Global Perspectives On The Entrepreneurial Dream
Orrin Klopper, Anand Pakkurti, Tom Ball, Edgar Boone, Todd Mendenhall
EO South Africa, EO Chennai, EO United Kingdom-London, EO Monterrey, EO Des Moines
ORRIN KLOPPER, EO SOUTH AFRICA
There is a raw, unrefined energy in Johannesburg and in South Africa in general. You almost feel like a pioneer in your own way. I am blessed to be in a position to be living out my dreams. Sure, there are disadvantages to living in a developing economy like South Africa, such us government service levels, crime, etc., but I always feel lucky to be here at this time in this country’s history. There is so much change going on, and you could take a negative view on some things, but I am an optimist. And in this South Africa, being an optimist and working hard generally bring good luck and good fortune. I love this country, and as an entrepreneur, it’s an awesome place to be. We are watching our individual dreams and the dream of a new South Africa become reality
ANAND PAKKURTI, EO CHENNAI
Being Asian, we see that after having protected ourselves with walls, real and metaphorical, we are now working to break barriers. The world is looking at the nice in our people and the spice in our opportunities where they saw problems earlier. We are stretching our minds with new ideas so we will not just be seen in our original dimensions. Entrepreneurship here is not just about climbing a mountain or sailing a sea: It is about walking a tightrope between these challenges while living a dream. Everything is happening fast, but we are reminded that its fury shouldn’t overtake us. We are not just working to be the best in the world but also the best for the world. It takes us past being good professionally and into our personal lives. We are finding the balance between what we do and who we are. All this we are doing with the Asian grace and humility.
TOM BALL, EO LONDON
Entrepreneurship here is becoming much better respected. It used to be a bit dodgy, but it seems increasingly popular. There are a lot of entrepreneur TV shows now, and a lot more entrepreneurs becoming household names and role models. Enterprise education is now given to every student in high school, so hopefully that trend will only grow over time. A lot of people are looking beyond the corporate world, and the freedom of being an entrepreneur is seen as the way forward. What the support of entrepreneurship provides those in Europe is the ability to be successful. To me, the dream is loving what you do. You’re successful and
you are working, but because you love it so much, it doesn’t feel like work. And I think for a lot of people, it also has something to do with the fact that you’re making a difference in some way. That’s the dream.
EDGAR BOONE, EO MONTERREY AND EO ALBANY
In Latin America, living the dream is not always about building a business. An enterprise here is something that you build in the world so that you can become a social leader or whatever your vision is through your business. I think
Latinos are highly value based. Whatever we do in business should come together with family and friends. That’s what makes it beautiful to own a business here. The people with whom you do business become your family, and your family is usually supportive of your dream. So everyone — your friends, your family, your business partners, your clients — is working together to help you build your dream.”
TODD MENDENHALL, EO DES MOINES
Entrepreneurship is “the” dream for North Americans. We are taught from the time we are young that owning your own business means being your own boss. Everybody in North America wants to own a business, because when you are your own boss you are your own person; It’s just that some people are cut out for it and some aren’t. That’s probably why we have so many entrepreneurs throughout Canada and the United States. Not only are we always encouraged to step out on our own and make our own path, but we also have nearly endless resources at our disposal to make it a reality. For those of us who take that step and make the effort, we are living the dream for ourselves, for our families and for our society as a whole.