Article 1. What is Entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurship means different things to different people. Some imagine tech geniuses with Silicon Valley startups, while others picture small business owners opening up their shop doors on Main Street. Ultimately, entrepreneurship encompasses these and many other business ventures that share a commitment to turning an idea into a profitable business.

People who are thinking about starting their own business should understand that successful entrepreneurship involves much more than having a great concept, said Elizabeth Amini, CEO and co-founder of Anti-Aging Games LLC, a company that develops online games to train memory and focus, and an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business.

“Most people think being an entrepreneur is all about coming up with an idea, but that’s just one part,” Amini told Business News Daily. “It’s also important to know, right from the start, how you will reach interested customers in an effective and affordable way.”

“Entrepreneurship is much broader than the creation of a new business venture,” added Bruce Bachenheimer, a clinical professor of management and executive director of the Entrepreneurship Lab at Pace University. “At its core, it is a mind-set — a way of thinking and acting. It is about imagining new ways to solve problems and create value.”

Who are entrepreneurs?

There are no specific traits that every entrepreneur shares, but many do possess a few common characteristics. In another Business News Daily article, Jenny Ta, founder and CEO of social commerce platform Sqeeqee, said successful entrepreneurs are typically confident and self-motivated. They are tenacious but understand their own limitations. Instead of following the status quo, entrepreneurs have a healthy disrespect for established rules, and often set out to do things that others may not have the courage to. They are also willing to fail and start over again, taking the lessons they’ve learned to create something new and improved.

MJ Gottlieb, co-founder of consulting firm Hustle Branding and author of “How to Ruin a Business Without Really Trying” (Morgan James Publishing, 2014), said it takes a special kind of person to become a successful entrepreneur.

“An entrepreneur is someone who can take any idea, whether it be a product and/or service, and have the skill set, will and courage to take extreme risk to do whatever it takes to turn that concept into reality and not only bring it to market, but make it a viable product and/or service that people want or need,” Gottlieb said.

Research shows that Americans are increasingly choosing entrepreneurship. A study by Intelligent Office revealed that nearly 65 percent of workers would rather be an entrepreneur or independent employee than work in an office. In addition, data from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s Index of Entrepreneurial Activity shows that in 2015, established small business density increased in the U.S., reaching higher than prerecession levels.

Tips for aspiring entrepreneurs

If you’re ready to enter the world of entrepreneurship, here are a few important tips to keep in mind.

Learn from others’ failures. Rather than admiring the small percentage of businesses that grow to become successful, study those that end up failing. Gottlieb said this research will greatly increase your chances of success, because most companies have made common mistakes that have led to their demise. He said that having the humility to learn from the mistakes of others before making them yourself is the secret to success.

Make sure this is what you want. Because entrepreneurship entails so much hard work, it is critical to ensure you’re following the right path, Amini said. “If this is something you really want, then think long-term, and be persistent,” she said. “The vast majority of great entrepreneurs failed multiple times before they finally found the business idea that took off and brought them success.”

Solve problems. Entrepreneurs should always be in search of problems to solve, and not the other way around, said Ajay Bam, a lecturer in entrepreneurship and innovation at the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. In other words, “they should not start with a solution looking for a problem,” he said.

Be passionate. Successful entrepreneurs are driven primarily by a need for achievement and the desire to make a meaningful difference, Bachenheimer said. “The most important traits are passion and persistence, but these must not be confused with arrogance and stubbornness,” he said.

Get advice from those who have done it. Amini advised would-be business owners to find mentors who are successful, as well as to read books, network with people they admire and look into great educational programs to help them throughout the process.

Resource: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/2642-entrepreneurship.html

Article 2. Start-ups

Starting a business generally requires:

-A business concept or idea involving a product, service, process, or new technology

-People to support the work, whether as employees, vendors, or advisors

-A process by which the product or service will be delivered, or the technology will be developed

-Enough money to support the development of the idea to the point that it generates revenue

Why New Businesses are Started

According to research by Cox Business, the main reasons entrepreneurs go out on their own, rather than staying employed, are:

-Control – to be their own boss

-Ambition – to start something from scratch themselves

-Financial – opportunity to earn more money

In fact, an Intelligent Office study reported that 65% of employees would rather be entrepreneurs than work for someone else.

What Kind of Business to Start

Finding a need or opportunity in the market and filling it is at the core of entrepreneurship and small business success. That doesn’t mean that starting a business similar to one already in existence can’t be successful, however.

In considering what kind of business to start, assess:

-Your interests

-Your background and experiences

-Your financial resources

-Unmet market needs

-Problems you can solve

-Your network and connections

With an estimated 50% of new businesses failing in the first five years, entrepreneurs will also need to be committed, persistent, and adaptable to beat the odds.

Resource: https://www.shopify.com/encyclopedia/entrepreneurship

Article 3. So You Want to Be Your Own Boss…

8 tips to get you going, even if you don’t know where to start

If you want to start a business but don’t know where to start, don’t worry–you are not alone. In fact, given the new economic reality of our time, more people than ever before have found the “job” they thought was waiting for them doesn’t exist. Others have come to the conclusion that they would rather create work they love, constructed to fit with their own life goals. No matter what the motivation is to be your own boss, you can start today.

Here are 8 Tips to Get You Started:

Take a Stand for Yourself.

If you are dissatisfied with your current circumstances, admit that no one can fix them except for you. It doesn’t do any good to blame the economy, your boss, your spouse or your family. Change can only occur when you make a conscious decision to make it happen.

Identify the Right Business for You.

Give yourself permission to explore. Be willing to look at different facets of yourself (your personality, social styles, age) and listen to your intuition. We tend to ignore intuition even though deep down we often know the truth. Ask yourself “What gives me energy even when I’m tired?”

How do you know what business is “right” for you? There are three common approaches to entrepreneurship:

Do What You Know: Have you been laid off or want a change? Look at work you have done for others in the past and think about how you could package those skills and offer them as your own services or products.

Do What Others Do: Learn about other businesses that interest you. Once you have identified a business you like, emulate it.

Solve a Common Problem: Is there a gap in the market? Is there a service or product you would like to bring to market? (Note: This is the highest-risk of the three approaches.) If you choose to do this, make sure that you become a student and gain knowledge first before you spend any money.

Business Planning Improves Your Chances for Success.

Most people don’t plan, but it will help you get to market faster. A business plan will help you gain clarity, focus and confidence. A plan does not need to be more than one page. As you write down your goals, strategies and action steps, your business becomes real.

