The Millennials are making the career choice of being an entrepreneur.
Promoting entrepreneurship as a viable career option and supporting self-employment on an higher educational campus has both community and economic relevance. The role of higher educational campuses to nurture and develop the entrepreneurial and innovative talent is foundation to creating the next generation within our community. The trend is for millennial University students to be empowered to come out of university with an understanding of entrepreneurship, with a view that these skills and knowledge allow them to make informed life choices.
Our Millennial Entrepreneurs understand how to start new businesses and take on the risk and rewards of being an founder. Entrepreneurs are the dreamers who are fuelled by the desire to pioneer, lead, innovate and invent disruptive technologies and products. The tech savvy millennial wants to work the way then want, the hours they want make the opportunities they want.
In the 1980s we saw a massive increase in self employed and now their children are following the footsteps or the desire of their parents and opted for a career that was decided by their elders. However, the opening up of the world economy during the 1990’s and the great advances in tech field has had far reaching impact on the way business was done world over.
Millennial Entrepreneurs Motivation
These momentous changes are opening up new business creation tools and unexplored business models for the young and ambitious who were not satisfied being put in a single career for their entire life. Young people are drawn towards entrepreneurship because:
- The desire to be their own boss and have better control
- The motivation to take risks in the changed global environment where unexplored new opportunities were present
- The ambition to develop and execute a plan right from the ground level
- The aim to do well financially and take their growth trajectory to unprecedented level
New Venture Creation (NVC) Programmes are available to equip nascent entrepreneurs with the skills necessary to start a scalable business. These university degrees have been developed by entrepreneurs to support Millennial Entrepreneurs on the entrepreneurial journey, and to develop the entrepreneur within alongside an in-depth understanding of how to start and run a business.
Students will be in a class with like-minded Millennial Entrepreneurs developing a strong network of entrepreneurs. Throughout the degree, the focus will progressively move from entrepreneurial mindset, creativity, venture feasibility and marketing, to business operations, stakeholder communications, sales and growth strategies.
Co-founders are normally people involved in the initial launch of startup companies. Anyone can be a co-founder, but frequently co-founders are entrepreneurs, engineers, hackers, funders, web developers, web designers and others involved in the ground level of a new venture. The first step in finding your co-founder is to map yours needs. Make sure you are perfectly clear on what skillsets/resources will be the most important for the success of the startup, and best fill a hole in your own resume and desired management team.
- Friends from University – It worked for the guys at Facebook and Google, so just get out and meet other students.
- Former co-workers – If you’ve worked together as employees, you might be able to work together as co-founders. You have the history and know each others skill sets.
- People you meet over coffee – We see hot beds of startups co-locating themselves in coffee shops, just talk to the guy next to you.
- Former co-founders in another venture – There’s no better person to launch with than someone that has started a company before.
- Accelerators – Related to some of the other co-working suggestions, simply applying to a startup accelerator can lead to finding a co-founder.
- At meet-ups – Tech Meetups are great places to find co-founders and they are easy to find and also go to.
When starting a business, we all come at from different directions, at different ages, different backgrounds. There are so many skills required to run your own startup. Successful Entrepreneur skills, are the ones you’ll need to run everything from serving customers to preparing your accounts. Below are listed 13 core skills required in running a startup business and how you might develop your core skill set further. The successful Entrepreneur skills are:
- Opportunity Recognition – The recognition of new markets and opportunities, such as a new customers’ need is core to becoming a successful entrepreneur.
- Ideation – Ideation is the creative process of generating, developing, and communicating new ideas. Always write your ideas down in a book and come back to them when you can do something about it.
- Research & Analysis – This involves both qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis. Understanding the customers, competitors and costs structure are important in making a startup work.
- Resources Identification – Working out the resource requirements then leads to determining what types of resources you will need to start-up and operate your startup.
- Risk Analysis – This process of defining and analysing the dangers to your startup business posed by potential natural and human-caused events.
- Tactical Planning – As a startup the horizon is low, so focus on this process of outlining business plans for the coming year. This differs from strategic planning as strategic planning encompasses longer-term goals that reflect the company’s direction and its purpose outlined in its mission statement.
