3. Create schools for business. Force everyone to attend them
Low Cost proposals to help Romanian economy exit the crisis:
Romanian economy has faced better times than nowadays. While the following period will be difficult for everyone (and especially the weakest ones of us), it is more than necessary to restart the "economic engine" that can move the country. Having this in mind, it is time to choose and implement some simple, low cost proposals in order to see things improving in the following months and the near future.
3. Create schools for business. Force everyone to attend them
- The level of professionalism between business people is not really high.
- From complexed activities to the smallest and easiest ones, most market segments are dominated by people who usually do not know not even the basics about running a company, a business, a shop.
- This is normal, as the country just exited communism 20 years ago. After communistic regime, there was no organized move,in order to spread this kind of knowledge to the mass.
- Romanians have the instinct of entrepreneur in their blood. Millions of them have tried all kinds of projects and when they knew how to deal with these activities, they were also very successful, in Romania or abroad.
- As the majority of people continue not to know, they usually end up using their instinct, improvising, experimenting or (sadly) trying to make money without rules, ethics and plan for the future.
- Unfortunately, there is still a big number of people who do not know how to make a budget for a business, how to calculate all costs and forecast the future revenues. They sign contracts without carefully studying them in advance, they don't include in their calculations several basic costs and they end up being surprised by everything that happens around them.
- "Smecherii" (the breed of "smart" guys who manage to trick everyone and brag for their success) captured a major market share over the previous years, but today they are collapsing, as they don't know how to defend themselves during difficult times.
- On the other hand, serious Romanians who knew the basics (if not much more) have been very successful, beating the multinational companies of their segment and becoming market leaders.
- Also, tens of thousands of Romanians have created small and medium size enterprises which are successful and have potential for the future as well (especially in the field of IT, as I am informed).
- Romania, like every other country, needs to create (finally) a middle class of local entrepreneurs which will become the "spine" of the country's economy for the years to come.
- Except the students of the State's universities who study economy or the basics of business, everyone else (and especially people over 22 years old) do not have many options to improve themselves if they really want to.
Proposal: Create schools for business. Force everyone to attend them
We need to start educating the population about what business is. Avoiding assumptions and speculations, we should focus on the training of everyone who wants to start (or continue) his own business.
- We should create training schools, without special costs for the State.
- Their lessons should last 5 months and should be obligatory for every new entrepreneur and all the existing ones, during a time frame of implementation between 1 – 3 years.
- These lessons should be connected to European Grants and bank loans, verifying that someone knows the basics, before he will receive money for investments.
- My proposal is to create "schools of business" where one will be educated for 5 months. Either from September to February, or from February to July.
- If we assign this project to the universities only, soon we will start hearing about people claiming that they bought this certificate etc*. But our target should not be to make some academic people rich, but to spread accurate, up to date knowledge to all Romanian society. This is why I propose to create "Non Profit Organizations" with cooperation between a Bilateral Chamber of Commerce and a Romanian University (public or private) or Institute dealing with this kind of knowledge. Romanian Chambers of all segments are also welcomed to join.
- So we can have "schools of business" by the Am – Cham (the American Chamber of Commerce, here in Romania too), the British, the French, the German, the Italian, the Dutch, the Greek and all the other Bilateral Chambers which would like to get involved.
- These Bilateral Chambers will also create subcategories of studies. For example Greeks and Italians may create a "school for running restaurants", Germans can start a "school for running a small construction company", French can start a "school for small developers" etc.
- They will be responsible, together with the University they will collaborate with, to make sure that:
- Noone will receive his "degree" without studying there.
- The level of education will be very high.
- They will invite at least once per month someone from their country, top entrepreneur in his domain, in order to share his experience and wisdom with the students.
- They will provide facilities for teaching which will match with the latest ones in international level.
- (The lessons can be 3 academic hours per day, from 18.00)
- Each student should pay 500 Euro for the whole period of the programme if he comes from a city with less than 50.000 citizens and 1.000 Euro if he comes from a bigger city.
- All Romanian entrepreneurs running a company with more than 1.000.000 Euro annual turnover should be available at the disposal of one of these schools at least twice per year, in order to share with the students their experience. (The School will choose whom to invite)
- This project can start in 9 – 12 months from now. After the first two seasons, it should become obligatory to have this "degree". For whom?
- Every new company. At least one shareholder or the administrator.
- Every "authorized private person".
- Exceptions: Passive investments (real estate etc), Foreign Direct Investments worth over 500.000 Euro (assuming that they will not enter in a new country to invest this amount without knowing the basics of their business), investments in several other categories which can be specified by the lawmaker.
- The programme of studies should include:
- Creation of budget.
- Primary accounting.
- Calculation of costs for a new business.
- Contracts and how to understand / deal with them.
- Banks and their procedures
- Establishing relations with suppliers
- Personnel. How much it really costs, how many employees do we really need, how to lead a team of people
- Business plan and vision. Why this business is created, where is it targeting at?
- Optimizing costs.
- How to maximize the benefits from internet promotion
- Opportunities: In which segments do we expect new opportunities to rise?
- The level of offered studies should be controlled and verified directly by an International Institute (European Union?) in collaboration with the Romanian authorities.
- So if this programme would start from September 2011, we could say that from September 2012 any new company or authorized private person should have this degree in order to start new activities.
- For the older entrepreneurs or all kinds, there should be a longer period of adjustment, let us say another 3 years. So from January 1st, 2016 it should be necessary for everyone, new or old.
(* If someone considers that I exaggerate on this issue, I would kindly ask him to correct me, but this is the impression of the academic community as well, as I read it in the media).
- Romanians will finally feel that they have access to easy, practical and advanced knowledge, which they can use in their daily business activity.
- Many unnecessary insolvencies will be avoided, as people will organize their business activity much better, solving problems before they become "unsolvable". They will also become more responsible for their actions, a necessary element for long term success.
- In few years time these lessons should become necessary for someone in order to obtain a loan or to receive European Grants for his / her project. Banks, authorities, everyone will feel more comfortable knowing that they give their money to someone who has the basic knowledge of how to do business.
- These lessons can also be offered in English language, in order for foreigners who want to enter in the Romanian market to get accustomed to the local reality.
- A new market will be created, with thousands of new jobs (trainers etc). Estimating about 300.000 students per year, we talk for a business of 150 – 300 million Euro. If we believe in this project, the figure can rise even more, with the State benefiting also from taxes (on salaries etc).
- The business environment will be improved dramatically in just few years time. Entrepreneurs, knowing what they want, will also demand better services and will force the whole society to improve.
- The Bilateral Chambers of Commerce will be forced to upgrade their services and to organize on different basis. But also they will be transformed to organizations which will become very important for the society and they will be able to serve even better their scopes. Imagine an organization like this, with 10.000 students and 1.000 members. How many synergies and new collaborations can start between them… How comfortable will feel a new foreign investor, knowing that he can find more reliable business partners, who studied at his country's Bilateral Chamber of Commerce etc.
- These Chambers will also be competing with each other, offering new specialties and trying to invite even better guests from abroad. Nothing better and healthier than this for a country and its population…
- In less than 5 years time, Romania will enter in a new era of sustainable growth, with many more people able to benefit out of the new wealth created.
- Negative point: People will have to pay fees, but the amount should be reachable by many. And don't tell me that 1.000 Euro is a lot. Who wants to start business activity with less? Plus this kind of education costs much more. Last but not least, it is proved that we don't appreciate something for which we don't pay its cost.
Let us change and improve this country for good. It is easier than you expect, if we just want it.