Ask yourself the following questions:

What am I building?

Who will I serve?

What is the promise I am making to my customers/clients and to myself?

What are my objectives, strategies and action plans (steps) to achieve my goals?

Know Your Target Audience Before You Spend a Penny.

Before you spend money, find out if people will actually buy your products or services. This may be the most important thing you do. You can do this by validating your market. In other words, who, exactly, will buy your products or services other than your family or friends? (And don’t say. “Everyone in America will want my product.” Trust me–they won’t.) What is the size of your target market? Who are your customers? Is your product or service relevant to their everyday life? Why do they need it?

There is industry research available that you can uncover for free. Read industry articles with data (Google the relevant industry associations) and read Census data to learn more. However, the most important way to get this information is to ask your target market/customers directly and then listen.

Understand Your Personal Finances and Choose the Right Kind of Money You Need for Your Business.

As an entrepreneur, your personal life and business life are interconnected. You are likely to be your first–and possibly only–investor. Therefore, having a detailed understanding of your personal finances, and the ability to track them, is an essential first step before seeking outside funding for your business. This is why I recommend setting up your personal accounts in a money management system such as Mint.com to simplify this process.

As you are creating your business plan, you will need to consider what type of business you are building–a lifestyle business (smaller amount of startup funds), a franchise (moderate investment depending on the franchise), or a high-tech business (will require significant capital investment). Depending on where you fall on the continuum, you will need a different amount of money to launch and grow your business, and it does matter what kind of money you accept.

 Build a Support Network.

You’ve made the internal commitment to your business. Now you need to cultivate a network of supporters, advisors, partners, allies and vendors. If you believe in your business, others will, too.

Network locally, nationally & via social networks. Join networks like NAPW.com, your local chamber of commerce, or other relevant business groups. Here are some networking basics:

– When attending networking events, ask others what they do and think about how you can help them. The key is to listen more than tout yourself.

– No matter what group you join, be generous, help others and make introductions without charging them.

– By becoming a generous leader, you will be the first person that comes to mind when someone you’ve helped needs your service or hears of someone else who needs your service.

Sell By Creating Value.

Even though we purchase products and services every day, people don’t want to be “sold.” Focus on serving others. The more people you serve, the more money you will make. When considering your customers or clients, ask yourself:

What can I give them?

How can I make them successful in their own pursuits?

This approach can help lead you to new ways to hone your product or service and deliver more value, which your customers will appreciate.

Get the Word Out.

Be willing to say who you are and what you do with conviction and without apology. Embrace and use the most effective online tools (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn) available to broadcast your news. Use social networks as “pointer” sites; i.e., to point to anything you think will be of interest to your fans and followers.

Even though social networks are essential today (you must use them!), don’t underestimate the power of other methods to get the word out: e.g., word-of-mouth marketing, website and internet marketing tools, public relations, blog posts, columns and articles, speeches, e-mail, newsletters, and the old-fashioned but still essential telephone.

If you take these steps, you’ll be well on your way to becoming your own boss. It’s important to remember that you are not alone. If you want to “be your own boss” but you still feel stuck, reach out and connect with other entrepreneurs in a variety of ways. You may be surprised by the invaluable contacts that are right at your fingertips.

Resource: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/207488

Article 4. How to Become an Entrepreneur

Part 1. Examining Your Personality

If you want to run your own business, you’ve come to the right page. Being an entrepreneur is a high-risk, high-reward position. It’s full of stressful situations, sure, but it’s also chock full of rewards and a sense of accomplishment. It’s not as hard as it seems — as long as you have some diligence, patience, and, of course, a good idea, you’ll be your own boss sooner than you think!

  1. Think about your priorities. Ask yourself some questions about what you want out of life, as well as out of your business. What does achieving your goals in life look like? What is important to you? What are you willing to sacrifice?[1]

Consider what you need to make these priorities and goals happen. Is it a certain amount of money? A certain amount of free time to spend with friends and family?

  1. Decide whether your personality is a good fit for entrepreneurship. Becoming your own boss is a goal for many people, but some people are better suited to this lifestyle than others. Knowing how you are likely to react to events will help you achieve your goals.[2]

Are you comfortable with a lot of responsibility? Entrepreneurs often have no backup and are responsible for the success or failure of their business.

Do you enjoy interacting with people? Almost all entrepreneurs have to do a lot of customer service, particularly at first. If you aren’t good with people, you may have difficulty getting your business off the ground.

Are you able to accept uncertainty and even failure? Even the most successful entrepreneurs — for example, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Richard Branson — have had businesses fail on them, often several times, before they found a formula that worked.[3]

Do you thrive on problem-solving and creative solutions? Entrepreneurs at all levels face many problems that they need to find creative solutions for. A high tolerance for frustration and the ability to think through problems will serve you well as an entrepreneur.

  1. List your strengths. Be honest with yourself as you consider your strengths and weaknesses. When you talk to potential investors or sell to clients, you will need to have a very clear idea of what your strengths are so you can communicate them to others.
  2. Determine to succeed. Energy and determination will get you through many of the hurdles you will face as a beginning entrepreneur. Be idealistic enough to believe in yourself, but pragmatic enough to examine the realities of your situation.[4]

Part 2. Setting Your Foundations

  1. Brainstorm a great idea. Most businesses start with one compelling idea — whether it’s a service people need, a product that would make life easier, or something that combines both.The business world is full of great ideas (and many not-so-great ones). What will set yours apart is whether you can find a niche need to fill. [5]

You don’t necessarily have to do something revolutionary or brand-new to be successful. You just have to be better at something than your competitors.[6]

You will likely be more successful if you do something you know and love. Going into computer programming might make your business very marketable, but if your heart’s not in it you won’t have the energy to keep yourself going.[7]

If you’re having trouble thinking of an idea, create a list of things about your target market, such as places they shop and things they purchase. Narrow the list down to about three items, keeping cost, manufacturing time, and popularity in mind. Find the easiest, most realistic product you can offer.

  1. Research your market. The key to starting a business is to know whether there is a demand for your product or service. Is what you can offer something that is not being done as well as it could be? Is it a need that doesn’t have enough supply to support demand?[8]

There are many sources of free industry information. Search online for industry and trade associations in your target market and read the articles and press releases they post. You can also get valuable demographic information from census data.[9]

The U.S. Small Business Administration has a website with excellent suggestions on how to come up with venture ideas, conduct market research, how to write a business plan, and how to recruit investors. It is an invaluable source of reliable information if you’re starting a business.

