In case it isn’t clear in my other posts or any day-to-day conversations I may have with individual readers, I love entrepreneurship. Studied it in school, read all about it, love talking about, everything. As far as I’m concerned, creating something people are willing to part with their money for is amazing.
I know I’m not alone thinking this, either. People that I talk to, meetings that I attend and information I find online there are no shortage of entrepreneur supporters. At least those who say they are.
Truth of the matter is most of the supposed support is there for those who have already made it. Proven that they have something. If you’re small and just s tarting out, good luck. It’s dog eat dog out there and anyone who would be in the position to help wants nothing to do with you.
Just a few weeks ago, I was in a meeting with other people interested in startups and there was a banker talking to the group. Although the information was helpful, out of the six different financing programs he went over, zero of them had anything to do with the bank lending money. Rather it was about how he could help you apply for government programs (an of course take a cut).
I’m sure any bankers out there will talk about risk avoidance, but there doesn’t seem to be an issue lending out someone else’s money. Talk about speaking out of both sides of your mouth.
Now only this, but if you’re self-employed banks won’t look at lending anything to you personally for two years. So delay a mortgage and start saving if you want to start a business. The financing isn’t coming from anywhere else. Essentially would-be small business owners need to plan well in advance and delay their lives in order to start their company.
It’s not just the banks, either. Out of the countless government programs, there is more red tape than one person can deal with. Not only that, but if you try to call them for help you get the run-around and zero answers.
Something else that is happening is that large companies have got wise to the programs. Money meant for new businesses with innovative products is sitting there for the taking. So these large companies apply, depleting the fund for those who could really use it.
The one example that really bugs me is that MTS applies and receives SRED funding every year. Yes, I have no doubt that they fit to the letter of the application, but the money isn’t being reinvested. It’s going to pad profits. Then there’s less for a deserving small business owner.
There are countless other examples out there, but I’m sure I’ve already bored you. All I can say is I hope this becomes an issue that more people will be vocal about, because our economy (especially in Manitoba) relies on small business. If we ever want these companies to grow, there needs to be help to do so.