4.5 Tips to Create a Successful Entrepreneurship Program
388 000 000 entrepreneurs are estimated to be engaged in starting and running new business in 2011/2012 according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (Babson College, 2012). The word “entrepreneur” often brings the image of an undereducated visionary with a brilliant idea that will make him rich in the blinking of an eye. Statistics quoted by Prof. Brush from Babson College say that undereducated individuals have 7% to survive the market if they have no experience in the industry and this percentage may go up to 48% if they have substantial experience and network.
Having completed a number of entrepreneurial courses I was trying to figure out a proper framework that I can even train my own master group with. Recently an article was brought to my attention, named “Essential Tips for Designing Successful Entrepreneurship Educational Programs” and delivered by the Institute of International Education.
Here are the four major construction blocks according to Emil Levy, manager of the Bulgarian Young Leaders Program:
1. Experimental learning
Reading books is essential but burning books down to action is a must in the world of entrepreneurship nowadays. With the fast changing environment the market may change between the moment you grab that book to the moment you finish it.
2. Embrace failure
Here is a quote I adore: “Real entrepreneurs wear their failures as badges of honor (Joseph Aoun). If you haven’t read “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries finish this article and go find the book. You have to learn how to benefit from small failures and pivot your venture based on the validated learning process.
3. Create an entrepreneurship ecosystem
The milestone for every starting entrepreneur is his ability to deal with people – co-founders, co-workers, clients, media, etc. This is always tough as per definition an entrepreneur has an ego that made him believe he can do it against all odds at first place.
4. “Patience, young Jedi”
If you are smart enough to set realistic goals, you might have the urge to succeed overnight. This expectation may kill your business and your ego. So take it easy and let your idea mature together with you, your team and your target group.
0,5. The Missing Flavor
I was thinking what I miss in this framework as well as in all the entrepreneurship programs I have completed so far – the psychological aspect of motivation is almost always omitted. It’s easy to get into business with the wrong mind setup and it’s even easier to get out of business when your expectations are not aligned with reality. Come to think of it:
1) "Experiential learning" takes a lot of time and needs handling of an overwhelming volume of information. Giving up is often an easy escape.
2) "Value of failure" sounds fancy but the first few falls can really discourage you to move on... unless you have a higher reason to do it!
3) "Ecosystem and community" can only be created by people who share the same goals with you. Make sure that your goals do not interfere with your moral engine.
4) "Patience" is nothing more than learning to say "no" when there is a deeper "yes" burning within. What’s your “Yes” going to be?
How would you rate the proposed framework? Leave a comment and share this article to raise awareness about entrepreneurship in your country.