  1. Talk to potential customers/clients. You can have the greatest product or service in the world, but if nobody wants to pay you for it, your business will crash and burn. Talking to others will also help you prepare to persuade investors.[10]

Ask for honest feedback when you talk to potential customers. Your friends may try to be nice to you when you propose your idea, but critical feedback that points out weaknesses or problems will be much more useful, even if it isn’t always easy to hear.

  1. Determine what you can risk. Entrepreneurship is always a game of risk and reward, but often the risk is greater (especially in the beginning). Take stock of all your assets and figure out how much money (and time and energy) you actually have to invest.[11]

In addition to considering your savings, credit, and other sources of capital, consider how long you can afford to go without making a profit. Small businesses are rarely profitable immediately; can you afford to not draw a salary for perhaps several months or even a few years?

  1. Understand the idea of “acceptable loss. ” According to ‘’Forbes’’, “acceptable loss” is the idea that you should first determine the possible downside of your business venture and then invest only what you can actually afford to lose should your business turn out differently than you’d hoped. This limits the scale of failure if your venture doesn’t work out.[12]
  2. Commit to a goal, not a plan. One of the most important things in becoming an entrepreneur is flexibility. You can’t control everything about your business, and adaptation is vital to survival. If you’re overly committed to a plan, you may sabotage yourself.[13]

Part 3. Writing Your Business Plan

  1. Create a business plan. A business plan typically describes what your company does (whom does it serve? what does it provide?), provides a market analysis, includes a detailed description of the product or service, and projects the expected financial future of your company for the next 3-5 years. If you are hoping to attract investors, they will want to see a detailed, thorough business plan.[14]
  2. Write a company description. This should be a brief summary of what your business does, what needs it satisfies and how, and why it is superior to other ventures of its kind. Be concrete and specific, but keep this short — imagine it as an “elevator pitch”.[15]
  3. Present your market analysis. If you have done good market research, you should be able to talk in specifics about your chosen industry or field, your target consumer market, and your projected market share. This section should be as detailed as possible, as it needs to convince investors that you know what you’re doing.[16]

One of the mistakes many beginning entrepreneurs make is failing to narrow their target market and trying to sell to too wide an audience. While it’s tempting to believe that everyone needs and will love your product or service, the reality is that they won’t. It’s okay to start small.[17]

  1. Include a section on organization and management. Even if your company is only you at this point, use this section to provide information on who owns your company, what their responsibilities are, and how you will structure your business as it expands. (Will you have a board of directors? How will your employees be organized?) Investors want to see that you have thought about the future of your company.[18]
  2. Provide information on your service or product. This is where you can get into the specifics of what exactly your business will provide your customers. What are you going to provide? What need will it fill? What competitive advantages does it have over other similar products?[19]

Provide details from potential customers’ point of view. If you have already talked to potential customers, you should have a good idea what their opinions of your service or product are.

If you are planning to sell a proprietary good or service, include any patent information or other ways you plan to protect your intellectual property. Investors don’t want to invest in a business only to have their product scooped by a competitor.

  1. Describe your marketing and sales strategies. This section will focus on how your business plans to attract and keep customers. How do you plan to reach your target consumers? How will you use marketing to grow your business? Do you already have potential customers lined up, or will you have to start completely from scratch?[20]
  2. Outline a funding request. If you are seeking investors or a bank loan, you will need to state exactly what you need to get your business started. You should include any amount you are investing yourself, how much money you need from your investors, and (most importantly) how you plan to use this funding.[21]

Investors like specifics. A funding request that just says “I need a million dollars” is less likely to be persuasive than a requests that breaks down costs and expenditures.

  1. Outline your financial projections. If you’re just starting out, you won’t have much historical financial data to work with. You should include any collateral you have that can guarantee your loan, but only list what you can truly afford to lose.[22]

You should also include information on prospective financial data. This may seem like simply making up numbers, but it should incorporate the data from your market analysis. How well are your competitors doing? What do their expenditures and cash flows look like? You can use these to help you make projections for your company.

Make sure that your financial projections match the figures in your funding request. If your projections show that you will need $500,000 but you’ve only asked for $200,000, this could suggest to investors that you haven’t done your homework.

  1. Include appendices, if necessary. If you are just starting out, you may want to include other documentation to boost your credibility. Items such as letters of reference that can speak to your qualifications and skills or a credit history may be useful.[23]
  2. Write your executive summary. This actually goes at the very beginning of the business plan, but you’ll need to wait to write this until you’ve thought the rest of the plan out. The executive summary is a “snapshot” of your venture as a whole: its goals, its mission statement, and an introduction to yourself and your company. As a new entrepreneur, you should highlight your background and experience with your chosen product or service. It should be no longer than one page.[24]

Part 4. Preparing Your Pitch

  1. Develop an elevator pitch. This type of pitch is called an elevator pitch because it should be concise and informative enough to let someone know who you are, what your business does, and why they should be interested — all in the time it takes to ride an elevator.

First, consider the problem or need that your venture addresses. This is often effectively stated as a question, which is why TV advertisements often begin with questions such as “Did you know that….” or “Are you tired of…” or “Have you ever had a problem doing…”.

Second, consider how your product or service fixes the issue you’ve identified. This should be no more than 1 or 2 sentences, but should be as specific as possible without getting into jargon.

Third, describe the main benefit of your product or service. This could be a description of how it achieves something for the customer, or how it outperforms your competition.

Finally, consider what you need from investors to get your venture going. This part can be longer, because it needs to express your basic needs, your experience and credentials, and why your investors can trust you to succeed.

Keep your elevator pitch short! Many experts suggest that it should not be longer than one minute. Remember: attention spans are short. Hook your audience quickly, or you may not hook them at all.[25]

  1. Create a PowerPoint that summarizes your business plan. This should summarize all the information in your business plan. You should be able to deliver it, without rushing, in about 15 minutes.[26]
  2. Practice your pitches. You will likely be jittery about pitching your business at first, so get in some practice. You can rehearse delivering your elevator pitch and discussing your business plan with friends, coworkers, and other colleagues.
  3. Ask for feedback. You will probably make mistakes at first. Ask the people you practice with for honest feedback. Were you expressing your ideas clearly? Did you sound nervous? Did you talk too quickly or too slowly? Where do you need to explain more, and are there explanations you could cut?

Part 5. Taking Your Ideas to Others

  1. Network, network, network. Attend trade and industry shows in your field and talk with exhibitors. Join relevant professional associations. Build a strong social network with other entrepreneurs, both online (using social media and professional sites like Linkedin) and in person.[27]

Attending networking events such as local fairs hosted by your chamber of commerce is a great way to connect with other entrepreneurs in your area. These connections can provide you with support, ideas, and opportunities.

