In many communities, growing their own food could be a good place to start.
Things may have been done before but without entrepreneurship
Speaking about entrepreneurship to most people is like speaking a foreign language. Entrepreneurship is not an academic or step by step process, but it is an essential ingredient that must be present in every successful business or organisation.
Entrepreneuring is something that entrepreneurs just do – it just happens, it is part of their DNA. Many Indigenous communities have grown their own fresh vegetable in the past, but many have lapsed because of a lack of entrepreneurial drive.
While few Indigenous people would have ever heard of the word, they have some very special genes that give them this special characteristic, it’s called ‘hunting instincts’. These instincts need to be cultivated into a more entrepreneurial culture of community revival.
Mention the word entrepreneur and most people conjure up an image of a wild dreamer who goes into business by the seat of his pants and risks all to make some elusive pipe dream come true. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Many so-called entrepreneurs fail because they were not in fact entrepreneurs in the first place. Entrepreneurs are a very special breed and claiming to understand what they are and pretending to be one just doesn’t ‘cut the mustard’.
Entrepreneurs have strong beliefs about an opportunity and are willing to accept what others view as a high level of personal, professional, or financial risk to pursue that opportunity. They understand that the real risk is in not taking the risk of being successful because the real risk is in not risking.
There is a myth that entrepreneurs are high-risk takers. This is not so as the true entrepreneurs, in fact, weigh up the risks carefully when they conceive an idea and then quickly move on to the positive implementation. When others first look at the idea they wrongly perceive that the entrepreneur has just jumped in without proper consideration.
“Indigenous communities and their business orientated people thrive when entrepreneurially thinking and action is ignited”. Peter Sergeant
Some of the entrepreneurial approaches to growing businesses in a community could include:
- Entrepreneurs are the best resource for supporting inexperienced entrepreneurs as they know and understand the thinking that is going on. Particularly the ones operating a successful business.
- Build ‘social capital’ to improve the quality of life for and some of the most difficult and excluded communities will be more able to look at business opportunities.
- Focus on parts of the community with business opportunities and where other policy initiatives do not touch.
- Identify unmet social and commercial needs and generate solutions based on a close reading of the views of those most directly affected.
- Help Indigenous entrepreneurs to interact with mainstream businesses and to get along the road of self-determination.
- Experienced social entrepreneurs normally work in creative partnerships, which could be attached to non-profit organisations already operating in the
- Entrepreneurs can be assigned to achieving ambitious projects with far-reaching change, in the most dubious circumstances and there are minimal resources.
- Recognise, encourage and employ skills from different faiths, cultures, traditions and backgrounds. Bringing them together in new and creative ways to address practical problems faced by communities can be a great catalyst for action.
- Become skilled at redirecting, using and regenerating under-used, abandoned, redundant or derelict human and physical resources (skills, expertise, contacts, buildings and equipment), to help re-energise the community.
- Many health issues can be turned into small non-profit enterprises, replacing welfare and providing jobs in the community.
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Building and seeking innovative solutions to Indigenous problems in regional and remote communities should become a priority, which means identifying the entrepreneurs in a community and have them supported by other entrepreneurs.
I have experienced many business opportunities in communities that failed. They failed because of a lack of entrepreneurial involvement and adequate funding not being available. People can only take a new project so far without entrepreneurial support. Many projects only require small amounts of capital to get them off the ground.[/read]