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Friday, March 26, 2004
"Entrepreneur" Means Same in English & French
Via Philippe Laferriere's French Venture and Entrepreneur blog comes this interesting piece on the state of entrepreneurship in Europe. Citing an article by Julie Meyer, CEO of venture firm Ariadne Capital, in Silicon.com:

"Europe is under threat as never before. It is ... globalisation which is forcing the average European employer and worker to compete with their counterparts on the other side of the planet. Regulating labour laws is a stop-gap measure. What needs to happen to revitalise the European economy is that the average European needs to want to contribute to its growth story. If we focus on being net contributors to the system, rather than net-takers from it, we will see the difference."
The article goes on to outline the issues getting in the way of entrepreneurs and small businesses in Europe. They include over-regulation; fear of failure; lack of confidence by small business owners in their own leadership skills; unwillingness of larger companies to take a chance on doing business with smaller companies; venture capital more focused on the "black art" of deal making than on markets and talent; and entrepreneurs taking the safe route to avoid failure instead of taking risks to win.

The article is describing entrepreneurship and small business in Europe. But, to readers from the U.S. -- and, I suspect, other parts of the world -- the issues will sound strikingly familiar. Entrepreneurs and small business owners across the globe have more in common than not, it would seem. In many instances the differences are just a matter of degree.
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