First Republic — A land full of entrepreneurs

In the First Republic, we were self-sufficient, entrepreneurial people. How about going back to tradition?

3 years ago   •   2 min read

By Vladimír Záhradník

Today we’re celebrating 101 years since the First Republic was founded. I guess our Czech brothers also enjoyed a public holiday.

When the First Republic is mentioned, among other things, I think of the fact that we were (to use today’s vocabulary) a nation full of startups and entrepreneurs.

Business was done by many small entrepreneurs, we had no big corporations as we know today (maybe Tomáš Baťa’s factories, but I wouldn’t call them a corporation per se).

The country was going up economically even though there were few of us. Today, Israel fulfils such a role, but we no longer do.

Today, after more than 100 years, only the memory of those times remains. In the Czech Republic, at least I can see that small businessmen are still somehow functioning. Certainly to a much greater extent than in our country. In Slovakia, it is much more rare. Here, when I say that small Arduino projects are what I do for a living, people are amazed that it’s possible to make a living doing that. You can… just not in Slovakia.

And what does the state do? It gives concessions in millions to a foreign IT company (Visma) that otherwise would not have come to Košice. In a market where all the developers who can speak English are long employed in companies around the city. For all of our money, this will distort the market even more.

How about we start building our self-sufficiency again by building on that tradition. What if self-employed entrepreneurs were exempted from paying social and health contributions for the first year and social contributions (without proof of income) for the second year? I know that I would certainly find such a measure helpful, and I’m probably not alone.

I would consider the money spent in this way to be real ‘value for money’ with a potentially big impact in the right direction.

Such measures would also motivate others to try entrepreneurship. And it’s a good school. Even if they don’t succeed, they will already be looking at their paycheck differently. Believe me, I’m speaking from my own experience.

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