09. Oktober 2015

Let's start-up.

What the U.S. and Europe can learn from each other.
H.E. Alexa Wesner, Ambassador of the United States of America to Austria

Within the framework of the MCI Alumni & Friends lecture series, the Entrepreneurial School® had the pleasure of welcoming the Ambassador of the United States of America, H.E. Alexa Wesner, for an inspiring talk about the entrepreneurial spirit in the US and in Austria.

At the beginning of her speech, the Ambassador noted that entrepreneurship is one of the most powerful ways to express oneself, to improve one’s own economic circumstances and to ultimately make the world a better place. Entrepreneurship promotes economic growth and job creation as well as political stability, diversity and personal empowerment. It also gives people the chance to contribute one’s talents to society by identifying opportunities and encapsulating one’s individual potentials and aspirations.

Since entrepreneurs do not see the world as it is but how it should be, they transform whole industries, change mindsets and build bridges between cultures. Wesner identifies start-ups as the companies that will provide most of the jobs in the future. Hence, the nature of work will change and nations need to adapt to that – they will need to reengage the workforce, repurpose traditional roles, invest in education and mind their citizens’ expertise in creating the next big thing.

Entrepreneurship, so Wesner, is an American brand and value as the US plays a vital role in supporting entrepreneurship worldwide. Wesner notes that America is considered to be the nation where entrepreneurs can turn their dreams into reality. Entrepreneurship also promotes the US’ prosperity. Hence, it is supported by society and consequently the US promotes a culture of taking risks – according to the Ambassador, the primary ingredient in the recipe to success.

Wesner identifies similar impulses in Austria – entrepreneurship here is also a main driver of the economy. Her Excellency praised Austria’s dedication to education, innovation and collaboration between the private and public sector and noted that the country strongly supports environmental innovation. Austria is leading the charge against climate change and actions to run a carbon-free society and Austrian companies in these fields are the best in their industries. This is why Wesner sees Austria as an entrepreneurial hub, especially for Eastern European countries.

Finally the Ambassador encourages all entrepreneurs to take risks and to try, even if the success of their business is uncertain. Wesner confirms that starting a business is daunting end even she failed – out of seven businesses she started, two have not been successful and one even failed in a spectacular why. The most important thing, however, is to learn from these failures and to apply the new knowledge to the next project.

Before her talk ended into a very vivant discussion hosted by MCI rector Andreas Altmann, Wesner appealed to the guests to take their education and experiences, to try and fail but to ultimately succeed and change the world.