–by Mauritz Bekker–

We are all born as highly innovative beings who love to explore, invent and create.  We are also provided with numerous problems, screaming for innovative and creative solutions.  All we need is the freedom to apply our talents in solving these problems.  We therefore need a climate of basic law and order on the one hand, but critically important on the other hand, we also need economic freedom.  It is during this creative problem-solving process that entrepreneurs normally experience self-actualisation.  We are all blessed with different talents, begging to be utilized to the benefit of all on this planet. If we could all apply these gifts, we would not only be able to satisfy the ego, but also benefit one another in an optimum manner.  By using our God-given abilities to solve problems, we will, in effect, not only benefit man, but we will also benefit our planet as a whole. Human and environmental problems are one and the same.  Man needs the planet in order to survive.

Economic growth needs to occur in order to create a better standard of living for all. The general perception of the average person is unfortunately that economic prosperity is a function of resources like oil, gold, copper, etc.  Today, in the modern economy, the importance of these kinds of resources has largely been marginalized. There was however, a time in history, when the wealth of countries, governments and kings, were determined by the amounts of land they owed, and the mineral wealth their countries possessed. It is the strong memory of these historic times, which is the cause for the current illusion regarding the importance of resources. This mindset was also the driving force behind colonialism, and the indicator of power and wealth right up to the early and even the middle part of the last century.

Prosperity in the new economy is not achieved by the richness of the minerals owned, but rather by the transformation of these resources into problem solving products and services artefacts.  Entrepreneurs applying creativity innovation are necessary to turn minerals and metal into valuable problem solving articles.  These resources are totally useless, unless they are transformed into problem-solving articles and artefacts like motorcars, aeroplanes computers and machines. Wealth is created by entrepreneurs who had the abilities to  transform minerals, metals and oil into something useful.

In the new economy today, some of the wealthiest countries in terms of mineral resources are rated as very poor.  The general standard of living is sometimes below the breadline. These countries are also normally characterised by violent political fraction fighting, diseases, hunger and general poverty.  Examples are most African countries, most Middle Eastern countries, parts of South America, Russia, as well as others in Eastern Europe.  Russia and most countries in the Middle East possess massive mineral wealth, but the great majority of people living there are desperately poor. Why are these countries so poor?  The simple truth is that prosperity is created by creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship and not by resources per se.

Prosperity is the primary result of the natural abilities of the human mind to solve problems.  The major problem-solving instrument, utilised effectively in the prosperous economies of the world, is called business. Businesses compete with one another in their quest to make money by solving customers’ problems.  The businesses providing the more effective and efficient solutions, will make the most money.  The businesses that fail to satisfy customers’ needs optimally will go out of business. Any business can therefore only survive, if it can effectively and efficiently manage to solve problems for people, and/or organisations.  These problems have also to be solved in such a way, that the receivers of these solutions are willing to pay for it. This willingness to pay is the acid test, determining the real value of the solution.  The word “business” is synonym for the action of trading – “you give me something I want, and I will give you something you want.” If both parties give and receive satisfactorily, they have done business.  Business, however, is more than the trading of articles or artefacts – business is also the trading of talents in the form of services. Businesses are created and grown by entrepreneurs.

Therefore if we are serious about economic growth we have train more people to become entrepreneurs!

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