Without failure there would be no Apple, Microsoft or Google-US ambassador


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The United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Bruce Wharton says 75 percent of all start-ups and 90 percent of all products fail but this should not stop anyone from venturing into business because without someone’s failure, there would be no Apple, no Microsoft and no Google.

“Failure helps to define need and opportunity, so it cannot be viewed only as a negative,’he said at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair where the United States is exhibiting after years of boycotting the annual fair.

“Successful businesses around the world started with risks, and companies that continue to innovate continue to take risks. We are not all risk takers, but we all need to acknowledge the benefits that can accrue from risk and support a business ecosystem in which there is room for the risk of failure, and the corresponding benefits of success.”

Wharton said small enterprises where the key to the development of any economy. In the United States, they are:

  • 99.7 percent of U.S. employer firms,
  • 98 percent of firms exporting goods,
  • 63 percent of net new private-sector jobs,
  • 48.5 percent of private-sector employ¬ment,
  • 46 percent of private-sector output,
  • 42 percent of private-sector payroll,
  • 37 percent of high-tech employment, and
  • 33 percent of exporting value.

However, about half of new businesses survive five years or more and about one-third survive 10 years or more.

Most small businesses are financed through owner savings; loans from family, friends, and commercial lenders; bonds; stocks; ownership stakes; and other ar¬rangements.

Small businesses tend to be much more innovative, They produced 16 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms.

“Let me say that I remain optimistic about Zimbabwe’s future. There are simply too many well-educated, creative, hardworking people in this great country not to be optimistic about the future,” he said.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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