Taking the fun out of funding

AUSTRALIA's overwhelming business problem, right now, is its financial and economic system is not capable of assisting the entrepreneurial outcomes that this country so desperately needs – right now.

Perhaps it has never been perfectly capable, but there was enough human contact involved in the past – before we were assuaged by the ‘enabling’ digital world, and bank managers became just managers – to let that vital spark that funds human ingenuity take place. 

There existed the human contact with the local farmer that understood that person’s true recuperative capabilities – they had seen it before – and were willing to extend that belief in monetary terms.

There was also the ability of the entrepreneur to find a way to fund – even through banks.

The opening of Tom Potter’s first bakery, that eventually developed into the innovative Eagle Boys Pizza conglomerate, is proof. When his bank manager would not extend a personal loan to open his first bakery, but would lend for a car, Tom took the car loan.

When that bank manager called around to the new bakery and asked how his new car was going, Tom leaned over the front counter and said, “Great, you’re leaning on it …”

The financial services sector has become so ingrained with its own introspective decision-making process that it is now hampering Australia’s processes in the modern creation of wealth.

How many government reviews on business are led by bankers and those schooled in the financial sector? (Er, isn’t banking the least most entrepreneurial sector in our entire economy?)

This is nothing against senior bankers. They are all fine people who do their best – making sure whatever money passes their front door is clipped sufficiently to enable their sector to thrive in the manner to which it has become accustomed.

But just because they handle money does not mean they know how to create it. Banks do not create something out of nothing. Entrepreneurs do.

Banks do not risk their funds (or their clients funds, usually) unless it is the sort of investment that other learned and acclaimed bankers would recommend.

But bankers rarely admit that they don’t know what they don’t know. They would certainly never venture into territory that they don’t understand. And that is the problem.

Australian entrepreneurs have to enter uncharted territory all the time. That’s the point.

Creating wealth is an entrepreneurial journey and, often, a great adventure.

The way things are going at the moment, Australia’s banks are still sorting their baggage on the platform while our entrepreneurial wealth creators are self-funding cheap international flights at the airport.


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