Michael Allen Founder of Bouncepreneurs the movement that helps entrepreneurs recover from business failure speaks about the role of public sector economic development agencies in 2nd phase entrepreneurship.
I am calling on economic development agencies to add a new element to their economic development work. Bounce Backs or Second Phase Entrepreneurship.
In the 1990's and early noughties I worked with many government economic development agencies and investment promotion agencies in around 20 countries. That experience gave me a strong insight into the way in which these agencies operate.
I know that within this sector there are innovators that are prepared to make changes to the norm and breakaway from convention. Now is the time to do just that.
Bouncepreneurs have a 5 point plan for economic development agencies
1. Acknowledge that most entrepreneurial ventures fail!
Current Practice - ignore the problem and claim artificially high success rates because it is politically not acceptable to admit business failure rates.
2. Treat entrepreneurs who have failed differently from first time entrepreneurs, acknowledging their experience.
Current Practice - lump all entrepreneurs into the same schemes, insulting the intelligence of seasoned business people.
3. Understand the mental challenges. Entrepreneurial grief - the emotional crisis felt after losing a business has been likened to the loss of a child.
Current Practice - completely ignored with skills based training for fresh start ups dominating the service offering
4. Offer special services for Second Phase entrepreneurs
Bounce Back training is very thin on the ground and lacks the street-wise training components needed to really help those affected.
5. Drive out Barriers limiting the ability of people to start again
Not only is is very difficult for entrepreneurs to Bounce Back from business failure, current credit rating practices amongst the FTSE500, Fortune 500 and others make it nearly impossible for those losing a business to even be interviewed for work with many, many companies. This reality of exclusion is on the same level as sexual and racial discrimination.
Bouncepreneurs offer free advice to economic development agencies seeking to address this problem in their community.
It should be remembered that research shows those in highly disadvantaged communities are even more likely not to try again after business failure and communities at large can develop a deeply-rooted fear of failure and therefore DO NOT even try to be entrepreneurs.
Please contact Michael Allen at Bouncepreneurs for a free consultation on helping entrepreneurs in your community
Helping entrepreneurs recover from business failure