- Operational Design – Operational design is the first level of strategy implementation and rests upon operational art. This cognitive approach uses your skill, knowledge, experience, creativity, and judgment to develop operations to organise and employ the resources available.
- Business Modelling – A business model is the map of how a startup generates revenue and makes a profit from its value proposition. From this a business plan and processes may be derived.
- Cash Flow – In the early days of a business maintaining a healthy cash level, liquidity ensure the business survives. Cash is king.
- Team Building – As a new business building a team is important, which requires various types of activities used to enhance social relations and define roles within team are developed and maintained.
- Branding – Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, it develops you icon and a connection with your suppliers, customers and financial stakeholders.
- Marketing – The communications of you value proposition should generate leads which can be turned into sales.
- Negotiating & Selling – Getting the right prices from your suppliers and selling at the right price is fundamental for a startup to grow. These skills go hand in hand together.
As an entrepreneur we have lots of do, but sometimes we just do it wrong, we let obstacles get in our way. So what are the typical obstacles we entrepreneurs have to deal with:
- Perfectionism – For entrepreneurs, practice doesn’t make perfect; action does. You simply cannot wait until you are 100 percent ready before you take action. Think MVP.
- Procrastination – Sometimes its easier to delay the decision, the action or even dealing with the problem, so each day “Eat the Frog” and take action of the real issues within your business.
- Fear – Entrepreneurs’ resolve is tested from the very first step of starting a business. In fact, one entrepreneur compared starting a business to jumping off a cliff and assembling your parachute on the way down.
- Worry – As an entrepreneur, worry comes with the territory. In fact, over a third of entrepreneurs told Gallup they worried a lot about yesterday. While worry is a quotidian experience, it is not productive. You have to make peace with the things that concern you, and not let them stop you from taking action and pursuing your dreams.
- Financing – Experienced entrepreneurs don’t have it easy when it comes to funding a new business, but they do have a few advantages over newcomers. They might have a pool of capital from a business they previously sold or a steady stream of revenue they can use to fund a new business’s cash flow.
- Team building – This is especially hard if you’ve never run or managed a team before, but even if you have management experience, picking the right team for a startup is stressful and difficult. It’s not enough to find candidates who fill certain roles — you also need to consider their cost to the business, their culture fit and how they’ll work as part of your overall team. Such considerations are exceptionally hard when you’re under the pressure of filling those positions as soon as possible.
- Decision-making – Believe it or not, this is probably the most stressful challenge on this list. New entrepreneurs are forced to make hundreds of decisions a day, from big, company-impacting decisions, to tiny, hour-affecting ones. Decision fatigue is a real phenomenon, and most new entrepreneurs will experience it if they aren’t prepared for the new level of stress.
If you are looking to fund your startup and not sure where to start? Here is a quick guide to five potential sources of funding for your small business. I have tried to put them in order with the best way first:
- Bootstrapping: Many billionaire entrepreneurs find a way to grow without external financing so that financiers don’t control their destinies or grab a disproportionate slice of the business.
- Customers: Advance payments from customers can give you the cash you need, at a relatively low cost, to keep your business growing. Advances also demonstrate a level of commitment by the customer to your operation.
- Friends and family members: If you’re lucky, friends and family members might be the most lenient investors of the bunch. They don’t tend to make you pledge your house, and they might even agree to sell their interest in your company back to you for a nominal return.
- Startup Loans: Start Up Loans is a government-funded scheme that fund your startup and mentors entrepreneurs. They have a series of delivery partners who will help you develop a business plan.
- Bank loans: Banks are like the supermarket of debt financing. They provide short-, mid- or long-term financing, and they finance all asset needs, including working capital, equipment and real estate. However, they typically are not the first place to look for funds for your startup.
When taking loans to fund your startup from friends and family, banks or another you must, have a written agreement covering every last detail regarding the loan. This includes the loan amount, the repayment period, the amount of each repayment instalment, the interest rate if any, consequences of non-repayment etc. If in doubt get a lawyer to help you.