Post Mikronet conference – comments and ‘value’

Fresh from our Mikronet conference where a good deal of debate has resulted from Finn Helmer’s provoking and stimulating presentation, I’m still feeling elated from once again meeting fellow ‘Mikronetters’.

It is surprising how quickly we have become known to each other and how much I (and I expect others) find new levels of energy and inspiration for new ideas, new slants on what has for most of us become more routine during the past year. Despite a packed programme there was time to discuss common problems and aspirations, arrange to meet to talk collaboration etc. It was also encouraging to meet so many new members of the network.

Martin sent a mail to the network where, amongst other things, he asked some pertinent questions. Answers to most of these will be, hopefully, be covered by research into evaluating micro-businesses’ impact on the economy, the value we create. Mikronet has received grants to fund this research, and I for one am looking forward to reading the final report.

Abelone asked Mikronetters to respond to Martin’s questions –

1 – How do we measure the value we create?

2 – Is this value more important than growth?

3 – Is too much emphasis placed on growth?

Here are my thoughts:

1. I suppose one measure is the actual income generated – that is of value, in particular here on Vest Lolland where every taxpayer is appreciated. In my case this income is small, so on the grander scale of things it probably does not weigh very heavy. But as the Scots say –‘many a mickle makes a muckle’ or in other words, if there are enough micros, the combined income represents a very significant factor in the Region’s economy.

Another value that is less easy to measure is that self employed, entrepreneurs, free-lancers seem to be less likely to take time off for illness – this sort of sweeping statement should probably be investigated more scientifically. But if it is true then we do presumably place less strain on the health system?

Speaking for me, the value that I create in my daily life is that – entirely due to my business – I meet very interesting people, work on varied and fascinating projects and that by having my curiosity stimulated and feeling involved I am, on the whole, contented.

2. Yes, I consider this to more important than growth in sheer terms of earning more or employing someone to help out. Where I do hope for growth is in the range and complexity of projects – those should show growth, otherwise the excitement of being independent will probably pale. I also hope to enter into some competitor-colleague arrangements where our combined abilities will enable us to tackle bigger, more complex projects.

3. I think so – at least in the sense of employing more people, getting bigger premises – those aspects that the state seem to be concerned about.