Overcoming the fear of failure: the entrepreneurship imperative
The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor is a respected consortium that reports on attitudes to entrepreneurship across the world. Apart from offering some global observations it also reports on individual countries. Recently it issued its latest report on Scotland (in association with the University of Strathclyde), and on page 7 we can read the following comment:
‘In 2010, 43% of working age adults in Scotland who thought there were good opportunities for starting a business agreed that fear of failure would prevent them from starting a business, up from a low of 31% in 2007. This compares with 36% in the UK and 35% across all Arc of Prosperity countries.’
As Scotland, by one route or another, takes more direct control of its economic destiny, it will be vital that indigenous enterprise is encouraged and promoted. This in turn means that business failure must be accepted as a possible by-product of innovation and must not be seen as a negative reflection on the person who has experienced it. Scotland’s universities must support the drive to generate enterprise by encouraging students to put risk and failure in perspective, and to see entrepreneurship and creativity as the hallmarks of a self-confident population.