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Opinions of Monday, 24 April 2017

Columnist: Seidu Samad

Graduates and entrepreneurship

By Seidu Samad

“As long as you’re going to be thinking anyway, think big.” -- Donald Trump. The concept of entrepreneurship was first established in the 1700s, and the meaning has evolved ever since. Many simply equate it with starting one’s own business.

It's a courageous new working world for recent college graduates find out if entrepreneurship is a good alternative for you as I try to weigh this jobless world. Being an entrepreneur can be an emotional ride, with ups, downs, joy and disappointment.

Sometimes a little piece of advice or wisdom from a brilliant mind can help you motor through even the most difficult of times.

You're a graduate; you have a hourned certificate that says you're qualified to work in your field. You could apply for jobs at established companies and small businesses. You have the proficiency though.

We live in a world with an uncertain economy that's driving people toward self-employment particularly young graduates who can't find work. However, starting a business straight out of college comes with challenges.

Most college students, when they graduate, have more time than their seasoned counterparts to devote to a newly formed business. This allows graduates to start and become immersed in a business without feeling adverse effects elsewhere in their lives.

The long work days and lack of sleep also won't have the same effect on someone who's used to spending nights cramming for tests and writing long papers. The discipline you gained in school will carry through to your business.

One of the most important aspects of starting up a business is securing financing. Sometimes that comes via personal investment, other times through angel investors, and often it's accomplished through a business line of credit. As a new graduate, you may have a harder time securing that financing if it involves an investor or lender.

Remember how facebook was finance, Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, had his best friend contribute $1,000 to help launch Facebook. According to "The Facebook Effect," by David Kirkpatrick, Eduardo Saverin later contributed $20,000 more before Zuckerberg was able to secure a $500,000 investment from PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel.

For many potential entrepreneurs, years spent working for a corporation can lead to feeling jaded about business in general. This is usually because of all the red tape, which can make employees feel overly regulated or governed instead of open, able and creative.

New graduates often don't carry the same baggage about business and instead feel excited, hopeful and anticipatory about their business ventures. They have the mindset of "anything is possible" and can take leaps of faith without worrying as much about hitting bottom.

Remember to carry that initial spark into the years that follow the launch of your business. That zest for success, and the fearlessness that accompanies launching ideas and putting big things out into the world, is something that can be tough to maintain for a long period of time.

When people think about owning their own business for the first time, they might picture working from home, schmoozing with other business owners, and cash flowing in to help pay the bills. Unfortunately, that's usually not realistic -- at least, not for a long while.

Becoming a business owner means you're not only the leader of the company, but you're also the sales team, the marketing department, the billing and collections department, and the receptionist. Essentially, you become every aspect of the business until the business can start hiring.

Before you start up, ask yourself if stepping into each of those roles is appealing and if the benefits of owning the business outweigh having to do those tasks for an undetermined amount of time.

Even if your business doesn't survive, launching a company is an amazing experience that will bolster your resume. You can't understand the blood, sweat and tears that go into building a company until you've actually built one -- and you can't understand the value of a customer until you see how difficult it can be to acquire one.

Business ownership will also teach you more about yourself, and other people, than any psychology course ever could. It forces you to truly examine how people think and what the motivations are behind the actions they take. Regardless of where you go in your life and career, that is powerful information to learn.

Starting a business doesn't equal instant success. It's going to take some time before the business starts earning revenue and you can bring home a paycheck. Even if the business starts off strong, there are no guarantees of its future success. When you consider the statistic that nine (9) out of ten (10) businesses fail in the first five years, you can see why it isn't exactly a "safety net".

Even though that statistic might be sobering, you also need to be fearless if you decide to start a business. Avoiding the fear of failure, which can be paralyzing, will help you keep your eye on success so that thoughts of failing don't slow you down.

We live in a world of unprecedented opportunities and at the same time keen competition. With so many on the lookout for opportunities, it’s only those who are able to spot emerging opportunities from afar that are likely to grasp the gauntlet and get ahead of the pack. In order to do that, one has to be mentally alert and farsighted in order to see what others are not yet seeing. Opportunities abound everywhere but may only be visible to those with the right approach. The key to seizing the opportunity of a lifetime is to recognized it and take action, nothing more.

Entrepreneurship allows people to do what they want – to follow their passion. Entrepreneurship is not only important for the business itself. It plays a major role in the economy of a country. First of all, it creates new job opportunities. When an entrepreneur starts a business, she/he needs to hire others to build up the company. Besides that, entrepreneurship cause economic growth. In some countries, there are more entrepreneurs than state organizations.

In recent years entrepreneurship has become a global dream for lots of people all over the world, but only very few understand the importance of entrepreneurship and dare to turn their dreams into reality. Though starting a new business from a scratch requires certain personal traits, as passion, self-belief, high self-motivation and courage, which are sometimes hard to develop, and high level of devotion as making your own business work takes a lot of time, in exchange it provides dozens of benefits.

One of the most appealing advantages of becoming an entrepreneur is being financially independent. At the same time, you should be prepared for all the risks associated with investing your money into something that perhaps may fail. Those who were not afraid to take a risk eventually became successful businessmen. Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates are the few among those who decided to bring their own ideas to life. Without any doubt we can say, that entrepreneurs did change the way modern people perceive world, and not only from business perspective.

Their unconventional, creative approach to the business and the innovations that have become inseparable part of modern society, not only made our everyday life easier, they became a source of motivation and inspiration for people all over the world. Another benefit that influences a lot the decision to become an entrepreneur is the opportunity to be your own boss, and therefore to do something you are truly passionate about, to communicate your own values and ideas to the society. In other words, entrepreneurship implies freedom in many areas, which is unobtainable when you are working for someone else.

In addition to all positive aspects of having your own business, entrepreneurship plays a big role in economic development and thus, the importance of entrepreneurship cannot be undermined. There is a prevailing opinion that corporations are the ones having a significant impact on economy growth. However, contrary to that, the smaller businesses are the ones stimulating local economies the most. Often entrepreneurial companies play a significant role in economic development not just on national level, but within the global economy. Moreover, one of the most important aspects of entrepreneurship is that it creates opportunities for employment; therefore it affects local societies in a most positive way. Particularly nowadays, when majority of countries worldwide are facing an increasing unemployment, the importance of entrepreneurship should not be underestimated.

Aside from reducing unemployment rates and economic growth, importance of entrepreneurship lies in positive social changes, made through non-profit organizations or businesses which are focused on innovative and sustainable development. It does not necessarily means that social entrepreneurs are working only to solve social problems, but with more creative and innovative approaches majority of problems can be solved in a more efficient way.


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