By : AB Susanto
There are barriers that hinder the development of entrepreneurship, namely: myths, culture, and education system. The number of people choose to become an entrepreneur in a country is always relatively small. But it is they that play very important role in driving business to grow and economic development. Thanks to their contributions, millions of jobs have been created by the establishment of factories, service businesses, and numerous small and medium enterprises (SME’s). This, in turn, reduces the poverty rate.
Entrepreneurs also develop new markets by using creative ideas; try relentlesly to discover new sources of materials in developing their business; combine production factors such as natural resources, human resources, financial capital, skills, and knowledge to create various products and services; and introduce new technologies, new industries, and new products. The abovementioned activities contribute to the advancement of civilization and the quality of life.
However, there are barriers that hinder the development of entrepreneurship, namely: myths, culture, and education system. Many people still believe in some myths related to the entrepreneur profession. Among the widespread myths are first, to become a successful entrepreneur, one must come from a family that is successful in an entrepreneurial business.
In reality, many entrepreneurs come from non-entrepreneurial families. Second, an aspiring entrepreneurship must have a strong capital base. Capital is important, but it is not the most important factor in achieving success in an entrepreneurial business. Most important things are ideas and creativity. Third, prior to starting an entrepreneural business, one must have work experience.
Starting a new entrepreneural business does not depend on formal work experience. Fourth, business is a dirty environment filled with intrigues. For this particular point, the problem is left to each individual. There are still a lot of entrepreneurs who maintain high business ethics. On the other hand, we find many people who are not entrepreneurs but commit abusive practices and actions that harm others.
The fact that there are entrepreneurs engaged in disreputable actions is not a reason to hold prejudice against all entrepreneurs. And fifth, life as an entrepreneur is not serene. In fact, life as an entrepreneur is confortable and easy. When asked the reason for opening their own business, an entrepreneur would surely give answers such as autonomy, control, and freedom. They will say that the jobs they do are pleasurable.
They have the chance to utilize their strength and apply the talent and interest they have every day. They will ask other people to do their jobs they do not like or the jobs that they are not too capable of performing, Next is cultural barrier. Many people still do not consider being an entrepreneur an honorable profession. People feel more respectable by being an employee with clean appearance and steady income every month, which for some is regarded as a measure of one’s success.
To some people, being an entrepreneur is associated with a relatively small and unstable income, unstable working hours, and takes up more time and energy; things that are indeed experienced by many entrepreneurs when they start their businesses.
This is contrary to the custom many in our society have: wanting to gain results and success instantly. Most of us also do not regard failure as part of learning process. Another barrier is that the education system does not encourage much entrepereneurial spirit, although nowdays more and more educational institutions are introducing principles and concepts of entrepreneurship.
In our education system, emphasis are always focused on the importance of technical skills and good academic achievements so that later, upon graduation, it will be easy to get a job, and not to become an entrepreneur. To promote and develop the entrepreneurial culture, collective efforts from various parties such as business sectors, government, and education institutions are required.
One way is by encouraging many activities that are espicially devoted to introduce business opportunities to the society. The central and regional governments need to be involved, However, along the implementation of regional autonomy, the role of regional governments is becoming more important because every region and location has its own uniqueness that can be capitalized as business opportunities.
Developing entrepreneurial spirit among students, from the elementary school up to the university, will shape positive views, aspirations, attitudes, and behaviors towards entrepreneurship. Education from the early age must be directed at building characteristics that support the development of the entrepreneurial spirit such as self-confidence, risk-taking, persistence, energetic, and persuasiveness.
As part of entrpreneurship education, extensive publication around entrepreneurs’ success story must be done, be it through televisions, radios, magazines, newapapers or the internet. Publicity can also be done by giving awards to successful entrepreneurs, espicially the ones at a relatively young age, which, once again, should be published extensively, all with the purpose of attracting the interest of younger generation so that they do not feel hesitant in choosing the life of an entrepreneur.
The government should also develop a favorable business climate such as an attractive taxation system, efficient and clean bureaucracy, transparency and trustworthiness, safety and security, a more flexible labor market, adequate infrastructure, efficient goods market, and easier acces to financial institutions. Without a favorable business climate, people will feel reluctant to start their own business.
Indonesia needs a lot of entrepreneurs because they can make a great contribution to the economy. Therefore, efforts should be made to overcome the barriers so that entrepreneurship can be fostered.