Entrepreneurship · Entrepreneurs

What could government or society do to encourage more entrepreneurship?

Bhavna Pruthi Software Developer at Chetu India Pvt ltd

November 18th, 2016

I come from a country where the startup scene just started to develop. We are trying but the market is small, people in general have low salaries, no money and we have no or very little help from government institutions. How do we change that? Great ideas in an environment like this doesn’t seem to be enough, unless the startup is in relation to IT. I guess that for the government, successful startups are the easiest way to lower the unemployment rate but it seems that they need some help to understand it.

Rob G

November 18th, 2016

one of the most important things India must do to help entrepreneurship flourish is to dramatically reduce government corruption. Entrepreneurial success is elusive enough when played on a level field.  The free market will take care of the rest, just keep government interference and corruption to a minimum.  

Martin Omansky Independent Venture Capital & Private Equity Professional

November 18th, 2016

Entrepreneurship is actually fairly spotty even in the U.S. I think the best starting point is a research university technology transfer program and a tie to a graduate school of business. Perhaps another place to start is to arrange a partnership between a local university and a good entrepreneurial program - such as MIT, Stanford, or Babson. Sent from my iPhone

Rob G

November 21st, 2016

In the US, entrepreneurship is supported by a wide range of government and industry concepts.  For example, the US military, specifically DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and research universities (and government research grants to universities) play a big role in seeding new industries and entrepreneurship.  Also, the US patent system, which these days is often sited as an impediment to innovation, is also key to supporting entrepreneurship.  Our bankruptcy laws are also an important legal construct in support of risk-taking.  Our investment banking and public equity markets are also key. 

Not to get all philosophical, but it takes a certain societal mindset to nurture entrepreneurship.  I have some experience doing business in India and specifically as it relates to India I think the key is social change more so than government support - at least as a precedent to government support.   

Clearly entrepreneurship in the US is a product of many generations and hundreds of years of tolerance for risk taking - I suspect that can happen much faster in developing countries now.  Just getting here (to America) and surviving took a lot of balls and ingenuity so the mindset of the first european settlers here was one of taking huge personal risks and innovating just to survive not only without government support, but often fighting against government.  fast forward a few hundred years and 'we the people' produced a piece of paper called the constitution. And baked right into that constitution (article one, section 8 specifically) is the seed of our patent system as a way to help spur entrepreneurship:  
, section 8, clause 8 states: The Congress shall have power ... To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;   

So for India for example, though much more a social trait than per se a 'government' function, making failure, risk-taking and ownership socially acceptable seems key.  Not that failure is universally celebrated or even accepted in the US, but at least there are pockets of US society where the role of failure is understood.  Considering the results of our most recent presidential election one can see that a majority of Americans (in key US states at least) still don't understand how entrepreneurship works.  It appears that even with a pseudo-entrepreneur as president elect, a majority of Americans believe in protectionism, tariffs and walls as a path to success. But i digress. 

 I could see the Indian government perhaps sponsoring an advertising campaign to help clarify the role and benefits of accepting risk and failure.  It's not an issue of brain power, India produces lots of brilliant minds.  Those brilliant minds will figure it out, but it will take time. 

David Austin Relentless problem solver and innovator.

November 20th, 2016

Talk to the deans in your local University and tell them that you would like to create partnerships between the community, local businesses, and the university for entrepreneurship whereby the university would share and the intellectual property and it would provide learning opportunities for the students (senior projects and technical electives and such by which you can use the students  the staff  the startups). Get that charter behind you and then you can take the charter to the local businesses so they will donate resources such as expertise, personnel equipment, and in return get 1st right refusal in licensing the results, and  they can offload entrepreneurial efforts they want to provide along with funding to make it happen). Then work with the community... There are entrepreneurial minds everywhere ... They just did not know where to start. You can be the glue to make that happen.  The community can provide all kinds of resources ... Ideas, enthusiasm, skills, financing.

Universities are funny ... They want to be entrepreneurial but they have the wrong skill set ... They therefore often look forward to partnership opportunities that will facilitate that.  You have to go to them with a carrot though... What's in it for them.  You just need to find out who are the players and start talking with them.  It might take a few meetings with a few of them to flesh out what it will take.

Low incomes is not the problem in many areas where the standard of living is acceptable due to low cost of living.  Hopefully that's your situation.  Entrepreneurs fail even with seemingly good incomes if the cost to live is high, or the cost to do business is embroiled in corruption. 

Dane Madsen Organizational and Operational Strategy Consultant

November 19th, 2016

Rob is right about the corruption in India.  We made an attempt to bring a product line to India for fresh water and the corruption made us leave quickly.  Ironically we made great strides in China without running into the same issue.  I know there is corruption in China; In India it is everywhere. 

Martin is also correct - there is no real government incentive or encouragement in the USA. However the universities are a wealth of community for entrepreneurs.  Get close to them, associate with the students, and you will see ideas blossom. 

John AP Director of Energy & Sustainability at The RMR Group

November 21st, 2016

The book The Third Wave by Steve Case has some detail on how a government can support entrepreneurs.  It's a quick read/listen.

Marc-André Launière Conseiller en gestion / Travailleur autonome

November 20th, 2016

Reduce tax and réduire tape.