To the Editor,

November is national entrepreneur month, and Tuesday, Nov. 16, is National Entrepreneur Day. I write to thank and tip my hat to all entrepreneurs, whether the business is large or small; whether past, present or future.

Wikipedia says that the study of entrepreneurship reaches back to the 17th and early 18th centuries in work by economist Richard Cantillon. Cantillon defined the term as a person who pays a certain price for a product and resells it at an uncertain price and “making decisions about obtaining and using the resources while consequently admitting the risk of enterprise.”

French economist Jean-Baptiste Say identified entrepreneurs as a driver for economic development, emphasizing their role as one of the collecting factors of production by allocating resources from less to fields that are more productive.

Modern day vernacular uses the term entrepreneur to simply mean a business person. There is no question entrepreneurs are those who take financial and emotional risk beyond the comfort of most. They also accept the hard work of long days, the tired muscles, tearful anxiety, and sleepless nights. There are many times they come home exhausted after a 12 or 14 hour day and still sit up late to process payroll, while withholding their own check due to available cash. 

Entrepreneurs are those who can see an opportunity, either in their craft and skill, or the improvement of an existing enterprise and then take the action to create a business. They risk their life’s worth to fund their visions and work tirelessly to succeed for many years. Over the past 35 years I have seen businesses open and close. I feel heavy hearted for those dreamers whose ideas had value but perhaps lacked enough funds to fully launch or were slowed by change in customer desires, new competition or added regulation.

The inventors, innovators, thinkers, builders, and doers of America all started with an idea and a dream of that idea becoming a business. I applaud the mentors and young people whose ideas are being fostered in such programs as the robotics teams in high schools. These talented, insightful and ingenious students will be designing and building the products of tomorrow.

All entrepreneurs add value to their community with the expression of their ideas, their employment of others, their service to their customers and community. Even when a business fails, all of us learn through observation and change. I wish to acknowledge and thank the dreamers that tried and failed as well as those who found that narrow path to success. The communities that host them admire them and thank them for all they do for employment, donations, and often some civic pride. Seldom do we recognize those whose dreams went dark. Often the reasons for their sign disappearing can be as simple as timing or just plain bad luck. Never have I seen a business close due to the owner’s lost dream.

You, the entrepreneurs, that know the sleepless nights after mortgaging your home for a visioned enterprise and working seven days a week for years, whether win or lose, have added to our collective development as a community. All of you deserve a pat on the back and need to hear the continued roar of our cheer.

I too know the depth of your risk and the extent of your work. It’s hard work, but keep at it. We need you! 

I want to thank you all, and Happy Entrepreneur’s Day!

Tom Klyve,

Detroit Lakes