The fastest route to recovery for European economies is entrepreneurialism. Specifically small scale businesses and start ups that have the potential to grow through offering something of value to society, in other words authentic businesses.
Unfortunately many of our systems are designed to support things, other than small scale businesses and start ups. Virtually all of the lobbying done on behalf of business, is done on behalf of large corporates, not small businesses, for example.
The more fundamental problem, however, is access to capital. Bank loans are much harder to access these days and most other capital is directed towards corporate investments and speculation. The distinction between investment and speculation is important. Investment puts money to work and creates value, speculation is just another word for gambling and creates very little real value.
Speculating on commodities, currencies or anything else is just a bet that the price will go one way or the other. It is an isolated activity that creates no real value, for anyone except potentially the speculator and definitely the broker.
Investing in authentic businesses puts your money to work for the benefit of the whole of society and still offers the opportunity of substantial gains. Investment in a business that you believe in enables the creation of goods of services of real value as well as creating jobs and paying taxes.
Internet based crowd funding makes investing in start ups, infinitely easier than it has ever been and offers all of us the opportunity to play venture capitalist or Dragons Den and invest in small scale and start-up business. If we focus our investments on businesses that have a purpose which creates real social value and a culture which we believe in, and encourage others to do the same, we can all play a role in contributing to recovery – while potentially growing our pension pot substantially.
Once they have started, we can also support these businesses by buying from them and encouraging others to do the same.
Our economy is based far more on what we choose to do as a society than it is on politics. We can choose investment or speculation. Where will you make your next investment?
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