Joshua Burke

6 Ways That Governments Can Unleash Entrepreneurial Potential

This article is written by Brian Malika, a Contributor Author at Startup Turkey.

Joshua Burke is a staff at the U.S Mission in Turkey where he works at the office of Trade and Commerce. On other fields, Joshua Burke is an entrepreneur and investor at the same time. Joshua Burke gave a speech during the 2016 Istanbul Turkey summit.

The facilitation of a friendly environment to do business for everyone in a fair process is a sentiment that is shared by all entrepreneurs despite their political stands.From time to time Governments have taken different measures to ensure that the entrepreneurial playing ground is supporting the growth of economies.

However, the despite all the measures that have been put up to ensure that Governments do indeed support the growth of entrepreneurship, still many feel that much more can be done. And indeed there is untapped potential in entrepreneurship that is held behind because of a communication gap between entrepreneurs and Government Departments that are responsible for Trade and commerce.

Therefore, in this particular article, we will be analyzing how Governments can further step up their efforts to spark entrepreneurial growth. Please note that this article is not a lash-out to Governments but rather an avenue for discussion on how to better the entrepreneurial environment.

Draft Policies that support start-up failures

With statistics from Havard University Business school claiming 70-75 percent of start-ups fail after their first five years, it becomes evident that entrepreneurship is not for the faint-hearted.

When a start-up fails it doesn’t mean that the entrepreneur has also failed. We should learn to know that whenever a  start-up fails, its founders just become more experienced for the next venture. And as such, Governments must intervene in the start-up building process by offering drafting support policies that return start-up founders who have failed back into the business.

Listen to the founders themselves.

Various State Departments on trade and commerce have ways of gaining feedback from start-up founders. However, in almost all cases, Governments are using proxy agencies to interact with start-up founders and then generate a report.

The Government model of using a third party to understand the challenges facing entrepreneurs is not effective because at the end we only have reports, statistics or findings inform of a recommendation while in a real sense all entrepreneurs are unique and different even if they are in the same line of business.

Coming up with some sort of report recommendation to summarise the Government support to be given to entrepreneurs is misleading.

The best way forward should be that  Governments need to open up the dialogue forum with entrepreneurs,  get one on one feedback and then generate a consensus with entrepreneurs themselves based on what should be offered as Government support. This is much better and effective than hiring professionals to collect, analyze and present entrepreneurs’ wishes to Governments for consideration.

Please be considerate on taxes

I know we have some big companies that are generating massive revenue and as such Governments need to collect their rightful share. However, taxing a start-up that is grappling to stand on its feet at the same rate with an established company is a complete disaster to the interest of supporting the upcoming businesses.

Tax laws need to separate companies that are big, medium and micro-enterprise size from those that are start-ups. We must categorize start-ups as adventurous enterprises in the market and therefore come up with laws that can babysit them.

Physical Support

Apart from erecting offices at the grassroots level to handle issues facing start-ups, it will be a big win if Governments can go further and set up entrepreneurship innovation centers across their countries. These centers will offer the platform for the synergy of ideas among the centers in particular region of a country and also be the ideal place for private investors to look out for whenever they want to partner with entrepreneurial ideas.

Get Out of The Way

Governments must get of entrepreneurs’ way by stopping to be suspicious and skeptic about the imagination that digital innovations will cause a shift in the market that would transfer Government revenue to entrepreneurs .

 Government agencies need to work alongside the digital entrepreneurs instead of blocking them.

Offer Infrastructure

Governments should support in putting up infrastructure that is relevant to the type of innovation that is being introduced by entrepreneurs. This means that Government agencies on commerce and trade should be active and on the ground to identify the unique support being needed by the founders of innovative ideas from time to time.

An Enterprising Country Can Solve Tough Problems 

It is possible to solve all the tough problems that countries face like water shortage, failing transport systems, health concerns and even poor quality of education if Governments can equally view start-ups as part of the solution with the same seriousness that is offered to big companies.

Remember all big companies were ideas at the same point and because of lack of meaningful support, not all ideas became big companies.

─ April 13, 2019