SME could use more true entrepreneurs

The Dutch ‘Day of the Entrepreneur’ (November 16th) surely is a great occasion to celebrate small and medium business entrepreneurs (SME), who together create about 4.4 million jobs in The Netherlands. The energy with which they cultivate their businesses, and therewith their local communities, can’t be appreciated enough.

Especially in a time where people are emphatically looking for purpose and meaning, SME are far more important than the percentage they add to the Gross Domestic Product, because human and end product are still closely connected. What is more beautiful than to see the share of SME in our economy grow? Especially when you realize that the scale of SME allows people to be appreciated directly for what they do. This seldom happens at multinationals or the government.

Without overstating one could call SME an important factor in ‘the happiness of Holland’.

This is precisely my motivation for encouraging young people to become entrepreneurs. And to stimulate small and medium business owners to bring their business to the next level, where even more opportunities and challenges await.

Unfortunately I see too many small and medium business owners who lean back contently, who keep going in circles. Entrepreneurs who pick low-hanging fruit and feel good about that. That is their choice, of course. And if they make a good living, an understandable one as well.

But are you still an entrepreneur at this point? Isn’t a healthy dose of restlessness what defines the true entrepreneur? The drive to create something new once every while? Isn’t an entrepreneur someone who wants to make a splash? Who wants to take their employees along for the ride?

It can’t be a coincidence that the entrepreneurs that stand out, tirelessly seizing new opportunities and going against the tide if they have to to bring something spectacular to the marketplace, seldom complain about taxes or over regulating, can it? For them it is not an issue but just a fact of life.

A bit recalcitrant, I sometimes think: do true entrepreneurs really need a special interest group and a ‘Day of the Entrepreneur’? Aren’t they creating commotion, hype and enthusiasm all by themselves?

To me the ‘Day of the Entrepreneur’ is only a success when entrepreneurs not only let themselves being lauded, but also have the guts to start new adventures.

A more vital #sexysme will make Holland truly happier.

Elske Doets
Driven SME entrepreneur