessman or woman – whom is likely to have created a product or service of note, built a substantial customer base and turned over a profit in a period of financial doom-and-gloom around the globe – naturally has a wealth of insight, intelligence and innovation to offer.
But what is the impact of entrepreneurs in our society?
The bottom line of vibrant entrepreneurialism is that it creates wealth: for the entrepreneur, for the people that are employed as a result and for the local economy. It creates wealth on a national scale for the government in the form of taxation, which is then redistributed accordingly to the services and communities that need it the most.
The impact of entrepreneurs is ultimately in creating a product or service that adds value to the lives of its users; whether that is an inherent need for the item or a simple desire to have it. Either way, an innovation on this scale can help to push a market forwards on a domestic level, and – where relevant – drive exports to new overseas markets. This again is a wealth-creating exercise, which is a key driver of economic growth.
Often an entrepreneur has to take a risk or two to enjoy success, and it is this spirit which serves as a wake-up call for many an ailing industry and economy. As such, it is those governments that cultivate a sense of entrepreneurialism – through an effective economic and legal framework – that will reap the ultimate benefit. Prosperity is a two-way street after all.
Successful entrepreneurialism often requires the skills and labor of many hands; and that necessitates job creation. As a thriving business grows so do the opportunities for others and the cumulative impact of new start-ups in a particular geographical area will go a long way towards cutting queues at the job center.
This facilitates economic benefits – employees with money in their pockets will naturally spend them on local goods and services. It also helps to push societies forward too: it is well documented that unemployment causes crime, poverty and a gamut of physical and mental illnesses; adding further strain to already stretched health services.
Success in business generally has a cascading effect, and so a range of stakeholders can expect to flourish from entrepreneurial growth. Suppliers, retailers, storage facilities, courier services, recruitment agencies. Any or all of these can benefit from a local company that is thriving, which is one of the biggest impact of entrepreneurs. This helps to create jobs in these firms too, and so the cycle continues.
Necessity is the mother of invention, as the saying goes, and so perhaps its older sibling is innovation. Most entrepreneurs enter a market successfully thanks to their innovative approach: whether that’s inherent in the product/service they offer, or in the way in which they deliver it.
By finding a solution to a problem – whether it was explicit or merely an opportunity for competitive advantage, an entrepreneur can drive innovation in a market and create competition; a theorem that results in better and often more affordable products and services for consumers. Steve Jobs and his Apple colleagues invented the iPod, and this created an area of innovation in MP3 players. Today, this is a vibrant industry with many competitors; which has created technological excellence at the top end of the market and perfectly functional products at the budget end. Who wins? The buying public.
Success breeds success, and once one entrepreneur has flourished in a given market more often than not another businessman or woman looks to enjoy their own slice of the pie.
As we know, competition is a good thing for the consumer, as it requires companies to deliver a better-quality product in order to survive. This can also create price wars (take a look at the ongoing battle between the Xbox One and Playstation 4 as a good example), and it is true that often only the strongest will prosper. But the benefits to the general public are obvious.