Home > enterprise, entrepreneurship > Ripples from the Zambezi – Introduction

Ripples from the Zambezi – Introduction


Sirolli introduces his book as the results of years or practice in the art of economic development through person centred development or facilitation.

He describes the growth of Enterprise Facilitation™ through word of mouth advertising and client testimonials.

He describes how current interest in entrepreneurship has made the work of spreading his methodology more straightforward. As more women join the enterprise market and more people become interested in flexible and home working through self employment the market place for Enterprise Facilitation™ in just about any community seems to be a growing one.

A Diverse Client Base

Clients come from a wide range of backgrounds and one of the founding principals of the methodology seems to be that help is available for anyone living or working in the community. Building social systems that ensure that a diverse client base is:

A) Recruited, and

B) Provided with a high quality and relevant service, is perhaps a key Sirolli lesson.

He describes the client base as “in the market right now looking not just for employment but also for a way to make a living without compromising their need for dignity”.

How does this description fit clients for your enterprise services?

What about people who are not ‘in the market’ but who already make a living through benefits and/or the gray economy?

What options do they have ‘to make a living without compromising their need for dignity’?

Indigenous Growth

Sirolli also claims that ‘civic leaders are accepting much more readily the notion of indigenous growth’.

What does he mean by the concept of ‘indigenous growth’?

How does it contrast with other approaches – such as:

  • business attraction/inward investment or
  • developing social infrastructure to attract the ‘creative classes’?

Sustainability and Human Scale

Sirolli also makes the point that 1000 home based business in a community ‘cannot even be seen’ while a factory employing a 1000 people will ‘change the physical landscape, even the air a community breathes’.

How is this a compelling reason for person centred economic development and indigenous growth?

Ubiquity of Passion, Intelligence, Self-motivation and Energy

This is one of the founding assumptions of Enterprise Facilitation™. That in every community there is the passion, intelligence, self motivation and energy to plant the seeds of economic development.

Many of the communities targeted by economic development programmes appear to have lower levels of passion, intelligence, self motivation and energy than their more prosperous neighbours.

Why else might levels of ‘enterprise’ be so low?

Are these human qualities somehow missing from economically failing communities – or have they just gone underground?

What are the mechanisms that cause some people from these communities to hide or apparently lose their passion, intelligence, self-motivation and energy?

What can be done that might help them to re-connect with these qualities?

You can can comment on any part of Ripples from the Zambezi by joining the Enterprise Reading Group.

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