Prosperity can only be created by collective intelligence – working together, exchanging ideas, sharing technology and resources and helping each other do well. Our greatest assets are our energy, imagination, skill and our commitment to good work.
This was the forward by Mark Roseland Director of the Community Economic Development Centre at Simon Fraser University Vancouver Canada in the introduction to Ernesto Sorelli’s book “Ripples from the Zambezi”. Ripples from the Zambezi is about enterprise facilitation and entrepreneurial development in local communities.
“Right now in your community, at this very moment, there is someone who is dreaming about doing something to improve his or her lot. If we could learn how to help that person to transform the dream into meaningful work, we would be halfway to changing the economic fortunes of the entire community.” Sorelli
These people are looking not just for employment but for a way to make a living without compromising their need for dignity.
Carl Rogers the founding father of person based therapy explains, “the aim of facilitation is not to solve the problem but to help the individual to grow so that he or she can can cope with the present problems and with later problems in a better more integrated fashion”.
Enterprise facilitation is working with thousands of individuals who would like to engage in their own business development programme.
There is a fashion in enterprise thinking which is abandoning support for low added value “lifestyle” businesses to chase the gazelles of growth, the vital six per cent of SME’s who will be responsible for 70% of new job creation in the economy. It is a mistake, both are important and worthy of support in the eco system of innovation and enterprise.
Who would have thought the Freemantle shoemakers co-operative identified in the Sorelli book, would have lasted for ten years and trained twenty people, leading to careers in orthopedic shoemaking, special footwear and a degree in podiatry.
Enterprise facilitation is about removing barriers to growth. It is not there to innovate and to motivate. Enterprise centres, entrepreneurial management courses, co-working facilities, mentoring, guidance and advice are part of what is a self help process.
Sorelli believes that enterprise facilitators never lend money to clients because they know that a good proposal with a good management team will either find institutional lenders or private investors to back it. Enterprise facilitation is a key component in the approach to creating the right environment for innovation and enterprise in Greater Manchester. JKA
Sign up today and "subscribe" for e-mail notification of updates. This blog post forms part of the pro.manchester research into Innovation and Enterprise in Greater Manchester. The views expressed are my own and in no way reflect pro.manchester policy. In no way should the comments be considered as investment advice or guidelines. UK Economics news and analysis : no politics, no dogma, no polemics, just facts.