One of the roles of the entrepreneur is to project a vision that is somewhat larger than reality. Then, as they take people forward with them — their team and investors — they proceed to work their butts off to make the vision a reality.
This is the pattern of all great enterprises throughout the history of the civilised world. It’s a world that I’m comfortable with, warts and all. It saddens me to see entrepreneurship being regulated out of existence.
My friend Rev. Robert Sirico of the Acton Institute often reflects on the biblical encouragement of entrepreneurship. There are many parables to be drawn from the commercial world of that time.
One that embraces entrepreneurship as a virtue is the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30). The entrepreneur who creates the most value from his gift receives the highest praise. But the one who chooses not to earn even a minimal return is rebuked.
The parable for the mineral explorers concerns hidden treasure in a field. In our own language it says:“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field which when a man found, he hid and then went forth and sold all that he had to buy that field.” (Matthew 13:44).
This highlights that buying opportunities should be seized, whenever possible.
Apart from its spiritual importance this parable shows that commerce can be mutually beneficial, even where there exists what economists call ‘information asymmetries’ (when buyers and sellers bring different assumptions to the table). In this case, both parties benefit. A good and moral economic system is one that creates opportunities for mutual advantage. I view it as a tragedy when we see over-regulation so often getting in the way of so many transactions.