Be generous to others. Don’t consider networking with other entrepreneurs only in terms of what they can give you. If you offer advice, ideas, and support to others, they will be more likely to want to help you as well. Nobody likes to feel exploited.

Pay attention to others’ ideas. Even if you’re in direct competition with someone, you can probably still learn from them. You can learn from others’ mistakes as well as their successes, but only if you listen to them.

  1. Develop a strong brand. You need to be able to effectively communicate your business to others in person and online, and that means having a strong brand presence. Professional-looking business cards, a website, and social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, etc.) that provide information about your business in an attractive, cohesive way will help show that you’re serious about your venture. It will also give people the opportunity to look you up and learn more about you.

Look at the websites and branding of some successful companies. See what they have in common, what they do that’s interesting, and try to emulate that formula with your own brand. (Never steal or copy someone else’s intellectual property, though.)

Consider starting a professional blog, especially if you are in a service field. This can be an excellent way to show off your experience and ideas and help investors and customers get to know you.

  1. Ask network contacts to refer you to investors. Chances are, you know someone who knows someone who’s looking for something to invest in. Many investors won’t consider “blind submissions” (business plans sent without invitation) but are happy to hear a pitch from an entrepreneur recommended by someone they already know and trust.[28]

Remember to return this favor whenever possible. People are more likely to want to help you if they feel that you will help them when and if you can. Goodwill is essential for an entrepreneur to have.

  1. Acquire investors. Pitch your idea to any potential investor to get money to start your company. The type of business you’re starting will help determine who wants to invest in it. Networking is an excellent way to hear about investing tips and opportunities.

Keep in mind that venture capitalists (often referred to in the business world as “VCs”) are focused on two things: how much money investing in your business will make them, and how soon that profit will happen. While hundreds of thousands of businesses are started every year, only about 500 a year get VCs as investors.[29]

If you are providing a professional service, such as consulting, accounting, law, or medicine, consider forming a partnership with someone who is already established in that profession. Someone who is familiar with your field (and your knowledge of it) may be more likely to invest in your success.

Starting small and pleasing a small number of customers at first is a high-probability way to get there. If you can get your business started without spending a lot of money that might be your best route.

  1. Sell. Sell and distribute your product. If you’re getting revenue, then you’re in business! You’re testing your theories about the market, you’re finding out what really works and what doesn’t, and you’re getting fuel for more ideas and improvements. Stay flexible and keep working hard!

Sources and Citations

  1. http://www.businessinsider.com/what-it-takes-to-become-an-entrepreneur-2013-2
  2. http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/09/02/ten-reasons-to-become-an-entrepreneur/
  3. http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/fail-to-succeed-billionaires/
  4. http://fortune.com/2014/07/30/how-do-i-become-an-entrepreneur/
  5. http://www.businessinsider.com/what-it-takes-to-become-an-entrepreneur-2013-2
  6. http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/09/02/ten-reasons-to-become-an-entrepreneur/
  7. http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/207488
  8. http://fortune.com/2014/07/30/how-do-i-become-an-entrepreneur/
  9. http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/207488
  10. http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericwagner/2013/09/12/five-reasons-8-out-of-10-businesses-fail/
  11. http://fortune.com/2014/07/30/how-do-i-become-an-entrepreneur/
  12. http://www.forbes.com/sites/actiontrumpseverything/2013/02/20/becoming-an-entrepreneur-is-less-scary-than-you-think-a-case-study/
  13. http://fortune.com/2014/07/30/how-do-i-become-an-entrepreneur/
  14. https://www.sba.gov/writing-business-plan
  15. https://www.sba.gov/content/company-description
  16. https://www.sba.gov/content/market-analysis
  17. http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/207488
  18. https://www.sba.gov/content/organization-management
  19. https://www.sba.gov/content/service-or-product-line
  20. https://www.sba.gov/content/marketing-sales-management
  21. https://www.sba.gov/content/marketing-sales-management
  22. https://www.sba.gov/content/financial-projections
  23. https://www.sba.gov/content/appendix
  24. https://www.sba.gov/content/business-plan-executive-summary
  25. http://www.forbes.com/sites/allbusiness/2013/07/09/8-mistakes-entrepreneurs-make-when-pitching-to-investors/
  26. http://www.forbes.com/sites/allbusiness/2013/07/09/8-mistakes-entrepreneurs-make-when-pitching-to-investors/
  27. http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/207488
  28. http://www.forbes.com/sites/allbusiness/2014/08/20/28-common-mistakes-startups-make-when-pitching-to-investors/
  29. http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-get-started-as-an-entrepreneur-2013-8
  30. http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericwagner/2013/09/12/five-reasons-8-out-of-10-businesses-fail/

Resource: http://www.wikihow.com/Become-an-Entrepreneur

Article 5. The 17 Skills Required to Succeed as an Entrepreneur

There’s a question that haunts every would-be entrepreneur – and many actual entrepreneurs – every day: “How do I know if I have what it takes?” Yes, the Internet is full of ideas, tips, tricks and even awesome quotes. But do you actually have the skills? Find out — here are 17 skills every entrepreneur must have to be successful.

  1. The ability to manage money.

Very simply, if you can’t manage money, you can’t manage a business. Do you know where your money goes each month? Do you live off less than you earn? If the answer to these questions is no, you’ll struggle to manage a business budget as well.

  1. The ability to raise money.

Once you can manage money, can you get more? In order to get investment, you need to not only understand where to get money, but how to convincingly make a case that your business is a good risk as well.

  1. The ability to relieve stress.

Stress is no laughing matter. If you allow yourself to get frustrated and upset by setbacks, you’ll struggle as an entrepreneur. Learning how to use stress to your benefit is essential.

  1. The ability to be productive.

This is a big topic, because there’s no one right way to be productive that works for everyone. Learn about your peak energy times, your routines, and the productivity tools that work for you in order to create your own plan for success.

  1. The ability to make entrepreneur friends.

According to entrepreneur Jim Rohn, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” So who do you want to be? Improve your odds of success by finding entrepreneur friends who will be able to understand your struggles and give you much needed insight.

  1. The ability to identify strengths and weaknesses.

As a business owner, you don’t need to be perfect at everything. You do, however, have to understand where you’re strong and where you’re weak. Assessing this will inform everything from the business decisions you make, to the partners you bring on, and to the employees you hire.

