I read an article recently about ‘Jobless Entrepreneurship’ and it’s affect on start-up businesses taking on employees. Essentially the statistics show an increase in businesses started but reduction in employment. It concluded that entrepreneurs don’t want to take on the burden of employees and ends it’s discussion there.
I believe that something has been overlooked and that is the effect of digital technologies on start ups.
10 years ago a start up had no option but to have a physical office, employees and infrastructure. Today however they are much more nimble creatures needing little more than an internet connection to access a wealth or resources with which to take over the world.
You register your domain online, build your own website on a free platform (like Blogger 🙂 ), incorporate your limited company ALL online with a digital signature, open your bank account online and liaise with your bank manager via email.
Now the crucial ingredient in which the “Jobless Entrepreneurship” article highlights the problem towards is resource. So most start ups are one man bands, we understand that. But then the sustainability of those b2b service providers (to use an example) relies on their ability to charge for their services, often to other one man band entrepreneurs.
Therefore creating a cycle of economic support where each entrepreneur receives different valued outcomes e.g. marketing, accountancy, PR, coaching, tech support etc. In simple terms the PR company may require tech support monthly and the tech support company PR monthly. They may both operate as one man or small entities but are able to pay each other for services rendered. That payment and profit therein is then used to pay other service providers big and small or if their lucky remains as profit.
The point being that what we maybe on the cusp of experiencing isn’t a jobless trend created by entrepreneurs but moreover a shift in the way our economy is being run in business terms. Employment is necessary of course, but when corporations lay off huge numbers of people methinks this is a far more significant contributor to the “jobless” issue than is the humble entrepreneur.
Technology be it online or mobile has created more automation, process and intelligence than ever before. This has in my estimation replaced the need for costly employees as the default position of a start up.
In conclusion I’d like to present the suggestion that the statistics which drive our country be re modeled to stay in line with the very obviously changing face of our economy, business and enterprise.