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  • Writer's pictureTracey Spangenberg

What can we learn from farmer entrepreneurs?

Updated: May 26, 2022

What can we learn from farmer entrepreneurs about viability, sustainability and adaptability?

30% of new businesses fail in the 1st 2 years per Fundera.(1) Could there be best practices that can apply across industries?

There are a bazillion articles, books and lists siting the top causes for new business failure but what always appears in the top 5 reasons is team or leadership.

Is it reasonable that everyone who starts a business is gifted with all the talents needed to be successful: financial acumen; planning; vision; communication; innovation; discipline and so on.


So what is the secret to small farming entrepreneurship and business longevity?

Well according to the article in sciencedirect it is value-chain partnerships.(2)

  • Pooling of resources: tangible (e.g. equipment, offices) and intangible (e.g. knowledge)

  • Distributed decision making around resources

  • Co-ordinated mechanisms to facilitate the value chain agreements: formal and informal

The article's research makes the point. “The more balanced the use of informal and formal coordination mechanisms in value chain partnerships the more smallholder farmers develop entrepreneurial mindsets and behaviors” and ultimately adaptability and sustainability.

So what is the takeaway?

Businesses helping each other will ultimately support your growth and the industry. Brilliant!

Farmers have clarity around what they are good at - farming or producing.

If you are a leader or entrepreneur how well do you know your own talents? What you have been gifted with that will support your business growth BUT even more importantly what are you missing so you can seek it out in a partner or alliance.

Here is a link a to tool to help you do your own self-assessment:

Talent Self Assessment
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