  1. The ability to hire effective people.

Speaking of hiring, this is easily one of the most important skills any entrepreneur could have. Having great people on your team will give you access to new strengths, while also building a company culture that people want to be a part of. Hiring the right people is essential to get where you want to go.

  1. The ability to train new staff.

When you bring on someone new, a robust onboarding process will ensure that they know what to do and not do. Not only will this help keep your company moving the correct direction, it will increase the commitment level of good employees and give you grounds to follow up on misconduct.

  1. The ability to manage staff.

Once you have the right people, you need to manage them well. Early on in your business’s growth, you’ll be everyone’s manager, so it pays to be effective. If you don’t already know how to manage, take the time to learn how to motivate, encourage, and develop your staff.

  1. The ability to conduct basic SEO.

In the beginning, you’ll be doing the work of every business department. With that in mind, do you understand basic SEO and digital marketing? If not, you’ll want to brush up on this area before you launch a business.

  1. The Ability to A/B split test.

A split test is a simple process that involves running a scenario two ways to test a possible change. It’s commonly used to make websites effective, but it can be used in many areas of project management and marketing as well.

  1. The ability to connect via social networking.

Along with SEO, social networks represent a key part of any business’s marketing strategy. Not only will you need to understand each platform, you’ll want to arm yourself with the best strategies for getting your startup and personal brand noticed on each one.

  1. The ability to focus on your customers.

To be clear, without customers, you have no business. Make sure all of your pitches, products, and services are focused on actual customer needs. If you don’t know what these are, research and ask questions so that you’re able to give great customer service.

  1. The ability to close a sale.

Letting customers know you understand their pain is important, but asking for the sale is where many entrepreneurs get stuck. If you’re nervous about this step, try enrolling in a sales workshop to learn these much-needed skills.

  1. The ability to spot new trends.

Business moves fast, so you’ve got to have the ability to see changes coming in your industry. Make it a point to keep up to date on new startups and the advances in technology that could be poised to disrupt your field.

  1. The ability to deal with failure.

No business venture is a straight line to success; knowing how to deal with ups and downs is essential. Remember that every successful person out there failed dozens of times before getting a win. Failure isn’t the end – it’s just a data point on the way to success.

  1. The desire to improve your world.

In the end, the best and most enduring motivation is to make a positive change in the world. When you focus your business and your success on that top priority, you’ll find yourself ready to weather any storm to meet the goal.

Don’t let this list intimidate or discourage you. Being an entrepreneur is a big task, but all of these skills can be learned. If you notice one you’re lacking in, go get it! Your eventual success depends on it.

Resource: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/242327

Article 6. 5 Skills Every Successful Entrepreneur Must Master

While the debate rages on as to whether entrepreneurs are born or made, one thing can’t be disputed: polishing certain skills can help you be a better entrepreneur. Whether you’re already great at the following skills or could use a few pointers, these are the areas you should focus on for success.

  1. Communication. When you’re a solopreneur, you may think communication is less of an issue, since you don’t have staff to interact with. But you’ve still got to maintain clear lines of communication with your customers via email and phone, as well as ensure that the message you send through your website and social-media profiles is the one you want.

If you do have staff, communication is even more important. After all, poor communication skills can lead to decreased productivity with your staff, as well as low morale and opportunity for them to make more mistakes if they don’t understand your instructions.

Tips for improvement: Even if you’re not a skilled communicator, paying attention to how people react to you can clue you in to how well (or not) you’re reaching them. Getting puzzled looks whenever you speak? Ask the person you’re talking to if what you said makes sense, and give them the opportunity to ask for clarification.

  1. Branding (personal and business). Whether you’re striving to brand your business or looking to establish yourself as an expert in your industry, knowing how to do so online is essential to your success.

Branding starts with being active on social media, and is shaped through content publication, whether on or off your website. Be aware, though, that poor content can lead to negative branding. It’s important to know how to deliver content and resources that your target audience wants and will find valuable.

Tips for improvement: Not a born writer, or feel like social media is too difficult? Take it in bite-sized portions. Start by writing one blog post a week, or hire a writer to do it for you. Ramp up as you gain confidence, and you’ll boost your following and web traffic. These articles provide fantastic resources, as well: “5 Ways to Build Your Brand in Short Chunks of Time” and “The Definitive Guide to Marketing Your Business Online.”

  1. Sales. You may not identify with salespeople, but the fact is, if you run a business, you’re involved in sales. You might have a sales team that handles all of your company’s sales, but every time you deliver your elevator pitch about your business, negotiate with a vendor, or even just persuade anyone to do anything, you’re tapping into sales skills.

Tips for improvement: There are plenty of strategies for selling without selling. Think about conversations you have with potential customers. The ones that resulted in a sale probably weren’t really hard pitches to get them to buy from you. They probably centered around helping the potential customer find a solution to a problem.

If you focus on helping, rather than selling, you’ll feel more confident about the sales process, and make more sales, too.

  1. Strategy. It’s easy to think about the “right-now” aspect of your business, because the results are easy to see. But what about the bigger picture, long-term challenges and goals? How often are you thinking about those?

Without a constant eye on your business’ strategy and skilled assessment of that strategy relative to the industry and your competition, you can’t hope to grow it over time and remain competitive in the marketplace.

Tips for improvement: Dedicate time to simply dreaming about what you want for your business. Where would you like to take it? What’s your vision for it? Now, how can you get there from here?

Set your goals, then develop an actionable plan to make them a reality. Then, don’t forget about those goals. Keep them front and center to everything you do.

  1. Finance. While you don’t need to be a CPA to run a successful business, you should still have a decent understanding of your finances, profit margins, cash flow and funding. The more comfortable you are with all of these numbers, the more confident you’ll be, and the better decisions you’ll make.

If you have an accountant to handle all the number crunching, that’s great, but don’t use them as a crutch to keep you from digging in and really understanding where your money’s going. It’s your duty to rein in costs, optimize efficiency and find ways to grow revenue.

Tips for improvement: Start by spending some time in your accounting system. You can learn a lot about your profit and loss, average client revenue and expenses from reports. A tool that helps you visualize your revenue and costs is especially helpful (I use Godaddy Bookkeeping and find it very useful).

Resource: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/236128

Article 7. The Top Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs

What does it take to be successful starting your own small business? Here are the 8 skills every successful entrepreneur has in common:

Resiliency. The ability to weather the ups and downs of any business since it never goes exactly the way the business plan described it. This skill enables the entrepreneur to keep going when the outlook is bleak.

