While we’re still battling the current gloomy outlook of the ‘new normal’, there seems to be a hint of optimism in the air. With economies slowly opening up, a new order awaits – a time of curiosity and imagination. The dreamers, with a smattering of realism, and innovative entrepreneurs have jumped at the opportunity to fast-track our recovery process. They will paint the picture of the future.

Crises have always propelled societies forward. Pandemics have helped to advance healthcare, wars have fuelled technological innovations and the global financial crises have helped advance tech companies. The Coronavirus pandemic is no exception and entrepreneurs can be expected to rise to the challenge.

Unleashing the future workforce

Creativity often springs out of a crisis. The current pandemic has given budding and existing entrepreneurs time to explore what’s really possible. Lockdown has revealed that perhaps there aren’t as many barriers to starting your own business as we once thought. The only requirement is a good idea. The cost of entry to most markets has dropped so that anyone can play – and, with appropriate tech support, become a market leader.

Many industries have identified that certain operations are equally, or more effective when organised virtually. Others have discovered they’re more efficient without physical contact. Those who are no longer required to be office-bound have been offered new rewards for managing their own time, accomplishing more in a shorter period, and avoiding unproductive distractions.

With that in mind, entrepreneurs and business owners are questioning whether all their pre-lockdown physical presences (offices, storefronts, warehouses etc.) are actually needed. The result? Money saved that can, in turn, be put to better use.

The rapid rise in unemployment means that new business founders have the opportunity to hire more talent than before. Great leaders and star employees who for years have contributed to their company’s competitive advantage, will be back in the job market looking for their next challenge. In fact, many will go back to education and training to increase the value they create for their next organisation.

Rising to the challenge

The key challenge here is then striking a balance between propping up existing businesses while allowing start-ups to flourish in an open competitive market. Getting it right means releasing capital and resources for the next generation of new ventures. Which we’re kind of banking on if we’re to lessen our country’s financial strain.

When we (eventually) emerge from this, there will be millions of entrepreneurs dying to get back to work, reopen businesses or start something new, and many more who will have to become entrepreneurs out of necessity. For entrepreneurs who are willing to step up to the challenge and raise the bar, ‘someday’ has become ‘today’. Whether your hero is Elon Musk, Bill Gates or Richard Branson, these people had the courage and fortitude to take the next step in achieving their dreams. People like you. Yes, exactly like you.

They say that inspiration comes from within. So, now is the time to turn ‘downtime’ into ‘uptime’. In the moving words of the deaf and blind author, Hellen Keller: “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”

Let’s go!