Developing the Enterprise Pledge
A few years ago when the business support industry was going through yet another shake up I got to thinking; how could we deliver our support in an environment where there was no money to pay for it?
This is a theme that has cropped up time and time again over the years. The most straightforward solution is to ask the client to pay for the service, it’s a fairly simple payment for services transaction. This never sat comfortably with me.
The nature of our client base means that many people never start up in business, often they come to us simply to explore an idea, to get a different perspective, to find out if they can get any financial assistance or sometimes because they feel that self employment is the only route available to them in the current market. To my mind it was wrong to ask people who can’t afford to pay to pay for services that they aren’t sure they need, we’re there to help inspire people, to develop their skills and to help them start businesses that wouldn’t happen otherwise, I’m not interested in business support which merely counts that would happen anyway.
We need an alternative, if the public sector can’t pay for business support and the client can’t either then who does?
This is what sparked the idea of the Enterprise Pledge. I was reading Linchpin by Seth Godin:
In the book Seth refers to the giving culture in Native Americans, that the most influential person in the tribe was the person who gave the most away. This got me thinking; we’ve always given our service away, and in many ways this could be interpreted as a gift.
What if we asked for a gift in return?
So the concept of the Enterprise Pledge was born,.
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