Focus. After setting a long term vision, knowing how to “laser focus” on the very next step to get closer to the ultimate goal. There are so many distracting forces when trying to build a business that this skill is not easy to master.

Invest for the long-term. Most entrepreneurs are not patient and focus only on what comes next, rather than where the company needs to go. Overnight success may take 7 to 10 years. Entrepreneurs need to stop, pause and plan on a quarterly basis.

Find and manage people. Only by learning to leverage employees, vendors and other resources will an entrepreneur build a scalable company. They need to learn to network to meet the right people. Entrepreneurs strive to guarantee they will get honest and timely feedback from all these sources.

Sell. Every entrepreneur is a sales person whether they want to be or not. They are either selling their ideas, products or services to customers, investors or employees. They work to be there when customers are ready to buy. Alternately, they know how to let go and move on when they are not.

Learn. Successful entrepreneurs realize they don’t know everything and the market is constantly changing. They stay up to date on new systems, technology, and industry trends.

Self-reflection. Allow downtime to reflect on the past and plan for the future. Always working only leads to burnout physically and emotionally.

Self-reliance: While there is a lot of help for the entrepreneur, in the end, they need to be resourceful enough to depend on themselves.

Resource: https://www.forbes.com/sites/aileron/2013/11/26/the-top-skills-every-entrepreneur-needs/#585a6ad076e3

Article 8. 4 Fundamental Entrepreneurial Skills That Can Transform Your Business

Entrepreneurs make the world work. While everyone else learns theories in school, entrepreneurs figure things out in the real world. Whether you run a big or small company, it takes entrepreneurial skills to keep things on track. You can’t learn everything in school. Some things need to be learned by putting your nose to the grindstone in real-world situations.

If your business is in need of a transformation, there are four major entrepreneurial skills that can make it happen.

  1. Attention to detail.

Okay, I’ll admit, that it sounds a tad cliche. You probably wrote “detail-oriented” on your resume at some point, right? In spite of its overuse, attention to detail is a big deal.

Why? As Josh Bersin points out: “We’re defined by our mistakes.”

You avoid mistakes by, you got it, paying attention to detail. Paying attention to detail is the foundation of business. Why? Because Reporting, forecasting, and responding to emergencies requires a keen focus on small things

When IT and security pays attention, security breaches are noticed more quickly and can be fixed more efficiently. Team TISI +% members who are paying attention — to details, nonetheless! — can notice trends and respond faster than the competition. As work gets more complicated, it gets harder to pay close attention to detail though.

Production and quality are among the most important KPIs for businesses. Paying close attention to detail improves quality across the board.

Knowing when, where, and how to transform your business is determined using data analysis. A focus on these details is how you proactively identify and react to obstacles. So, basically, you need to hone in on the details if you want to level up your game as an entrepreneur.

  1. Communication

Entrepreneurs have to know how to communicate to succeed. Explaining your brand and company to investors, clients, and partners is a vital part of running a startup.

Susan Tardanico, CEO of The Authentic Leadership Alliance, explains: “Effective leaders share five important habits to improve their communication.”

Body language and visibility are huge parts of communication. When sharing scary or negative news, confidence and understanding can be portrayed through your body language. You can also ramp up people’s confidence by expressing your own excitement.

Lifehacks to improve your communication skills include practicing, focus, tailoring your message to your audience, and actually listening. Most of these tactics are based on psychology. When you understand psychology and why people think the way they do, you can communicate much more efficiently.

Open communication throughout the organization is how large-scale companies keep going. It’s also how smaller teams outmaneuver larger, established companies. Communicating a common vision, goals, and direction to your team makes pivots and changes much easier.

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  1. Persistence

Persistence is even considered by many to be more important than planning in leading to success. Need an example? The iPhone and iPod weren’t released until Steve Jobs returned to Apple after being fired from the company he founded. The guy had persistence, that’s for sure.

No matter what path you choose, you’re going to encounter obstacles that fail, make you want to quit, or break down in some other manner. Persistence is continuing to push past that, and it separates the winners from the rest.

Successful entrepreneurs keep going even when they’re losing in the short-term because they know that’s what it takes. Everything must break down before being built back up. The persistence of leaders keeps business operations running and ensures pivots are made and procedures implemented to sustain success.

It’s important to understand the difference between persistence and stubbornness though.  Continuing to pour resources into a losing effort with no direction is a bad premise.

  1. Risk taking

Entrepreneurs are known for their higher-than-average risk appetite. Because they’re not established yet, entrepreneurs often take many more risks than larger companies (or non-entrepreneurial people), but the risks aren’t random.

Calculating risk and being willing to execute is the secret sauce of successful entrepreneurs.

Any transformation is a risk, and remaining cool, calm, and stable before, during, and after keeps things running stress-free.

Not everyone on your team needs to be a risk-taker, but they’re invaluable additions to any staff, especially toward the top. You want your c-suite to have the balls to make decisions others often won’t.

The ability to act in the face of risk is quality not everyone has. People often choose working for corporations instead of becoming entrepreneurs because they’re averse to risk, so encouraging risks in a supportive environment is necessary to transform the culture. If you’re willing to take risks, you can transform your company.

Conclusion

Entrepreneurs need those great qualities that help them create and build successful startups.  When you look at the reality of today’s entrepreneurial world, it’s not the super smart, super educated, or super connected entrepreneurs who succeed.

Instead, it’s the ones who obsess over details, who communicate with intensity, who carry on despite odds, and who take major risks. Think of any successful entrepreneur. Can you see these qualities reflected in their work and life? The good news is, any entrepreneur can learn to acquire these skills through awareness and practice. The even better news? These skills will allow you to transform your business.

Resource: https://www.forbes.com/sites/neilpatel/2016/09/09/4-fundamental-entrepreneurial-skills-that-can-transform-your-business/#2f3e949454d3

Article 9. 50 Inspirational Entrepreneurial Quotes

No one ever said it was easy being an entrepreneur. Whether you’re in the early stages of your statrup, just secured funding for your startup or you are ready for product launch, there will always be those three components when you ask yourself if this whole entrepreneur thing is worth it. Instead of giving up and throwing-in the proverbial white towel, keep your head up and look to the following 50 quotes to inspire and motivate you during those tough patches.

