“You can’t entrepreneur around bad leadership, we can’t entrepreneur around bad policy.”
100% Sir! When the house in on fire, you don’t start renovating, you scramble to deal with the fire first using whatever is at your disposal (bucket, cans etc), and you call the neighbors or whoever is nearby for help.
Kenya’s economy is on fire, and denial by leadership will only make things worse. Even though our leaders are telling us, enterpreneurs, to create jobs, how can we, when the business climate is so hostile, chaotic, unpredicable and harphazard?
What is interesting is that case studies abound around the world (and in history) which should alert our elites that it is in their long-term best interests to listen to the cries of enterpreneurs and intellectuals. These people are natural problem solvers.
Wise leaders will look beyond perceived politics into the substance of what is being said. If an idea is helpful, it shouldn’t matter how it was originally packaged, what the perceived intent was, or whether the source is from the “in group” or “out group”. Those are distractions. What matters is the merits and usefulness of the ideas.
Disconnecting from reality only makes things worse: France, Sudan & Egypt are case studies that even brute force totalitarian leadership styles are ineffective if the lower pyramid economy is neglected. All it took for Sudan to tip over was something as “insignificant” as an increase to the price of BREAD. France is boiling because of pro-elite policies, which ironically shows how elites sabotage themselves when they lose restraint. Being out of touch means you never know the last straw until it is too late.
I hope government stakeholders will realize that many of us are coming from a genuine place and we truly want to help make things better. We have on the ground insights based on real world experience and we know exactly where the shoe hurts. Why not make use of our skills/insights/experience for a win-win outcome?
I urge our leaders to set up a well empowered rapid results economic task force with a focus on MSMEs. The team can be tasked to propose quick wins (economic pain relief) as well as strategic long-term measures that will generate a robust middleclass. It should have people who have demonstrated genuine concern for our economy, as well as the capacity to offer fresh and innovative ideas.
Patrick A. M. Maina[Cross-domain Innovator | Public Policy Analyst – Indigenous Innovations]
On Tuesday, May 7, 2019, 12:36:15 PM GMT+3, Jimmy Gitonga <email@example.com> wrote:
Thanks Patrick for the thorough reply.
Your sentiment on the traits of an entrepreneur on get rich quick mentality is true. It is in creation of value and thus revenue received for offering a valuable product of service. Kweli kabisa and like you said, it is also true that “Get rich quick” becomes are problem when linked to “extractive” economies.
But all the institutions offering oversight, rules or social contracts that are meant to counter “extraction” are not working yet here in this country. Working in the civil service in Kenya is an avenue to “get rich quick”. This is a mentality that has now permeated the “youth” and coming generations to the extent that renumeration is not viewed in a way as to be commensurate to work or that most businesses are into cutting costs and corners and not in creating value.
The hard work is to reverse that mentality in the spaces we occupy and that work is going to be done with and through data. We have a demographic “youth bulge” that, depending on how you look at it, it is either a future source of labour and a future market or a socio-political time-bomb.
My problem is how the global elite have hijacked “entrepreneurship” and are now selling it as a solution to social ills, many developed by the said elite. As Ory once said, “You can’t entrepreneur around bad leadership, we can’t entrepreneur around bad policy,” Okolloh said this while criticising what she called the “fetishisation” of entrepreneurship and neglect of fundamental problems hampering African countries.
We need to work towards a market based on true demand-driven value. Education, based on information harnessed from data, is our ticket to establishing good policy at every level to establishing fair markets. Then we can entrepreneur and disrupt to our hearts’ content.
Best Regards,Jimmy Gitonga
Web Software Design and Development LinkedIn: Jimmy Gitonga | Twitter: @Afrowave______________________________________
On 7 May 2019, at 3:21 AM, Patrick A. M. Maina <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
On get rich quick startups, I would disagree with your views because a get rich quick mentality is a key trait for entrepreneurship – if it comes from a value creation perspective. It is about recognising that resources are scarce and therefore looking for the most productive way to allocate capital by generating compelling high value propositions for society.
Even investors want to get rich quick from their investments.. because they trade in capital (and have many lower-risk options e.g. bond markets)… and that’s why the less sophisticated ones ask for outrageous equity for minimal investment (literally sabotaging themselves) and push to exit with multiples in less than 5-7 years which leads to a lot of craziness (and often guaranteed failure / loss).
“It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.” – Adam Smith – Wealth of Nations (www.investopedia.com/updates/adam-smith-wealth-of-nations/)
Get rich quick becomes a problem when it is linked to extraction (deception / theft / plunder) instead of real value creation. But that is mitigated by rules (regulations), oversight (e.g. board representation) and checks/balances (e.g. investor appointed counter-signatories like CFOs). Systems fix these things.
Competent investors understand risk and would give credible reasons like high transaction costs (heterogeneous markets / low disposable incomes – which works against population size, political uncertainty, arbitrary rules, corruption which lowers rust in redress institutions like courts, lack of credible exit paths, liquidity challenges, inflation and fragile currency).
On financial services, beside the fact that it would displace jobs geographically (which would leave the now jobless farmers worse off), I don’t think its a sustainable path for mass jobs creation (or growth). That sector is already being massively disrupted by tech – and things will get worse as Fintech AI becomes more reliable, accessible and affordable.
Have a great day!
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