In the 1970s the economist E. F. Schumacher set the scene for environmental sustainability with Small is Beautiful. But small is not beautiful for entrepreneurs: small is a stigma. Small connotes self-employment and stagnation, which is not only different from entrepreneurship; it is fundamentally its opposite. In the words of Abhi Shah, an award-winning entrepreneur from Ahmedabad: “Thing big! Thinking small is a crime!”
Entrepreneurship vs. self-employment. A century ago, with his third-grade education and as a WWI veteran, my immigrant grandfather became a wallpaper hanger in Philadelphia. He eventually owned a wallpaper store, but he never imagined becoming a Wal-(Paper)-Mart. He did not respond to or create opportunities to grow; to the contrary, for his children he wanted respectable, salaried jobs. Not self-employment.
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