Interesting headline…..and it got my entrepreneurial side to thinking: If *all* of that could be recovered, how might a population, ravaged by generations of corruption, make the best use of this money for rebuilding their country? No, not “WTF” winning the future but rather “BUILDING the Future”. And even though the 70 billion actually turned out to be quite a bit less in Swiss banks, my idea is still a good one, I think?
First there would be a Start Up Selection Panel, which would consist of volunteers recruited from the ranks of successful entrepreneurs anywhere in the world; and please, not only the mega-giants, but a healthy number of the small solo or family entrepreneur business owners, who have done it at the grass roots level. We’ll name it the “Building the Future Fund BtFF, and it will be actually funded by the recovered family assets, still estimated (changes everyday) somewhere close to 70B; not too shabby to get started
Twitter will be a perfect venue to get the word out. ‘Any Egyptian with a viable business plan contact BtFF.com.’ ‘Send a plan today, operate your business tomorrow’. ‘Start your own company. Send a plan; get approved for funding.’ ‘No idea too small, submit it, build it.’ ‘Build your country through hard work. Work smart to build your country’….you know everyone in Egypt is is on twitter……
BIG question: How to short-circuit bureaucracy and red tape in the admin of these funds, and get working capital to people fast, so they can begin to make a difference fast? How & who to monitor the milestones of success? And while we’re at it, why not go mobile for the whole process? Mobile finance…Mobile monitoring – by peers via twitter…… just a few more little details to work out…….;-….but with entrepreneurs replacing bureaucracy, wouldn’t this be possible?
One initiative rumored to already be on the books, is building a pyramid to commemorate the change. Yes, Egypt does need another one! Just think how many people it will employ ….even though this time around there will heavy machinery. I really like this as it will create lots of opportunity, not only for the major players, but for the many peripheral small businesses that spring up around a large project like this. Not only crane sellers, operators and mechanics but vendors to feed lunch to the crane faction and all the others actually working on the project. And how about building it all green and including rain collection systems, to be used for both cooling the interior and irrigating the landscaping …….. see how the scope can grow with just a little imagination.
The focus of BtFF naturally should be on ideas that can benefit the whole population; developing an educational infrastructure, new manufacturing ideas that consider the lack of traditional resources, renewable energy production (that black goo will run out someday), sustainable food production; the list is really almost endless; almost like starting from scratch.
For a country getting on its feet again, it will spearhead some fabulous PR; showcasing ‘the new Egypt’, and the progress updates will spread like wildfire via #SM, the younger generation in Egypt is clearly into social networking….
Headline: “Modern day entrepreneurs move pyramids”.
Amazing how when I mention this ‘Building the Future’ initiative for Egypt, everyone wants to get in on the act…. it could go viral. One of the more imaginative was a TV reality show concept “Build the Pyramid”, with an Egyptian ‘Donald’ clone, hiring and firing at whim; (maybe a little too much like the old regime, for my taste). Toned down and re-written I think it could be made to work, and there’s more revenue from TV royalties for the “BtFF”. Always good.
Examples of the people I’d like to see on the funding selection committee would be Tim Berry, because he’ll come up with the template for a mobile phone business plan for the Egyptian initiative; Steve Blank, a serial entrepreneur who is one the best to articulate the difference between big and small companies and would be an invaluable teacher and contributor along the “building” way; and Becky McCray, a small town entrepreneur who knows all about small biz survival. Do you think Fred Wilson and others of his ilk would give a few hours a week? It could be good to have their names on the fund for added credibility. Would Richard Branson accept the invitation? And I could list on and on…….
Who would you recommend, and why? Do you have suggestions for business ideas, big or small, to get Egypt going again?