Last week I was at a meeting where people were talking about how to enable business advisors to give meaningful support to social enterprises. I found myself, although speaking at the event, a tad disconcerted by the idea, although initially unsure as to why.

Advisor implies knowledge of what is better

When doing my piece at the event, the reality struck me that it was the notion of “Advisor” that did not sit with me. Advisor implies knowledge of what is the better thing to do and I do not consider myself one, nor would such an idea sit so well within BNest.

The initial jump is an act of courage

In essence, all enterprises, social or commercial, have at least one person driving it onward. Indeed, it would not exist unless that person takes the initial jump.

Regardless of what any one’s personal opinion of the endeavour, we surely all have to admit that the initial jump is an act of courage by that person, leaping into the unknown based on their belief, passion and understanding of what they are about.

It is their dream, their effort, their achievement!

In seeking to support that person, one should always respect that courage, and the implications from it – that it is their dream, their effort, their achievement! To be termed an enterprise advisor almost implies that we know the right way to do it and aim to tell them that.

The truth is that there is no right way, only their way and that is the thrill of a start-up – this voyage of discovery that follow from the initial leap. Yes, it is clearly true that there are principles, objectivity, tools and techniques that can aid that journey, but of those what is relevant to the individual is dependent on the path that they have taken.

We simply are support

So BNest, or myself for that matter, are not enterprise advisors nor ever will be I hope. We simply are a support that hopefully helps those on their journey in a way that works for them. A much harder thing to deliver but in our view the better thing to be delivering.