How startups can help save the economy - with your help!

How startups can help save the economy - with your help! by Will Merydith

This article was written by Andreea from, published on 21st February 2012 and has been read 3834 times.

Unemployment soars. Recession. Immigration. It’s today’s doom and gloom. And, surely, it’s scary. What would you say if I told you this is in fact good news? That in spite of all the cuts, redundancies and fund drops the economy is actually taking a step forward. Intrigued? Let me explain.
Be kind. Rewind.

‘How can recession be a good thing?!’ you must be thinking. Well, let’s see if any of these stories sounds familiar. Around 130 years ago a little boy diagnosed with autism was having problems getting his lessons done for school. A few decades later he wins a Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery of the relativity theory.

It took 30 years of failed political attempts for Abraham Lincoln to become president of the United States, and one of the most successful too. Closer to our times, this Harvard drop-out used to work as an office boy before setting up Microsoft and becoming one of the world’s richest according to Forbes magazine. Nice one, Bill Gates.

Lesson number one? Never give up.

While there is no set formula for success, one idea seems to catch the eye: it can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime. And if this was tougher in the past, because of the various socio-political and geographical circumstances of the time, there are no barriers now.

Internet makes everything possible. YOU can have your breakthrough at any point by either sharing a photo on Facebook, a video on YouTube or by posting a comment on Quora. Or by launching the next platform that lets you do all of that in one place. The possibilities are endless.

Now back to business.

Due to all obstacles that have been removed thanks to new technologies, particularly those related to location, time and cost, more and more people have the opportunity to set up their own independent business and do the work that they love (and love the work that they do).

Which in turn means more diversity in products and services on a hyper local level, but on a national and international one as well – since geographical barriers have been torn down. Which also means, thousands of ideas elaborated into business concepts, thousands of concentrated mini-projects being developed by people like me and you, and not a fancy suit.

Small businesses drive innovation forward because they allow for a transparent ideation flow, as well as speed in putting all those ideas into practice. Steven Johnson’s idea of ‘liquid networks’ is particularly valid in the case of startups and SMEs precisely because they let people communicate with each other effectively and creatively which in turn leads to good ideas getting pushed forward. So what’s the point?

Small companies can’t afford big business centres so they nest in the creative neighbourhoods of a city. Far away from the two piece suits or 10-floor glass windows, they either sit in startup incubators or partner with other startups and rent a house together (like we did). We are all aware of the impact the working environment has on our levels of productivity so what can be better than sitting with fellow creative minds and discussing tech/Facebook/life over a cup of tea?

Despite a lack of resources, it is also easier for small companies to make hires, particularly temp hires. Where they might lack in capital, time and staff they compensate with flexibility, speed and openness to the new. Sounds like the perfect place for a student, right?

That’s because it is. And now the whole hiring process is made easy too. Internships allow employers to test different types of employees before committing to something more full-time, as well as take on graduate talent and train it from the start. In return, young people get hands-on work experience that gives them a real taster into the world of employment.

If the past saw SMEs in a rough spot when recruiting fresh talent, now it’s much easier for them to connect with each other using social media and websites like Enternships. The benefits go both ways:

1. Students and graduates get their hands (and heads) deep into real work experience that shows them first-hand what running a business is like and get an opportunity to add work in their portfolio under a company’s signature;

2. Companies boost their manpower with young and energetic people who are willing to give all their input and make a difference while also learning new skills.

A third beneficiary should be added and this is where we make all the difference: the economy. Healthy business gets ahead, jobs are being created (85% of them to be precise), students get their valuable work experience, and great products and services are being sold. At the end of the day, the economy wins. The world wins.

For more information and to find an opportunity in the UK or abroad, visit

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