Venture capitalists and the money markets have created a class of business owners that they like to call entrepreneurs. In their quest to capitalize on the ideas of others they have glamorized this concept and, in some cases while enriching themselves, have made a few of these chosen people wealthy. In doing so they have created a generation of business owners who contribute nothing to society—they create companies to sell them.
A generation ago businesses were formed to provide a good or service that was valued by society. The owner started this business with the long-term goal of building wealth through conservative management, earning a profit through effective management, reinvestment of those profits into the business and by investing in loyal employees who produced that profit. They would build the business and pass it along to a second generation. These people were entrepreneurs before the term had been coined, however the term was hijacked by the money changers. These people weren’t glamorous enough for them and didn’t provide anyone but bankers with the ability to make money off them. Everything that is old is new again—we now call these people neopreneurs.
The lost art of neopreneurship isn’t sexy; it doesn’t make you rich quick and is often subject to ridicule. This is the result of the conscious effort to deglamorize the art of building a solid business because it does not serve the needs of the money community.
There are reasons that the art of building a business through the generation of profit has been lost. Until about 1980 the top personal tax rate was between 70 and 90%. The tax code gave little incentive to take large salaries and bonuses out of businesses as it would become subject to very high taxation. After 1980 the top tax rate was halved and instead of reinvesting profit back into business it became popular to take this money out of businesses and direct it to personal income. Of course this depletion of corporate resources resulted in companies with higher debt and at greater risk to a fluctuating economy leaving millions without jobs. We are not here to advocate a return to higher taxes, rather we are here to advocate a return to the conservative, effective management of companies. Neopreneurship is the transformation of a company from the reliance upon people and institutions who desire to profit from your work and deplete your resources and to transform the owner of a small business from someone who owns a job to someone who owns a business.
(Note—the terms neopreneur and neopreneurship are copyright terms developed by The Fremont Group think tank and implemented through The Fremont Group Institute of Neopreneurship.)