Tag Archive For "entrepreneurship"
India: Opening Up Opportunities
Finding a job can be a daunting task; building a long-term career seems even more impossible. Imagine your typical Toronto job search and how competitive it is because every budding business major, scientist, lawyer, philanthropist, and writer is looking for their one shot. Now imagine doing that in a country of 1.3 billion people.(more…)
Entrepreneur Culture: How Singapore Became One of the Hottest Entrepreneurial Scenes
Small republic. Big Ideas.
Singapore; a country so small, yet so highly regarded for their spectacular cultivation of entrepreneurial spirit. Regarded by The Economist as “The World’s Most Tightly Packed Entrepreneurial Ecosystem”, Singapore has truly shown the world what it is capable of. Just a few years ago, Singapore’s name was rarely mentioned within the entrepreneurial scene; however, the brilliant republic managed to completely turn this around, rendering it as one of the global entrepreneurial hotspots. How did Singapore do this?
In this month’s issue, one of the overriding themes, is the idea of entrepreneurship as personal growth. To me entrepreneurship, and in particular social entrepreneurship is really about growing, growing what you do and how you do it to become better today than we were yesterday. It is about creating new ways of doing, and challenging accepted practices.
Do I need a business plan? I cannot tell you how often I get this question. Early in my career, I was an avid supporter of Business Plans. Not the business plan itself per se, but the planning process. Planning in itself is crucial to the success of a business-or so I thought. However, over the years I have become more of a cynic.
The team at Lucha Comics has a strong history in working with entrepreneurs. With stories ranging from horror to history, why not a story about a group of everyday entrepreneurs working hard to get by? It was so obvious that at first we weren’t sure where to begin. Now that we have our core group of characters ready to go, what do you think? Imagine Friends meets the daily struggle of the entrepreneur, and you have Entrepreneur: The Comic Book. We hope to have our first issue out soon, and of course you’ll get to see it here first, on the social entrepreneur.
As more people became unemployed during the recession of the late 2000s, more people turned to entrepreneurship than ever before.
The challenge is keeping those businesses open. How can we better support entrepreneurs?
More businesses exited both the goods and services markets in 2009 than survived. 1 in 2 businesses surviving is NOT good enough.
As advisors, our job is to both educate and mentor new entrepreneurs. We educate job seekers, but do little for new entrepreneurs. It’s time to open up and start talking about the challenges entrepreneurs face. If we can save even a few, our economy becomes all the more diverse for it. Let’s focus on changing the numbers, empowering entrepreneurs, and becoming better business advisers.
Do You Really Love Your Business?
One of the things I never learnt in school was how to be a psychologist. Over the years, I took psychology courses, but with a graduate and a professional designation, neither of which are in psychology, I am very ill equipped to deal with psychological issues or offer any kind of advice. Yet when Entrepreneurs come to me, confused about why their business is NOT growing, why they are stuck, I cannot help but notice their need to talk to someone, anyone who will listen to them talk about their business.(more…)
Over the last decade, start-up initiatives have ruled the landscape. From high tech incubators to national initiatives and small business boot camps, the chorus reigns loud and clear: we need to encourage more startups. Small business, the saviour of economic woe, freer of the labour oppressed and solution to every problem of our modern time is the new demi-god and those of us so lucky to serve at its altar, must bear witness to the life-changing effects it has on our lives.
Start-up culture is a global movement, focused on encouraging small business development. Its homogeneity is ubiquitous, and its reach all encompassing. It has infiltrated national policy & creates soundbites for politicians interested in furthering their careers. It exists in nearly every sector, from the not for profit to banking, but its altar exists in the world of high tech.
Leaner, faster, stronger. This is the new mantra of business, and its gods are the high tech millionaires and billionaires, generally under 30, mainly male and very intelligent. Priests serving this deity abound. Cloaked under the auspices of “consultants”, these priests and priestesses of modern technology advise, write, speak and work to develop a culture that is focused on birthing small businesses and getting more people on a path to salvation.
There is however, a fallacy in all of this. We have a culture so focused on start-up and we do little or nothing to help people once they have a business. Anyone who has ever run a business can tell you, the hardest thing is not starting a business; the hardest day you will ever have is when you finally open the doors. This is when the real work begins.
Start-up culture is driven and focused on youth. The language it uses, the time frames it operates in, and the adjectives: leaner, faster, stronger, are adjectives of the young, or those that want to be young. The focus is on building a multi-million dollar business as quickly as possible. We focus on maximizing market penetration, and increasing shareholder returns. Our definitions of value are not long-term temporal, they are immediate.
The trouble with all of this is we only focus on the successes. We only see the tech millionaire and not the million others that never gain notoriety, fame or fortune. We have not created a start-up culture or system that is self-sustaining and business strengthening. We have not encouraged the growth of business but rather the proliferation of start-ups. The facts are staggering. Over 90% of tech start-ups fail; 75% fail to pay back investors and many successful tech entrepreneurs have failed once (or many times) before being successful. High failure rates with small business is nothing new. Consider that over 75% of restaurants fail within 5 years, nearly 90% within 8 years. Why do they Fail? They do not pay attention to their customers, the quality of their product decreases, and they run into financial trouble. This is the same for all small businesses.
It is time to stop the start-up culture, and move towards a culture of long-term sustainability, growth and shareholder value that is NOT quarter to quarter, but year to year, and decade over decade. This is real entrepreneurship and community building.