Entrepreneurship | Teaching it “off-the-grid”

Entrepreneurship is Finding a Need and Providing a Solution. And this works even in “off-the-grid” areas.

Our boss invited his team to a sales seminar he was organizing in Marrakech (Morocco).

We were enjoying a beautiful hotel with hot June weather, swimming pools and palm trees.

The mornings were spent learning the best B2B direct selling techniques shared by the best salesmen.  And the afternoons were dedicated to exploring the area.  One day we went to the High Atlas Mountains not far from there to eat with a local family in a village.

A lesson in entrepreneurship

The trip was fairly long so the driver stopped the bus in a deserted area, overlooking a valley so we could stretch our legs.

Children were working in the fields on the other side of the valley.  They saw an opportunity to beg for some money from these tourists.  So they ran down the narrow paths in their fields and climbed out of the ravine to where we were parked.

Some thirty children started to ask for money from these “walking ATMs”.  Our guide warned us that the government did not want to encourage begging.  So my colleagues quickly found refuge in the bus.

I was the last one out there with these children around me trying to wheedle some money out of me. I wondered if I could transmit a message without speaking their language.

Isn’t entrepreneurship the art of finding a need and providing the solution?

Part Two of “Off-the-Grid” Entrepreneurship

I saw the ground was covered with multi-colored wildflowers.  There was a beautiful young 6-year-old girl with beautiful hair.  The sun illuminated her golden reddish hair.  She looked at me timidly. Making sure everyone was watching, I picked 3 sprigs of wildflowers and offered them to this charming young girl.  She took them and said, “Shukran” (Thank you).

Learning entrepreneurship

My colleagues were watching though the windows to see what I was going to do next.

With a wave of my hand, I invited her to give them back to me (which made her hesitate).  But she gave the flowers back.  And I gave her several coins.

Entrepreneurs seize the opportunity before someone else does

Another bright boy understood right away the opportunity that was presented, and he quickly gathered several flowers too. And he got some coins too.  Then another boy gathered flowers too but arranged the flowers to make a nice bouquet. He got his coins. 

I didn’t have any more coins so under the pressure of the crowd, I fled into the bus.  But the driver allowed them to come into the bus to offer to all the ladies their own flower bouquet.

I’m hoping the next time I travel here – I’ll discover several “blossoming” entrepreneurs who have started their own viable flower business in this remote part of the country.

It is better than teaching them to beg.

Hope you enjoyed this story.

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