In some circles, business seems to be a dirty word. It’s become fashionable to rant against industry, even while lapping up its benefits. Whether I am turning on the television (thank you business for inventing and commercialising it), tuning into my Twitter feed (thank you Jack Dorsey et al) or turning to someone on a bus (thank you to the automobile industry from Henry Ford on for that one), I hear constant misrepresentation of business both large and small.
If we are to encourage the next generation to create jobs, wealth, as well as products and services that make our lives better or just more enjoyable, the concept of business needs redefining. People who take risks and tackle challenges must be honoured: not just the start-up heroes, but also the everyday business people who set up shop to sell a decent sanger.
This year the UN General Assembly debuted a formally designated “Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Day”. Such recognition for SMEs is crucial in today’s socio-political landscape.
We need to stop viewing SMEs as enterprises concerned solely with profits and instead acquaint ourselves with the inspiring stories hidden beneath them. A small business starts with an idea, and it is that idea that can help bridge the gap between a new mother and her desire to re-enter the workforce, an immigrant and their vision for a fresh start in a new country or a seasoned professional looking to change directions and finally follow that passion project.