On the plane this morning from Brussels to Stockholm I ran into one of the first persons that ever worked for me at Skynet. He has a successful international career in an international technology company. On top of that, I will have a quick dinner at the Top of mind - here are some more possible reasons:
Anyway, when reading the newspaper, there was an article about the lack of entrepreneurship of Belgian students, Apparently Belgium is ranked last (last!?) in a study on the ‘western world creativity’.
The main reason would be that universities don’t encourage or support to start your business.
Well, I can totally believe that. I had the pleasure of attending studies or courses in
Truth being told and looking back on it, LUC/University of
Damn, I would like to help to support that one day to do something back to the region I love so much.
- There is not a lot of support to take the risk. There actually are many initiatives – you probably should hire an ‘initiative programs’ manager to really understand all government programs, but this should be at the center of our attention. High taxes, an insecure future after 60 and few effective government support that really work. The risk is part of the fun, but when I see how Scandinavian companies and universities are working together…
- We probably celebrate and ban companies and their leaders too much. Just look at technology alone: Option, Real software, Ubizen, Lernhout&Hauspie – all of them won prestigious Manager or Company of the year awards… People that start and fail are doomed. So different to a culture where this is cultivated.
Over the last year I constantly hear that Belgian’s are great managers but poor entrepreneurs. There is probably some truth in it, even if we are the country of small business, where true innovation could come from. But we have all the elements at hand to build something amazing, being at the heart of
Entrepreneurs make that a country remain on the edge of research. Employment creates prosperity, and in our welfare system it is going to be crucial since employee and corporate taxes fund the sustainability of our prosperous country.
I admire people that create. That Dare. That dare to dream and give it all they have. I have talked, read and reflected about it so much over the last weeks and months, and the conclusion after today’s encounters with friends colleagues confirms the same: what holds us back? Why are we afraid to give up “security” before we are even 45? Even if it can be a choice which I respect, but why do young (university degree) managers nearly always choose the sure and well projected path, and not the risky but adventurous road of daring to follow our dreams? I would like to know the percentage of young graduates that choose a career in consulting or finance, to switch to an operational managerial function 5 to 10 years later to become CEO or Director when they are 50.
It doesn’t only have to be creating companies, but my generation doesn’t enter the risky world of politics a lot either. Nor do we discuss a sense of duty towards society and do what we idealistically believe in so much. I once heard Mark Eysckens (Belgian Minister of State) say that it is better to be an ideologist without illusions than an illusionist without ideology. Yeah yeah, sounds like the back of a calendar quote– but why do we, the post-baby boom generation, remain so nice, good and modest? I read about the explanation that we are the unlucky ones, after baby boomers we need 2 salaries to afford a house; we have unsure retirement plans and whatever… Give me a break.
Anyway - no judgement of anyone meant. Accept myself maybe.
Top of mind - here are some more possible reasons: