In 1990, as an entrepreneur you could get some money from public bodies to develop your idea into an excel business plan but the banks would not lend you money to start your business unless your friends & family would back you up with their personal guarantee.
In the year 2000, as an entrepreneur you could get enough money to develop your idea into a power point business plan from public bodies. If you were able to have fake screenshots in your power point business plan and you were looking for millions euros, venture capitalists would give several of those millions of euros in equity. Banks, however, would still only lend you money to start your business provided your friends (fools) & family would back you up with their personal guarantee.
In 2010, as an entrepreneur you will get a lot of money to develop your idea into a 2.0 social network business without even having to write a business plan as long as you could show a fake screenshot that fits your mobile screen. Venture Capitalists have now understood that is better to give one guy 20.000 euros to subsist the first 6 months to develop a real application than 2 million to spend in more fake screenshots for your mobile while you prepare the next round of fundraising. Banks will still not loan money to entrepreneurs unless the parents are the VP of a large multinational willing to get the payroll paid in their bank. In 2010, banks are better off taking the stimulus money at 0 % cost and buying state bonds with 2 % interests.
Entrepreneurs keep changing the world, banks keep denying them loans.
Banks keep denying loans to entrepreneurs and the public bodies keep giving money to develop business plans (in xls, in powerpoint or on-line) instead of solving the problem of the banks not providing loans.
In the recent Microsoft BizSpark European Summits, several experts such as Guy Kawasaki and Chris Shipley debated about Entrepreneurship in Europe. They concluded that European Entrepreneurs might not be as numerous as Americans, but they are quite a few of them. They agreed that what really sucks in Europe is the ecosystem to support them: Parents that will rather have their children get (safer?) jobs at multinationals, Banks which don’t support Entrepreneurs and Public Bodies that only support Business Plans.
Entrepreneurship remains a pending subject, THE pending subject to really change our economic model based on risk assessment instead of value creation.
In the US, venture capitalists love Entrepreneurs that have already failed and come with a second project: they learnt the lesson with somebody else’s money. In Europe, if you fail as an entrepreneur, they include you in a database so that banks don’t give you loans.
Maybe, we just need to treat entrepreneurs in the western world as an emerging segment and give them microloans as entrepreneurs get in emerging regions of the world.