Does independence hinder entrepreneurial growth?

When I moved to a new country and started to offer my services to entrepreneurial organisations I tried to understand the lack of response. As a respected author on entrepreneurship and a successful consultancy career in Europe, the Middle East and parts of Asia, I thought my offer of free assistance would be welcomed.

So I tried to analyse the fact that letters were not even answered. I wondered if this was a case of ‘beware strangers bearing gifts’. I also wondered if it was a cultural thing that people didn’t bother to reply to letters or emails unless it was someone they knew. I even wondered if they thought my skills didn’t apply to their people, but that was certainly not the case when I started mentoring individual entrepreneurs that I met. They seemed pleased with the assistance and wanted more.

In this world of social media, could it be that those in the highest offices in an organisation only communicated with WhatsApp? Surely not!

But as I got to know more of the country I realised the problem. New, young, democracies that have only recently gained independence are still not confident enough in themselves to let others in. Indeed, they wrestle with whether to let those already in the country into the upper echelons.

This attitude amongst new countries seems to be akin to that of the growing teenager; something I also have experience of! Teenagers are always pushing to be in control and believe that their truth is the real truth. I was once asked what age I would most like to be. I replied that I would like to be the same age as my son as he knows everything!

Only when my son matured did he realise that, like me, there were many things he did not know and the questions started to come. I suppose the fledgling independent nations will one day also realise that they don’t have to have all the answers and start answering letter and emails.

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