Why The Western Entrepreneurial Mindset Won’t Work in the East

Take a look at Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk and Garrett Camp. What do these three billionaires have in common? Yes, they are all self-made billionaires who started their (very) successful companies either at dorms, garages or in their own parent’s basement. But take a closer look – they are all white males in today’s America. This fact is not to be condescending, and if that is how it is read, then that right there is the problem, this is purely that – a fact. The West takes entrepreneurship for granted.

Today’s youth look up at these entrepreneurs as inspiring figures to forge their path into being self-made themselves. Maybe college just isn’t for them and they have a multimillion dollar idea in their notepads just waiting to take that leap of faith and invest all their time in it to make it work. That’s what Mark did, didn’t he? He dropped out of Harvard and look where that got him. Yes, that’s it you weren’t built to follow the straight line – the high school, college, job, promotion, marriage, promotion, kids, promotion ladder – no! You are just like the genius Mark and have a different path set for you in this life. So dropout, join the entrepreneurial life and make millions! If you look at it, most millionaires today are actually entrepreneurs themselves. How couldn’t you see it before? Now you know better than before, the only way to succeed is to become an entrepreneur.

Let me stop you right there. These unicorn companies you see in the market are 1 in a million or more. “The United States leads in share of unicorns (49%), holding steady since our last analysis in June 2019. China, in second place, saw its share fall slightly from 25% to 24% in the same time frame” (CB Insights) Where China has already adapted to Western ideology through a massive capitalist surge and exports occurring between both nations. If you take this Western ideology of entrepreneurship to the East – say Pakistan or Bangladesh – they will label you as ‘crazy’.

Why? Because the current mentality and stigma around being an entrepreneur while might be getting fame and actually is appraised in the U.S.A. and other countries in the West is frowned upon and seen illogical in the East. Governments, companies, NGO’s and industries at a global spectrum fail to see this and encompass ‘entrepreneurial opportunities’ as if we were all living in the West. One must take multiple factors into account when creating new laws or policies of specific locations rather than importing an ideology and trying to implant it in a deeply rooted cultural hemisphere. To name a few, there is the cultural norms, policy innovations, the derivative university intervention – not to mention a survival mindset within most youths.

Take for example Roshni Rides or Musana Carts. These young entrepreneurs took a giant leap of faith to become the companies they are today bu solving a gap or issue in their local communities. While probably implementing a social app like Snapchat would of been a total bust – they analyzed the current social issues that thus resulted in cultural issues. Roshni Rides came from the idea that women lack proper transportation in their communities. Therefore built for women and children, to provide transportation solutions for businesses, schools, and individuals. Demand and supply. You cannot try to bring a giant like Uber to a place like this, it is simply not feasable in a business perspective, same occurs with eduactional models, policy making and overall ideology.

In summary, we must move to a new mindset when implementing financial aid, policies, programs and more into the East or any other place that is not brought up through a Western culture ideology in their system. Turn our mindset into a net human impact one where we center around human rights through technology via entrepreneurship development. Rather than centering in the results we’ve seen as a base. Let us take a step back and start at the beginning.

Nabilah Tarinhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/nabilahtarin/
Nabilah Tarin is currently Head of Public Relations for a non-profit organization. She writes about topics around sustainable development and the environment. Open for pitches.

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