  1. “The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.” –Nolan Bushnell, entrepreneur.
  2. “Do. Or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda, Jedi Master.
  3. “To any entrepreneur: if you want to do it, do it now. If you don’t, you’re going to regret it.” – Catherine Cook, co-founder of MyYearbook.
  4. “It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.” – Scott Belsky, co-founder of Behance.
  5. “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game’s winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that’s why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan, NBA Hall of Famer.
  6. “There’s nothing wrong with staying small. You can do big things with a small team.” – Jason Fried, founder of 37signal.
  7. “Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard.” – Guy Kawasaki, founder of AllTop.
  8. “If you just work on stuff that you like and you’re passionate about, you don’t have to have a master plan with how things will play out.” – Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook.
  9. “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese proverb.
  10. “Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” – Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister.
  11. “There’s lots of bad reasons to start a company. But there’s only one good, legitimate reason, and I think you know what it is: it’s to change the world.” – Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote.
  12. “The secret to successful hiring is this: look for the people who want to change the world.” – Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.
  13. “The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” – Vince Lombardi, head coach of the Green Bay Packers (1959-1967).
  14. “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company.
  15. “If you’re not a risk taker, you should get the hell out of business.” – Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s.
  16. “Watch, listen, and learn. You can’t know it all yourself. Anyone who thinks they do is destined for mediocrity.” – Donald Trump, chairman of The Trump Organization, the Trump Plaza Associates, LLC.
  17. “Always deliver more than expected.” —Larry Page, co-founder of Google.
  18. “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.” Mark Twain, author.
  19. “You shouldn’t focus on why you can’t do something, which is what most people do. You should focus on why perhaps you can, and be one of the exceptions.” – Steve Case, co-founder of AOL.
  20. “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein, physicist.
  21. “Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practical.” – Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks.
  22. “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” – Steve Jobs, co-founder and CEO of Apple.
  23. “Be undeniably good. No marketing effort or social media buzzword can be a substitute for that.” – Anthony Volodkin, founder of HypeMachine..
  24. “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney, co-founder of the Walt Disney Company.
  25. “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” Wayne Gretzky, NHL Hall of Famer.
  26. “Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” – Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group.
  27. “It’s almost always harder to raise capital than you thought it would be, and it always takes longer. So plan for that.” – Richard Harroch, Venture Capitalist.
  28. “If you don’t know what to do with your life, do something that saves lives. The world is full of of people in need, be the part of their life that fills that need.” – Sanjeev Saxena.
  29. “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius.
  30. “I hate how many people think, “glass half-empty” when their glass is really four-fifths full. I’m grateful when I have one drop in the glass because I know exactly what to do with it.” – Gary Vaynerchuk, co-founder and CEO of VaynerMedia.
  31. “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.” – Babe Ruth, Major League Baseball Hall of Famer.
  32. “For all of the most important things, the timing always sucks. Waiting for a good time to quit your job? The stars will never align and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time. The universe doesn’t conspire against you, but it doesn’t go out of its way to line up the pins either. Conditions are never perfect. “Someday” is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it’s important to you and you want to do it “eventually,” just do it and correct course along the way.”- Timothy Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Work Week.
  33. “Fail often so you can succeed sooner.” – Tom Kelley, Ideo partner.
  34. “We are currently not planning on conquering the world.” – Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google.
  35. “Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.” – Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter.
  36. “You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.” Beverly Sills, opera singer.
  37. “The media wants overnight successes (so they have someone to tear down). Ignore them. Ignore the early adopter critics that never have enough to play with. Ignore your investors that want proven tactics and predictable instant results. Listen instead to your real customers, to your vision and make something for the long haul. Because that’s how long it’s going to take, guys. – Seth Godin, author, entrepreneur, marketer, and public speaker.
  38. “When you cease to dream you cease to live” – Malcolm Forbes, chairman and editor in chief of Forbes Magazine.
  39. “Don’t worry about funding if you don’t need it. Today it’s cheaper to start a business than ever.”- Noah Everett, founder Twitpic.
  40. “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” – Martin Luther King, Jr., pastor, activist, humanitarian and Civil Rights leader.
  41. “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” – Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft.
  42. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison, inventor.
  43. “Entrepreneurship is neither a science nor an art. It is a practice.” – Peter Drucker, management consultant, educator, and author.
  44. “In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative, original thinker unless you can also sell what you create.” – David Ogilvy, co-founder of Ogilvy & Mather.
  45. “It doesn’t matter how many times you fail. It doesn’t matter how many times you almost get it right. No one is going to know or care about your failures, and neither should you. All you have to do is learn from them and those around you because all that matters in business is that you get it right once. Then everyone can tell you how lucky you are.” – Mark Cuban, Chairman of AXS TV, Owner of Landmark Theaters.
  46. “Success is how high you bounce after you hit bottom.” – General George Patton.
  47. “If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.” – Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn.
  48. “Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.” – Zig Ziglar, author, salesman, and motivational speaker.
  49. “Don’t try to be original, just try to be good.” —Paul Rand, graphic designer.
  50. “I’m not afraid of dying, I’m afraid of not trying.” – Jay Z, musician.
  51. Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve. – Dr. Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich.

Use a few of these quotes for a mantra, carry a hard copy of this list in your pocket, but remember, you have to find inspiration where you can and be the inspiration for yourself.

Resource: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/240047

Article 10. Entrepreneurship education

Entrepreneurship is a skill that can be learnt. You don’t have to be born an entrepreneur to run a successful business. You can become one by developing an entrepreneurial mind set and skills. As Europe needs more entrepreneurs creating jobs, it’s necessary to support this type of education in all EU countries. The main objective of the European Commission is to promote entrepreneurship education and stress its importance at all levels from primary school to university and beyond.

What is entrepreneurship education?

Entrepreneurship education prepares people to be responsible and enterprising individuals. It helps people develop the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary to achieve the goals they set out for themselves. Evidence also shows that people with entrepreneurial education are more employable.

The European Entrepreneurship Competence Framework proposes a shared definition of entrepreneurship as a competence. The framework develops 15 competences along an 8-level progression model and proposes a comprehensive list of 442 learning outcomes.

Why is entrepreneurship education important?

Young people with entrepreneurship education are more likely to set up their own companies. Up to 20% of students who participate in a mini-company programme in secondary school will later start their own company. That is up to five times higher than in the general population. Businesses started by these students are also more ambitious.

How to learn to be an entrepreneur?

Entrepreneurial mindsets and skills can be:

-effectively built only through hands-on, real-life experiences, and project work;

-taught across all subjects as a separate subject or combined with another;

-important for ‘intrepreneurs’ who fulfil the role of entrepreneurs, leaders, and innovators within a group or organisation;

-promoted beyond educational institutions to businesses and the wider community.

