“Capital is not created by government; capital is solely created by business, by people working and having ideas.”
These were the words of His Serene Highness Prince Michael of Liechtenstein, who delivered the 6th Annual Herman Mashaba Lecture on Entrepreneurship, hosted virtually by the Central University of Technology (CUT) on Monday.
“A resilient economy has to be built on businesses which thrive, compete, employ people, pay taxes, produce useful goods and provide useful services. At present the term sustainability is wildly used, and even misused. Sustainability today is strongly used in matters of ecology, but we should see it wider and in a long-term view. It is the optimal use of resources and optimal use of labour force, capital, especially providing a sustainable resilient national economy as basis for prosperity, full employment and capital which is a necessary ingredient of a blooming society,” said Prince Michael.
He noted government should play a role in encouraging and supporting entrepreneurship in society.
“Instead of creating more programmes, government should rather take away limitations, which might be red tape and too high taxes. Whether something new will really be innovative and succeed, you can only know if you try it. What can be done is to put together agencies which can help people structure their ideas into a business plan. And to help identify if it is plausible,” he added.
The role that universities play in encouraging entrepreneurship is vital. “This is a very important role of the university, by teaching and giving knowledge is to create an atmosphere of knowledge on the one side, curiosity and developing ideas on the other side.
“Universities can give the necessary education and theoretical tools, but what is important is to give the notion of responsibility. And also, so a certain motivation to do or create something, to be curious, it’s part of the role of universities anyway to teach people how to be curious, not only to transfer knowledge,” said Prince Michael.