Hi..., Roger !
I’m a watchmaker/jeweller and I had a shop in Namur for more than 25 years..., great life, until about 3 years before
the recession. In a country where Antwerp is the centre of the global diamond industry, I had friends, subcontractors and distributers folding-up one after the other as the population had started giving priority to petrol and heating fuel instead of luxury products.
For me, I held on untill that idiot Bush suddenly declared a recession..., and as I was at the end of a lease, I shut shop with the intent of adapting my work to a totally different economic climate.
With the business plan, financial plan and marketing plan all finished, I presented myself to at least 4 different banks..., and each time, (although they didn’t say as much) my grey hair was laughed at before slamming the door in my face.
(lend today / dead tomorrow so-to-speak)
This went on for at least 2 years and in the meantime and out of work, I absolutely had to find a solution. Then, one day, it suddenly dawned on me that the solution was not only simple and free, but it also increased the competance of the management team.
In fact, I needed a partner..., but not just any old partner ! Male or female, black or white, cleaning woman or Oxford graduate..., above all, this person had to be young. This I did..., and suddenly the banks are now seriously listening.
“Duo-Blending”! Iain Duncan Smith and I were in the Scots Guards together and I wrote to him to tell him about the strategy. I got a reply from his office wishing us all the luck and saying that the idea had been transferred to his department. But of course, it’ll probably take years before it’s integrated into the unemployment system.
2012: Take one grey-haired unemployed entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience and a long customer listing, then combine that person with a highly qualified university graduate and you suddenly find yourself with a team, much better adapted to the economic climate we have around us today.
I..., provide the experience, the trade secrets, professional caution and a long customer listing. Unfortunately, I’ve never sent an SMS in my life and although Photoshop is nearly second-nature, my general computer competency is far from being considered professional. And as for numbers..., simply the sound of the word gives me spots.
He..., is not only young, but he adores financial plans / he was born playing with Excel / and he’s extremely dynamic. And he knows exactly what a banker wants to see in a business plan as he has masters in the subject.
I could have chosen a cleaning-woman as a partner as it’s age
that counts, but in contacting the local university, I asked them to send out e-mails to students who had terminated their studies last year. (and now out of work) I aimed for the department specializing with potential entrepreneurs. Of course, others like me in the same situation would need a youngster more adapted to their needs or profession.
Jewellery for me is now finished as Sébastien and myself are preparing the manufacture of an every-day dress-watch to be sold to the Brigade of Guards. Wish us luck for 2013 !
PS Don't forget that this could also work the other way round..., young, qualified people out of work could contact the local unemployment office and ask for details relative to experienced entrepreneurs also looking for work !