A new type of entrepreneur is transforming our world for the better: the ‘Venturist’.
Back in April I wrote a blog post suggesting light-heartedly that we ban the word ‘entrepreneur’ because of its misleading connotations and replace it with a completely new word – I proposed ‘Venturist’. Much of the thinking behind the post arose from my engagement, through the RSA, with a new generation of young entrepreneurs who seem to me to be all about the mission rather than the money.
The post proved pretty popular so I thought I’d write a short think piece about what a Venturist might actually be and why they could be the most important force for change in our economy today. Here’s a short extract from the introduction that should give you an idea of the main themes. If you’re interested, you can read the whole thing here. It’s not long!
The Irresistible Rise of the Venturist
Every era has its iconic lifestyle. A way of being that comes to encapsulate the aspirations and values of a generation.
In the 1950s, it was the nuclear family: stable, conservative and, most importantly, powering an economic boom with its taste for the ‘mod cons’ churned out by factories tooled with the latest technology.
When that cosy post-war glow faded with the recessions of the 1970s, it was some time before a new icon emerged in the form of the yuppie. Initially derided, the yuppie taste for conspicuous consumption, real estate and hedonism ultimately set the tone for the long boom that lasted from the mid-1990s to 2007.
Now we are in the down time again. Five years of economic crisis is making the 1970s look like a cakewalk. Boom may return, one day, but no-one is holding their breath. Into this slough, however, has stepped a new type of icon tailored for an era unlike any we have experienced since the end of the Second World War.
The Venturist is usually young, energetic and sharp but, most importantly, they are on a mission to solve a problem or seize an opportunity. The nature of that venture can vary widely set up as a charity, a business, a grass roots movement, a loose network or an on-line initiative with a focus on anything from supporting a local community to providing a service to customers. But whatever the form, venturists have a burning desire to be “an agent of change”…
… Venturists don’t wait for or ask others to deliver. They get on with delivery themselves.
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