The Dynamics of Small Entrepreneurs and Their Importance in Developing Countries!
Entrepreneurship Means Many Things
Whenever we think of the terms entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs, several images are conjured in mind. For instance, the most common feeling is an individual or a set of individuals coming together to launch a new business with stars in their eyes and full of passion. Next, we think of how such entrepreneurs can indeed become prominent businesspersons provided they have a compelling idea or an innovative product in addition to oodles of hard work and commitment. Added to this is the emphasis in recent years about the so-called startups driving the next wave of growth and entrepreneurs changing the world with their brilliance, commitment, and passion with generous help from investors and the governments.
Indeed, given that the Unicorns or the startups that have garnered Billion Dollar valuations have taken centre stage in the news, we can be forgiven when thinking that entrepreneurship is glamorous and enticing.
Small Entrepreneurs are Equally Important
However, is it the case that entrepreneurship is all about startups and the glitz and glamour of becoming the next Mark Zuckerberg or launching the next Uber? Likely not as any businessperson with an idea and some funding can be thought of as an entrepreneur. It means that while not all businesses become Facebook, Uber, and Google, their contribution to economic growth and development is as essential as the entrepreneurs' Biggies. Indeed, in many developing countries such as India, we depend on the small entrepreneurs' business skills to keep our lives going and our existence well-oiled means that small entrepreneurs are as crucial as the big names who succeed. It is the reason that this article makes a case for all possible help to be extended to the small entrepreneurs instead of launching schemes and tailoring policies for the benefit of only those who are in the tech or associated fields.
As Hindol Sengupta writes in the book, Recasting India, countries such as India run because of the commercial exchange between the people and the small entrepreneurs, such as: the newspaper delivery vendors, the milkmen, the neighborhood grocers, the vegetable vendors, the courier companies, and most importantly, small businesspersons such as the service agencies who handle everything from plumbing to electrical repairs to those who specialize in arranging pickups and drops of goods and services.
It means that the government can indeed help such entrepreneurs without high costs and policies that make it easier to access financing from banks, some subsidies to offset their expenses, speedy approvals and faster clearances of their applications, and above all, encourage such small entrepreneurs to use technology so that they can scale up as well as benefit from the synergies and the efficiencies of the economies of scale.
More than anything, small entrepreneurs must not be harassed just because they do not have significant connections or the ability to flaunt their ideas in a media-friendly manner. In conclusion, developing countries on growth trajectories should have both macro and micro enablers of growth. The small entrepreneurs who fall under the latter category are as crucial as the marquee names.