The Kauffman Foundation recently asked the question, "Can entrepreneurship solve environmental and social issues?" The answer, it seems, is a resounding yes. After all, entrepreneurship is all about coming up with new and innovative solutions to problems. And what could be more pressing than the need to protect our environment and improve our society? There are already many entrepreneurs who are using their creativity and innovation to make a difference. Some are developing new technologies that can help reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. Others are creating sustainable businesses that can help generate jobs and economic opportunity in underserved communities. Still others are developing new social media platforms that can help raise awareness about important issues. And it's not just idealism that is driving this trend. More and more consumers are interested in supporting companies that share their values, and they are willing to pay a premium for products and services that are environmentally friendly and socially responsible. What's more, many cities and states are offering incentives for businesses to adopt sustainable practices.
Let’s say all this inspires you. Imagine you have a great idea. You've done your research, created a detailed business plan, and assembled a team of passionate and talented people. You're ready to launch your business and start making your mark on the world. But then you hit a snag: you can't access the financing you need to get your business off the ground. This is a common challenge for entrepreneurs, and it's only become more difficult in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to recent research, 72% of entrepreneurs with businesses under one year old say that accessing startup funds has been a challenge during the pandemic. This is nearly double the 39% of entrepreneurs with businesses older than five years who say the same. The pandemic has caused many investors to be more cautious with their money, making it harder for startups to get the funding they need to grow.
For entrepreneurs of all business ages, finding new customers was the most common challenge reported. Among those with a new business less than 1 year old, 4 in 5 reported this as a challenge (80%), compared to about 7 in 10 owners of businesses that were 5 years or older (70% among those whose business was between 5-10 years old. Even before the pandemic, attracting customers can be difficult for startups that lack the brand recognition and customer base of more established businesses. The coronavirus outbreak has made it even more challenging for many entrepreneurs, as people have cut back on spending and made changes to their daily routines that limit opportunities for marketing and customer outreach. In addition, some potential customers may be hesitant to patronize new businesses during an uncertain economic time.
Entrepreneurship can be a powerful force for good in the world. We have seen countless examples of entrepreneurs who have taken on challenges and come up with innovative solutions that have made a real difference in people's lives. In recent years, we have seen a surge in social entrepreneurship, with more and more people using their business acumen to tackle some of the world's most pressing problems.
With the outbreak of covid-19, we are once again seeing the importance of entrepreneurship in finding solutions to global challenges. Entrepreneurs are quickly adapting their businesses to the new reality, coming up with creative ways to keep their employees safe and their customers happy. In many cases, they are also developing new products and services that can help us all get through this difficult period.
So let's make sure we support our entrepreneurs as they continue to play a vital role in making the world a better place. They very well may have the solutions we all need for a better future.
By Dean Miles
Keywords: Business Continuity, Entrepreneurship, Startups