As entrepreneurs can be considered all the inhabitants of Texels that are looking for opportunities to improve life quality and are not afraid to trying to influence people around them to follow their initiatives. The entrepreneurs of Texel can be found in a diversity of ages, interests, management styles and scale of businesses. They can be considered the most interested actor in Texel becoming a sustainable island and are willing to look for innovative ways to get resources and initiatives to make it happen. There are two main entrepreneurs’ networks at Texel: TOP (Texels Ondernemers Platform) and JONT (Jonge Ondernemers Netwerk Texel). Both make use of web platforms to connect its members and share relevant information about projects, news, knowledge and experiences.
Entrepreneurs recognize the need to safeguard the core values for the future, and they are seeking for Texel to adopt lifestyles that facilitate the promotion of the island as a great place to do business, visit, live and study. Moreover, they recognize the importance of connecting to others and build strong networks to support their initiatives and facilitate their expansion and strengthen. In this context, they become the key first movers for the sustainable transition as they have experience and knowledge on how to make things happen in the island with a successful approach (keeping it fun and inspiring!).
At this point, it is necessary to analyze entrepreneurs values in terms of the categories defined previously. The entrepreneurs are considered to have plenty of sustainable values already within their lifestyles. However, when needed, some remarks about desired behavioral changes towards the future system are going to be addressed.
Entrepreneurs’ concerns over life quality are highly related to family and ensuring long-term satisfaction of their needs. There is a strong need for entrepreneurs to enjoy life, being independent and take initiative, consequently it would be expected that the try to share the same values and interests within their family network.
Entrepreneurs are concerned in ensuring long-term sustainability of their businesses, so they can ensure a pension and a living to enjoy life as shaped by them. Financial matters are important but they are still willing to donate form their resources and look for innovative ways to collect the money needed to perform collective initiatives leading to the progress of Texel.
Entrepreneurs believe in the strength of networks to boost individual initiatives with external meaningful insights that have the potential to accelerate their impact on the island. Friends are highly important, and attending to events that provide opportunities to make new ones is always valued.
In the future system, it would be expected for entrepreneurs to generate more constant and diverse contact points to enlarge their networks and to include non-entrepreneurs as a way to engage them in the common vision of the island
Health and Fitness
It is expected from entrepreneurs to value health and fitness as priorities in life to be set an example on healthy habits that are promoted by sustainable business. In the future subsystems it would be expected that entrepreneurs relate their products and services with sustainable lifestyles and they can become examples and promoters of such activities.
Home and Place
Housing conditions’ improvement are on the interest for entrepreneurs, not just to increase tourism but also to re-structure the housing infrastructure in such a way that energy and water use can be optimal and related to the one expected from a sustainable island. They are not expected to be afraid to implement the needed changes in their buildings and houses to make them suitable to sustainable values, however funding can be a limitation for them.
Entrepreneurs are natural leaders in their communities as they are not afraid of trying to influence people towards their interests. In the future subsystem, it would be expected from them to push harder on inhabitants not interested in performing needed changes for Texel to become a sustainable island. This would mean to open the debate to try to reach consensus about their shared vision on sustainability, so entrepreneurs’ ideas would not be isolated from the average inhabitants’ interest.
Enjoying what they do is important, maybe that can be a reason for entrepreneurs not being so open to pursuit leisure as it can, sometimes, interfere with the intensity of work required for a business to start in a successful way. Even though it is known that entrepreneurs strive for enjoying life and have a positive view, in the future subsystem it would be expected from them to promote leisure activities that promote sustainability as a business core idea.
Identifying personal strengths and weaknesses while looking for the needed help and development opportunities to improve as a person and as a professional, is a behavior expected from entrepreneurs. Constant feedback is usually provided on the basis of their networks connections, and is key for successful entrepreneurs goal achievement.
Most Texel’s entrepreneurs are moved for their desire to support the development of the island and its inhabitants. This can be done by promoting education, nature conservation, employment generation, healthy habits promotion and innovation execution. Their main public service is done as first movers that push Texel towards a brighter future where a sustainable island is a reality.
Entrepreneurs see life from the bright side even though they are perfectly aware of the challenges and difficulties that they face by choosing to start their own business. Their spirit of enjoyment while overcoming challenges, constant learning, vision, authenticity and persistence makes them successful and gives continuity to their ideas. The latter reinforce by the strong connections they feel with their roots and values as Texelaars or dutch citizens.
Enjoyable and stimulating would be considered to two key words describing the job description of an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs enjoy challenges but also require the establishment of networks to facilitate their ideas development and protection, especially in the first stages of development. Frustration is expected especially at the beginning, but learning how to handle it is essential to achieve business’ goals.
Entrepreneurs are the citizens of Texel with the more values related to sustainability. It would be necessary to analyze the influence they have on the other groups in order to facilitate the diffusion of the values in the island. Moreover, it is necessary to open more spaces for them to spread the values related to entrepreneurship and the enjoyment of doing something is positively impacting the quality of your life as an initial step for the transition.
TOP (2014). Texels Ondernemers Platform. Retrived on december 4th, 2014, from: http://www.top-texel.nl/
JONT (2014). Jonge Ondernemers Netwerk Texel. Retrived on december 4th, 2014, from: http://www.jont.nl/