Key issues and challenges for entrepreneurship education in the EU:

-a good strategy at policy level;

-training of teachers – see a Guide for Educators (available in all languages);

-assessment of entrepreneurial skills learnt by young people.

Commission actions and support to entrepreneurship education

Education policies are the competence of EU countries but the Commission acts as a catalyst and a facilitator to support:

-making entrepreneurship education a basic feature in education systems;

-sharing of ideas, knowledge, experience, and best practices among countries, stakeholders, and practitioners;

-developing models, common instruments, and projects with a high added value at EU level.

Resource: https://ec.europa.eu/growth/smes/promoting-entrepreneurship/support/education_en

Article 11: What It Means To Be A Social Entrepreneur

Necessity is the mother of invention. That’s what we learnt when we were younger and it, quite aptly, describes and defines social entrepreneurship. Social entrepreneurship is driven not so much by profit as by societal needs that the entrepreneur has identified and is passionate about. So here is my take on what it means to be a social entrepreneur.

A community need

Every business enterprise addresses specific needs for profit, otherwise why have a business in the first place? But a social enterprise needs to fulfill a much more basic community need, or even a subliminal one, and it may be set up for-profit or not-for-profit.

Examples abound around the world– education for employability, improving water quality, improving crop yield, microfinance to support women’s employment among others.

The social entrepreneur can start with needs around his/her region, but with a more global platform in mind. It is important to get the community involved quite early for success. Not only does this get your message out sooner, but it also creates the market for your product/services and, possibly, attract other team members/investors, if there is a synergy in terms of vision and goals.

Passion over profit

Like any other business, social entrepreneurs should leverage business techniques to ensure operational efficiency and ensure that financial needs are met, i.e. expenses such as salaries, etc. But the overriding driving force has to be passion with a societal focus.

There are a lot of aspects that require thinking like a typical businessperson. As entrepreneurs understand and work with the problems and their vision for solving them, they will discover new avenues, new challenges and it is important to evolve the business to ensure that they stay with their vision to make it work and achieve the goals set out.

For example, when I set up GRAS Academy as a for-profit organization, it was to help underprivileged youth in India get vocational education that would lead to a job. Lack of employable youth was the societal issue that we wanted to address, with employment being the end result. However, we discovered quite early that while we could fund and run our courses and find companies to offer jobs, not all the youth we trained were motivated to do more for themselves, take advantage of this opportunity, and enter the job market. To succeed, we had to rethink our premise, creating filters to ensure that we were training the right candidates, i.e. those that sought employment.

Don’t ignore funding or profits

The business may be driven by a social need, but as a social entrepreneur, it is important to ensure that there is a clear vision, plan, and enough funding in place to deliver on that vision. After all, there will be expenses. Many of the world’s best-known social enterprises are for-profit, including the well-known Grameen Bank.

Social entrepreneurs need to work harder to get funding since normal sources such as bank funding are not typically available. Other sources have to be looked at, such as CSR funds from corporates, funds from family and friends. There are PE firms that could fund social enterprises, but that’s after they have proof of concept, and, often, the entrepreneur needs funds to reach that stage. The biggest support can come from government agencies, if there is a match between what they have been set up to do and what they entrepreneur has set out to achieve.

At the end of the day, it’s still a business. The difference is it’s not solely for wealth creation, but to primarily serve a societal need. It means that the entrepreneur has to find ways to ensure he or she delivers on the needs of the community without compromising on delivering a return to its investors and shareholders.

Resource: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/281214

Article 12. Why is entrepreneurship so important in education

How to ensure that education delivers the right skills for the labour market and the growth of entrepreneurship, while delivering support to young people to secure their economic future and enable businesses to grow and create new jobs. Can we learn entrepreneurship and why is it so important?

Let’s have a closer look to this issue from three different angles.

Labour market

There is no need to pay a lot of attention here to the benefits of entrepreneurship for the labour market and the economy in general. We all know that self-employment is a powerful tool to create work and to boost the economy. We also know that an entrepreneurial attitude is nowadays a necessity, not only for entrepreneurs but also for employees.

Benefits for school management

In many countries schools are nowadays run like companies. While public funding is in many countries decreasing, there is an increasing pressure on schools or colleges to be accessible, affordable and accountable for producing successful students. This means that management, teachers etc. need to be able to tap the critical skills of entrepreneurship to tackle and resolve issues of enrolment, retention and student success. Thus, making the best use of resources has become a big challenge that school management is facing today and it is exactly what entrepreneurs are doing to run their business with success.

Benefits for learners

To increase student engagement and success – and favourably impact completion rates – students need to be equipped with the perseverance and determination of an entrepreneurial mindset.

If education equips students with an entrepreneurial mindset at the outset of their careers, they will be more engaged and take ownership of their own success. Moreover students who were involved in ways of entrepreneurial learning were in most cases rather enthusiast about this, as they found that this kind of learning was more fun and was experienced as more meaningful than the traditional ways of learning (these were the experiences of the learners that were involved in the EU project Edison).

Good news

The good news is that you can learn entrepreneurial skills and that it is not a matter of being a born entrepreneur or not. Skills like critical thinking, problem solving, communication, risk bearing, working in a team and self-reliance are not only natural gifts, but they can be learnt.

How this can be achieved differs enormously and there are very many ways to do so, but it is certainly more comprehensive than just adding the subject ‘entrepreneurship’ to the time table. It requires vision and a thoughtful strategy of staff recruitment and training.

Good examples

There is a growing number of schools and school systems in- and outside Europe, that are moving in this direction. The TES project is one of the largest entrepreneurship education initiatives in Europe, aiming at supporting teachers‘ professional development in applying the entrepreneurial learning in several subjects and learning environments (primary, secondary, upper secondary and vocational schools).

Entrepreneurial learning is also a very powerful tool to improve the access of disadvantaged groups to the job market as it was demonstrated by several initiatives, e.g. the projects of the German organisation ‘ChancenGleich’.

The already mentioned Edison project with partners from the UK, Netherlands, Ireland, Austria, Italy and Spain is focussing on training the trainers, as this is a crucial prerequisite for teaching entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial acting.

Common features for entrepreneurship education (EE) are that school management is committed to advance entrepreneurship in their communities, create an entrepreneurial culture in their schools or colleges and in some cases support local start-ups and small businesses. All this requires close cooperation between the different stakeholders in a region and the willingness to enter innovative learning instead of sticking to traditional learning pathways.

Resource: http://www.ee-hub.eu/blog/356-education/21-why-is-entrepreneurship-so-important-in-education.html

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