It is reminiscence of my secondary school days writing on this topic where debating was an integral part of extra curricular activities. You were during those days either proposing or opposition marshalling or debunking depending on the side you were at the time. Experience through a logical presentation of facts was the order of the day. The audience were concerned about the sequence the grammar and the presentation facts were not necessarily facts because most time, they were manipulated through circumlocution and periphrasis.
What a debate we have today! A debate without a time keeper, a moderator and without any form of instruction guiding us. We are debating about the family which we all are made of and friends which we all have. We are doing comparism between the family and friend the one that is more supportive in an individual entrepreneurship pursuit.
I would have loved to start with the definitions of both the family and friends, but definitions have become more confusing and problematic even to the academias. Therefore, I have decided to spare all of us the headaches of terms and terminologies.
There are doubt, palpable challenges in choosing either the family over friend or friend over family as far as entrepreneurial drive is concerned. But permit me to opine and buttress my points with the following arguments.
A good friend is better than a bad brother is a well know dictum. This says a lot as to the extent a friend can go when he keys into the dreams and aspirations of another. A high level drive is usually exhibited in a relationship that often people refer to ‘a friend in need is a friend indeed’.
Furthermore, the unhealthy but silent rivalry that exists among members of the family makes it difficult for family members to subordinate their ambitions into one. This most often than not, pitches one brother against another, making it difficult for support and collaboration.
Again, an individual with passion for entrepreneurship will align with another with the same passion whether related or not for purposes of floating a business modern business registration harps on share holding rather than emphasis blood relationship.
Having been related by birth, most family members want the freedom to choose their desire, idiosyncrasies and beliefs. They sometimes want to keep the family away from being involved in board meetings which are often characterised by heated debates arguments, controversies and manipulations. Surprisingly, even when family members inherit a business, there are some members who are only interested in the spoils and the largess without making any meaningful contributions. They see the business as “belonging to all but belonging to nobody”. They would rather float a business with friends and associates where sentiments are not attached only business. Here, competition becomes hygienically healthy-leading to the growth and development of the business venture.
There is also the customary impediment for securing funds to float a business. A family that is customarily committed to a given line of business can hardly deviate from it. The family will ordinarily encourage every family member along that line. Any family member who thinks contrary is viewed as a treachery on the family and met with the stoutest opposition thereby killing, dreams and aspiration. Friendship on the other hand has the latitude of a perfect market where there is “free entry and free exist”.
There are therefore, good families and good friends make no mistake about it. Beyond entrepreneurship, beyond business success and beyond nonchalance of some people on communal/collective ownership, the argument is synonymous with that of the chicken and the egg.
But this is a debate where you are either for or against, there is no sitting on the fence and this invariably will help us decipher.
Ladies and gentlemen, in the absence of the panellists, let the above points convince us of the position I have taken; friends are more relevant relevant/supportive in an individual entrepreneurship pursuit.