A few weeks ago I was posed with the question, “how do we solve the world’s problems?” It got me thinking, the answer is right in front of our eyes – entrepreneurship. One of the amazing things about entrepreneurs is that they don’t see barriers and their interpretation of these obstacles are simply that there is a challenge that lies ahead, and they can solve it. Another amazing thing about entrepreneurs is that they can think differently and innovate better than anyone like the famous Steve Jobs.
The typical traits of an entrepreneur are creativity, optimism, determination and the desire to disrupt. I think the world needs more people that believe and demonstrate these traits. What other species on the planet other than entrepreneurs, do you know that have these superhuman capabilities that could be used for the greater good?
The way to create more economic opportunity in developing countries is to nurture and grow the community of entrepreneurs and encourage everyone to start a business that they are passionate about.
Below are my top twelve reasons why I believe that entrepreneurship can solve the world’s problems.
1. Helping people create their own wealth
One of the biggest problems that we have in the world is that society believes we can solve poverty by donating money to those who need it. While I am not against donating money to people that need it, what’s a thousand times more powerful, is to help people suffering from poverty to be able to build their own wealth. There are a lot of ways to do that, but one simple way is what entrepreneurs are doing in the online education space.
Entrepreneurs are helping create low-cost resources and business basics that anyone can pick up and apply. If we can educate people on entrepreneurship (the art of creating your own wealth) we can help society develop the mindset and the desire to go out there and have a go, rather than stay in a state of helplessness. It’s this state of mind and beliefs that need to change and at its core, entrepreneurship teaches this.
2. Making the world more efficient
Entrepreneurship by its nature is about solving problems. Once you have solved the problem that you set out to fix, it’s then about scale. To scale, you need to make your operation leaner and more efficient. You need to reshuffle your resources in a different way. You need to find ways to source more capital so you can scale even faster.
This entire process that we call entrepreneurship is really just about focusing energy in one area, continuing to pivot in different directions and then just making the process as efficient as possible. Don’t you think this process is a bit of an art and that we could learn something from entrepreneurs and their focus on efficiency, which could solve many problems around the world that need require this very thing?
3. Increasing the number of optimists
The great thing about all entrepreneurs is that they are by the very nature, optimists. The power of optimism is very important in solving the world’s problems and if we don’t believe we can then we never will. Every day entrepreneurs are using their sense of optimism to come up with solutions that normal people believe are impossible.
Could having a world full of optimists help us solve more of the world’s problems? I believe it can, and that’s why I want to encourage everyone to consider some form of entrepreneurship.
4. Reducing the need for handouts
When people create their own wealth, they don’t require handouts anymore because they become self-sufficient. Entrepreneurs never sit around and hope that someone is going to gift them an amazing business with lots of money to run it.
They realise that they have to go out and create their vision even if no one believes in what they are doing. If we reduce the need for handouts through entrepreneurship, then we free up those funds for other uses and compound the effect that mankind can have on this earth.
5. Giving people their own sense of self-worth
By creating and inspiring more people to become entrepreneurs we change people’s perception of their own self-worth. Self-worth by definition is about someone’s sense of value or worth as a person. When you create a business that allows you to be self-sufficient and care for your family, it gives you a great sense of accomplishment and worth.
Living a life of relying on others to give you money is not fulfilling and has very negative effects. I think it would be cool if we could have more people feeling they are valuable and contributing to society. Do you think we would see a decrease in depression because people actually feel like they mean something to the world and are creating value?
6. Accelerating the speed of innovation
One of my favourite things about entrepreneurship is that it encourages and increases the speed of innovation. If we combine this with the power of the Internet, we have a recipe for success that can never be outdone. Thanks to people like Travis Kalanick (Founder of Uber) and Elon Musk we now have innovative solutions like Uber, Paypal and Space X that we never had before. The level at which these companies are accelerating innovation is crazy and the problems they are solving are even more crazy. Curing cancer and providing fresh water to the world requires innovation and entrepreneurship is the way to get this innovation as quickly as possible.
7. Spreading contagious idea’s
All entrepreneurship starts from a small seed of an idea. If the idea is any good then its success will be measured by how contagious it is – ie how many users adopt the product and at what scale. If entrepreneurs didn’t have ideas, then society would stop growing and the world’s problems would continue to stay the same. For us to solve the world’s problems we need individuals who are committed to solving problems and have good ideas to help us do that.
