The Traveling Entrepreneur
No matter what your profession there lies an entrepreneur in all of us when we travel. For example have you ever wandered around the likes of Tuscany thinking to yourself –‘I could go home and start a B&B just like this one – the style of the property could easily be adjusted to our conditions.’ Ok so maybe not a B&B but with so many different industries from Chocolate making to shoes there is surely one that may have you thinking of bringing an idea back home. I know people who have had pizza in Italy and thought they should stay and show the Italians how it is done. When we told a colleague in Moderna that we have pineapple on pizzas they were horrified.
From past visits entrepreneurs have imported glass from Murano, and masks from Venice. Sadly the Chinese copies made the price of the original article prohibitive for the export market. The Venetians have to settle for tourists appreciating their incredible craft. Italy is famous for wine and yet again with Australia now leading the forefront in impeccably delicious vintages, the market for wine has slowly declined. Travel anywhere in the world and Australian wines are listed at the top of your choices.
So what else can we extrapolate from our travels – photography, yes we could if we are great sell our photos. What about buying a little property somewhere in the hills to rent out to tourists as a genuine homestay – now I like the idea of that. Many Australians do this in France and Japan so why leave Italy to the Brits, we are entrepreneurs after all. Australians buy property all over the world, you cannot get any more entrepreneurial than that.
But is it all about our plonking ourselves in another country or importing goods from a foreign land- not at all. As we immerse ourselves in another culture we can sometimes see an opportunity to show the world our niche- whatever that may be. Recently I met a scholar who had written a programme to benefit literature in schools and to assist immigrants with their English Language skills. His program can be adapted to any language and has enormous potential. I just hope that the Italians can learn English easier than I could learn Italian. Thankfully many of them are already fluent in the Queens English.
So is entrepreneurship about what you can give or what you can take away from your journey. I believe that the answer is both depending on your level of expertise. I was told as a child that if you believe in what you are offering, you could sell ice to the eskimoes. So to all of you travelling Entrepreneurs out there the world is your oyster – oh wait I can feel the next story coming together already. Join us next month for a trip to Japan!
Written by Deanne Scanlan on behalf of Small Business Association of Australia
Deanne is an SBAA Sponsor/Member, Journalist and Owner of Deanne Scanlan Travel.