Who could have been better suited to open the Impact Investor Meeting than Muhammad Yunus? In an inspiring speech of 30 minutes professor Yunus speaks about business solutions to poverty and the importance of fresh graduates becoming job creators.
Yunus encourages graduates to start businesses and become job creators
Nearly 50 years ago, Grameen Bank revolutionized the financial industry by the introduction of microcredit. Small loans allowed women to start their own business and their children to access education. Today, their children enter the labour market. However, given high unemployment rates, having a degree does not guarantee employment. According to professor Yunus, the solution is simple: “We need graduates to forget about jobs, we need them to focus on becoming job-creators. They had mothers that were illiterate and that managed to start a business. I tell them: ‘even if you don’t have a great idea, copy your mother’s business and make it 10, 20, 100 times bigger’.”
Focus and good people key denominators for business success
In the panel discussion that follows Hendrik van Gent (BiD Network), Coen Frank (Goodwell Investments) and Hein Roelfsma (Utrecht University) discuss what factors determine the success of SMEs and their ability to grow and create jobs. Based on the experience of Goodwell Investments the team and focus are crucial. “We think it is crucial that a business can focus on its core activities. This means you need good systems that facilitate a fast scale-up. Then, you need a great team that can execute the plan. We see it is our role to support these businesses in taking up the side-tasks that distract them from their core business.”
Vision of BiD Network is to grow SMEs via a holistic approach, providing access to capital and business development support
The remark of Goodwell Investments is fully in line with BiD Network’s own experience in preparing SMEs for investments. Success relies on the capacity of the entrepreneurial team and the processes and systems need to be formalized. To this end, BiD Network has recently introduced a unique offering of tailor-made, one-on-one business development support. The aim is to get more SMEs to attract investments to accelerator growth, so that ultimately they can become job creators.