A great example of this is Bluedot who solved the location-based technology problem and whose technology is now being all over the world to solve different problems. Everyone told the founders Filip and Emil that it wasn’t possible for an app to have location services via GPRS without draining the phone’s battery but they believed in their idea, and now companies like Samsung are using their technology.
“Entrepreneurship Is About Solving Problems, Not Fame or Money – Ashton Kutcher”
8. Creating more competition
To disrupt the traditional businesses that won’t innovate, we need more competition. Competition is created through entrepreneurship. By having entrepreneurs out in society disrupting business, we spread more ideas that challenge traditional thinking. If we don’t challenge our current thinking, we will never solve any of the world’s major problems. When a competitor enters a marketplace and begins to affect the profits of the companies that chose to maintain the status quo, a form of innovation is forced upon them.
For the old slow-moving companies, they must do something or end up like Kodak, out of business. This may seem harsh, but innovation is a big part of the solution needed to move mankind forward, and entrepreneurship delivers this in so many different ways.
9. Changing belief systems
A lot of what is required to change the world is the belief that we can actually change it. We know from hundreds of articles on Addicted2Success and the teachings from thought leaders like Tony Robbins that beliefs form the foundations of everything that we do in the world. Entrepreneurs are solving this problem by challenging belief systems, coming up with entirely new systems and most importantly, believing in themselves.
By demonstrating to the world through their own actions and the power of beliefs, they are forming the first step to changing the world, believing that we can. When we hear someone, communicate an idea we sit passively and listen to it and possibly never take action. When we see someone present a compelling story on how they took and idea and turned it into action, we now have a reference to mirror, a system to follow and a much higher chance of taking action. It’s this process and the beliefs that are required, that will help us change the world.
10. Generating more philanthropy
My absolute favourite thing that entrepreneurship does to solve the world’s problems is to create more philanthropy. This is achieved when an entrepreneur creates what they deem to be wealth, or more resources than they need to live their life. Upon achieving success, human nature begins to kick in, and the entrepreneur wonders how they can give back through the money they have made. If you look at almost successful entrepreneurs, you will see this happen at some stage or another in their life.
The best example I know of philanthropy is a company called Ducere who rather than donate money to Africa, use some of the profits from their online business courses aimed at entrepreneurs, to develop education courses in the areas that need them. The whole concept is around allowing others to build their lives and giving them resources to help them. I think of this investment in African Education a bit like seed capital that is given to a startup, it’s not free, and there is an expectation on a return of value in the future.
11. Bringing on the rise of intrapreneurship
Don’t forget that if you’re working in a large organisation you can still be an intrepreneur (an entrepreneur working in a large organisation) and have the same positive effect on the world. We need these intrepreneurs because we can’t just replace every slow moving company in the world, we also need to rebuild them and innovate them from the inside out.
Not everyone in society can be an entrepreneur, but entrepreneurs can teach regular people who have a job, the philosophies needed to solve the problems the world is facing. If you look back around ten years ago, the word intrepreneur was virtually non-existent, now it’s being used a lot more and there are more and more showing up in organisation’s all over the world. Part of the reason for the rise is the attention that entrepreneurship has been getting.
“If we build new companies that spread infectious ideas and prosperity and we rebuild the ones that don’t, then we can truly be unstoppable and change the world”
12. Cultivating a more responsible society
A major challenge that the world has is that some parts of society believe that everything is someone else’s problem. Part of being an entrepreneur is to be responsible and take ownership. Entrepreneurship demonstrates the power of responsibility in today’s society and encourages everyone to do something with their life and not just sit back and watch it pass them by.
It teaches you not to wait for a solution but to come up with your own. When you do come up with your own solution, entrepreneurship teaches you to share it with the world in as many ways as you can and be proud of what you’re doing.
Do we want more couch potatoes or do we want to formulate a plan for success and have people take charge of their future and rise above the difficulties of life to formulate something incredible!!!
So there, you have it. I have served up the top eleven reasons that entrepreneurship can solve the world’s problems. Now all you need to do is go out there and start a business or develop your business further. I don’t expect any of you to know necessarily the answer to the world’s problems, but your demonstration of entrepreneurship will help foster the ideas that are needed to solve them and inspire the people that will come up with the solutions.
If you have any stories on entrepreneurship, I would love you to comment below or contact me on my Facebook Page and tell me personally.