Janeys view of Entrepreneurs
Occasionally I get to be a wife, so I have been a few things in my life.
Entrepreneurs create and develop opportunity so maybe I do have a little of that in me. When I was ten years old living in Shettleston, I was pretty poor. Most of us kids were, so we developed ways to get extra cash to buy sweets and pay for swimming sessions etc.
We kids in the 60s would run errands for busy mothers and would fully expect a ‘tip’ for the effort. There was one man called Mr Woods who lived downstairs from me, he was old and his kids had grown up, yet he couldn’t employ any of us kids to run to the shops for him as he was deaf and couldn’t speak. He was also scary because he made loud unexpected noises. The kids weren’t too sure how to deal with him. I wasn’t that scared of him, once you got passed the fact he couldn’t hear the noises he was making and that his smelly pipe hanging out of his mouth wasn’t going to fall onto you, he was ok.
He gave me a card that showed the finger sign language for the deaf and I practised and practised it, with him helping and egging me on to continue. I got so good at it; we could communicate enough to converse. Now I was the only kid who could run to the shops for him, cutting out all other competition and Mr Woods was a handsome tipper and I had learnt a new skill.
I branched out into other areas of cash making as a ten year old. I realised that in my local surroundings were many small factories and wee workshops. I would go round all the small business’s at lunch time during the summer months and ask them if they needed me to take away their empty pop bottles. Back in the 60s and even today you get a cash sum for a bottle return and the adults were too busy or didn’t care enough about the meagre pennies they got for an empty glass bottle and they were glad of me to get shot of them.
I got an old pram and would push round my run and would easily fill it up before midday and have at least a couple of shillings at the end of the day and that was a lot of money back then!
Those same wee factories starting asking me to go get them filled rolls and bottles of milk at lunch time and before long I had employed a helper, wee John my pal who was nine. We would both do the lunch run, collect empty bottles, buy cigarettes for them (it was the old days) walk dogs and help load things into vans if they needed wee strong hands to muck in. Probably highly illegal and breaking many health and safety rules, but we were kids in the 60s trying to make a bob in the height of summer.
Like all good money making schemes, things die off, people change, factories shut and kids grow up. By the way I still take bottles back to the shops. It’s no longer considered entrepreneurial its called recycling and I was a groundbreaker of that back in the 60s!