The Global Economic Crisis and Entrepreneurship

Redundancy has been the topic on many employers and employees agendas since the advent of the global economic crisis. As companies across all sectors of the world’s economies announce losses and job cuts, entrepreneurship has become the most viable and most potentially long term rewarding employment for workers already made redundant by this desperate situation.

Entrepreneurship: The new Buzzword

From small scale enterprises to large conglomerates and banking institutions such as UBS, Caterpillar, Citigroup and the Carphone Warehouse, companies have been forced to make countless of employees redundant; announcing restructuring strategies and more cost efficient processes in the wake of the global economic crisis. With job security almost nonexistent and the unemployment rates steadily increasing, entrepreneurship is fast becoming the only form of potentially gratifying employment available to employees who suddenly find themselves in the firing line.

Life after Layoffs

For some individuals, being made redundant has allowed them to pursue lifelong dreams that would otherwise have been left unfulfilled. In the Financial Times, in a video series entitled, ‘Life After the City,’ Business Life portrays a number of people who have become successful entrepreneurs following the unpredictability of the market and the loss of their jobs. One of these is Leann Barber who, following two redundancies was forced to re-evaluate her options.

As job security wanes, self-employment is on the rise. According to Siaka Momoh, in an article for Business Day Online entitled, ‘Self-Employment, Solution to Job Loss,’ individuals need to make a psychological shift from payroll to profit in order to become successful. Momoh states that our educational systems prepare us for a payroll mentality; and now that these rules are changing, self employment is fast becoming a solution to the economic crisis.

The Way Forward

Eric Parker, in his book, ‘Run your own Business and make lots of Money,’ summed it up perfectly, ‘ Far from allowing these developments to cause them anxiety, those who are blessed with entrepreneurial spirit will recognise this new world order for what it really is, namely the emergence of untold opportunities that are there for the taking.’
While some recently made redundant workers create self employment out of their lifelong dreams, the monetary insecurity and self liability may prove daunting to the new entrepreneur. For most professionally experienced workers, freelancing and consultancy have been the first step in the move towards self employment.

Avenue to Financial Freedom

Although self employment may look like an exciting avenue to financial freedom, hard work, dedication and perseverance are not just words the pundits use. The effect of self- sacrifice and never ending work hours could have a more devastating effect than a recent redundancy. In John Tozzi’s article in Business Week entitled, ‘A Guide to Self-Employment,’ he explores the opportunities for redundant workers and explores steps and lessons to achieving success.

As Vinod Khosla in the Newsweek article, ‘Encourage the Rebels,’ said, ‘The world is in the midst of an economic, social and environmental crisis that is overturning conventional wisdom. The best course of action is to tackle it head-on with new ideas, fostering creativity.

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