Corona pandemic is impacting our everyday lives. We have never experienced anything similar in peacetime, and it is unclear what the long-term consequences will be. It is becoming increasingly clear what a strain this pandemic will be for business. Many have to work from home. Uncertainty causes many companies to slow down where they can, something affecting their suppliers as well. The consequences of the value chain are worrying.
This column was initially in Adresseavisen, the Trønderlag regions leading newspaper, on March 20, 2020.
When the crisis is averted - something we must hope to happen as soon as possible - we still need jobs!
In addition to the pandemic, we must address other global challenges. We are becoming more people who need more food and energy, the diversity of nature is under pressure, and we are using up more resources than the globe can regenerate. One can feel abandoned and paralyzed. Someone has to do something!
But if not even the people with the power and money have the answers, what should we ordinary people do?
I have good news: You can contribute, even if you are neither rich nor powerful.
The big question is, what will we live off of in the future? What happens if we have to stop the oil money pumped out of our ocean? It is not easy to say what the world will look like twenty years from now.
Fortunately, there is a lot of good things going on. In Trondheim, we have significant knowledge-based environments such as NTNU, SINTEF and the university hospital St. Olav's hospital. Here, people with unique expertise work with new, sustainable ideas and technologies that can solve challenges in health, energy, climate, and food production.
But it is not always easy to commercialize these solutions into products and services, and thus creating profitable jobs.
However, you can help, and right now, it's more important than ever!
The people that take new things from an idea and convert them into a profitable business are popularly called start-ups. In Trondheim, there are many of them. But only about ten per cent of them succeed in the market. Why is it so tricky, and what is needed to increase the success rate?
What is certain is that most start-ups need help. Namely, it takes time to come up with a good idea for a product or service that someone will buy. But in the time before their income starts in, they have to pay wages, rent and development costs. So they need money, and they also need knowledge and experience. Start-ups need a network of good people, they need to understand users and what's important to them, and they need to learn from honest feedback. And most of all they need customers, as early as possible!
One straightforward thing you can do is to become an investor. If you take the money you might have spent on the lottery or a night out on the town and therefore can afford to lose; you can become an investor instead! At www.Folkeinvest.no, you will easily find exciting companies that need capital, and the minimum amount is often well within the lottery budget.
Even if only one in ten start-ups succeed, there is still a much higher likelihood of making money on the investment than a lottery ticket, where the probability is one in 600,000. Also, it's fun! You can invite friends on an investor night (when the coronary restrictions are over) and work together to find good start-ups. Invest in a company you believe in!
There is also a lot you can contribute beyond money. New solutions need user-testing by real users during the development process. Are you just one of them? Or maybe you or your workplace are perfect as a first customer? Come on, take the chance on being an early investor! The first customer is gold for a start-up.
Where do we find these start-ups, then? Now it's become more accessible than ever. I have already mentioned Folkeinvest. When we can meet physically again, you can visit, for example, DIGS or Work-Work. Adresseavisen and other media often write about start-ups, and you find them on social media. Believe me: These companies would love to hear from you, learn from you and see that you care.
We often hear that we have to cheer for the entrepreneurs, but that is not enough.Even though we don't quite know what to live for in the future, we know that people are working tirelessly on it. We others must help as best we can!
Helle Moen is a new columnist in Adresseavisen. She is also a board member of Folkeinvest AS mentioned in this column. Daily, she is the Regional Director of EGGS Design in Trondheim.
Let's talk to Regional Director Trondheim and Bergen
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