Do you know of support services for failed entrepreneurs? What skills and experience are we losing?
Frederik Pétursson MadsenCo-founder AfricaPace
It might be a bit unsettling, but the fact is that most start-ups fail. This makes the question extremely relevant and important for development of successful entrepreneurs.

I have not heard of a support service for failed entrepreneurs.What I think is essential is the acceptance of failure from society and investors combined with a willingness from the entrepreneur to learn from your mistakes. In an interview Steve Blank explained what makes Sillicon Valley unique and difficult to replicate:

“The biggest thing that makes this area technology cluster is, you know what we call a failed entrepreneur in Silicon Valley? Experienced.
Nowhere else in the world do we say that. Anywhere else in the world if you failed you embarrassed your family, your community, your state. Not here. Failure is accepted as experience. And that changes this culture. Screwed it up? Great, as long as you don't blame it on someone else and you say: listen, let me tell you what I learnt. I'll never do that again.
You can play this game forever here. Step outside the Bay Area and try that anywhere else in the United State - Let alone anywhere in the world–and you'll never get another job.”

See the interview @

However, it would be interesting to know:

1. If there exist a formalised support service for entrepreneurs somewhere in the world and what learnings have been created?

2. How you create a culture where entrepreneurial failure is accepted?
Aug 26, 2011

Monica HeynesBusiness Matchmaker Deluxe Virtual Business Matchmaking Agency
Hi there. As the African Ambassador for Womens Network, a GLOBAL organisation , we will concentrate on the failed entrepreneurs.Unfortunately this will be for females only because we know that the support mechanisms for women are not exist in most African countries.

Our goal is to set up business clusters and then to support with advertising, public relations, marketing and some admin support.Through crowdfunding we would like to give small loans to women and help them grow their businesses.

Email me on to get more information.

Monica Heynes
Aug 26, 2011

Shaun LindberghBusiness Activist / Founder Motivate My City
@Frederik. I tried to comment below your answer but it does not appear.

1. Silicon Valley is an excellent role model for a culture that accepts failure as an integral part of the entrepreneurial process.

2. We can do more than pay lip-service to the learning benefits of failure by accepting our own failures as well as those of others; get over it and get going again.

3. We should challenge those who promote entrepreneurship to create a means to capture the skills and experience before they are lost to depression and shattered self-confidence.

@Monica. Go for it! Women are going to save the world in the new economy! How can we help you? Please check out my blog "Fast-track recovery for Failed Entrepreneurs" programme.
Aug 26, 2011

Leoni KokIndependent Media Professional ArtMediaNet
@ Frederick. I think the Silicon Valley example is not only valid in Silicon Valley.

South Africa and Russia are two other cultures where the failed entrepreneur simply moves on to other opportunities and certainly is not shunned by society or the community. In countries emerging from restrictive regimes where the balance of power suddenly shifts, a lot of former haves are shunned from the new dispensation.

This gives rise to very creative entrepreneuralism. I am a failed entrepreneur twice over. I am a failed former franchisee and I have a .com that was practically stillborn.

Would I do it again? I still am, because as a middle aged white woman in post-Apartheid South Africa I don't have many corporate options. No complaints here. Sometimes being ejected from a comfort zone is the only way to become financially independent.

I agree though that support structures for failed entrepreneurs as well as start-ups are necessary and I am not aware of any effective ones out there.
Aug 30, 2011
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