50 ways to start a business.
There has been a great deal of debate recently about whether entrepreneurs are born or made. Numerous studies have been written that some individuals have an “entrepreneurial gene” and make them more likely to be a successful entrepreneur than others. Some studies indicate that less than 5% of the people have this gene.
I don’t believe it! Communities have a tremendous opportunity to mold their citizen’s future by celebrating and supporting entrepreneurship. They can begin by providing technical assistance, resources, capital, and mentorship. When passion is combined with learned skills, the potential to succeed is enormous.
The following list of events and activities, suggested and implemented during global entrepreneurship week, is evidence that entrepreneurs and innovators can be made and born and communities that live by growing from within will prosper now and in the future.
- The Right and Wrong Way of Doing Business
Encourage the Small Business Procurement office or Minority Business offices in your city to host an event about the process of doing business within your city. Learn about the ins and outs of starting a business, the resources available to entrepreneurs from the city, how to win government contracts and other related information for your community.
- Awards Gala
Coordinate an event to recognize successful established local entrepreneurs as well as promising new entrepreneurs. This event could double as a fundraiser for positive entrepreneurship activities.
- Showcasing Women Entrepreneurs
The growing numbers of women entrepreneurs in the United States are shaping and redefining the American workplace. Recruit female entrepreneurs in the area to speak to the young women of your community.
- Non-profits via For-profits: Mutual Synergies
Create a how-to workshop on legal and practical skills, including ways to create mutually beneficial relationships in sales, how to service a product delivery and how to present a compelling business idea that simultaneously creates commercial and social value.
- Marketing Yourself for Success
Gaining a competitive edge in today’s markets can make or break a business. An entrepreneur marketing forum provides helpful hints about strategies to use when promoting enterprises. This event is perfect for up and coming entrepreneurs who have products and services and waiting for a breakthrough in the market.
- Think Big: Revitalize Your Community
Promote entrepreneurship and put your community on the map. Host a forum that creates and initiates discussion about public policy entrepreneurship and specific ideas to benefit your community.
- Entrepreneur Gatherings
Launch a networking/mentoring opportunity for local entrepreneurs. Select a venue and time for entrepreneurs to gather and build their contacts at least one day of the month.
- Show Me the Money: Getting Your Business Financed
Money plays a key role in the entrepreneur’s day to day expenses and figuring out the bottom line can lead to troubling situations. Host a session geared toward such startup companies discussing the key ingredients for financial success in the entrepreneurial world.
- Innovation Expo
Organize an interactive entrepreneurship fair. Invite entrepreneurs, investors, franchisers, suppliers, and innovators, to showcase their work to the general public. This event works best in a large open space where each vendor can set up a booth and display their product and service to visitors and spectators.
- Entrepreneurs Market
The growing popularity of farmers markets have allowed for local farmers and artisans to experience a profitable enterprise. Put on a local entrepreneurs market in your city and instill a sense of community while at the same time allowing for resident entrepreneurs to shop for lucrative ventures.
- Supplier Showcase
Hold a supplier showcase for local manufacturers and suppliers to display their products to local entrepreneurs. This will help suppliers build their networks and also give potential entrepreneurs the chance to explore untapped opportunities in their local communities.
- Veterans Resource Day
There are over 2.5 million businesses in the U.S. majority-owned by veterans and they employ 5 million people. Numerous national and local resources helped many of these startups. Host a veteran’s entrepreneurship trades show that assists veterans in transition to get started owning and operating their own business. The day can conclude with an event that celebrates those veterans for their service to our country and to your economy.
- If You Build It They Will Come
Most everyone has had an idea at least once in their life to make something that would make their lives easier. Maker spaces have now provided people the tools to turn their crazy ideas into profits. For those communities that have a maker space, have an open house with demonstrations from entrepreneurs that have successfully utilized the tools to create their dreams.
- Libraries as Makerspaces
Since the first official makerspace convened six years ago in a library in upstate New York, libraries have remained an ideal setting for makerspace events across the country. Many offer community resources like 3D printers, software, electronics, craft and hardware supplies, and more. Have a fundraising event at a makerspace to raise money to purchase additional resources and make libraries great again
- How to Make it Big in Business
Organize a day for aspiring entrepreneurs to observe and experience the day-to-day operation of a business venture. Invite local small businesses to open their doors and share their experiences with up and coming entrepreneurs.
- Viral Marketing: Run Your Own Show
At your festival or expo have a booth where students and entrepreneurs can be videotaped talking about entrepreneurship or performing a skit on entrepreneurship. At the end of the day submit the individual short clips to YouTube or Jib Jab and harness the power of viral marketing to ignite interest in entrepreneurship.
- Art and Entrepreneurship
Organize an art show featuring artists who explore the basic themes or characteristics of entrepreneurship: opportunity recognition, creativity, problem-solving, risk-taking, resourcefulness and passion for ideas. Arts and crafts are an excellent way to hold the interest of young audiences, while also enabling them to explore their creative side.
- Small Business Summit
Gather entrepreneurs and local elected officials to discuss issues that are important to them and exchange ideas about how to be successful. Discuss ways to make it easier for small business by examining regulatory and licensing subjects.
- Give Women the Credit
Make women center stage of your entrepreneur event with events that empower women to start and scale their own business. Help assist more women entrepreneurs by working with local businesses to have them set aside a portion of their sales for one day to create a micro-loan program for women startups. This would be a great compliment to Women’s Entrepreneurship Day that will take place on November 29, 2017.
- The True Power of Entrepreneurship
Organize a competition in which students submit a plan that will not only make money but also improve the world around us. This program will introduce the concept of corporate social responsibility and demonstrate that financial outcomes do not exclude positive outcomes for the environment and social performance (triple bottom line).
- Taking Initiative
Organize a session for students to brainstorm possible entrepreneurial and business ventures that the community currently lacks. By the end of the session, students should have a business plan that includes how to enact it with their current resources. Challenge students to make it happen so they will stay and work in their community.
- Local Entrepreneurs Hall of Fame
Get students to explore and research the history of prominent local business people and businesses. Each student selects one of these entrepreneurs to present to their class in a creative and innovative format
- Diversity and Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurs come from many different backgrounds and each faces unique challenges and situations. Engage students in a discussion, led by a diverse group of entrepreneurs, to provide encouragement and mentorship to those wanting to follow in their footsteps.
- Hot Shot Business
Select and online entrepreneurship game and host a youth competition for various age categories to see who can earn the most points (money). This will teach students the basics of business while making small business challenges fun.
- Circle the Food Trucks
A new generation of street-food lovers is lining up at food trucks and food carts like never before. It is a $2.7 billion industry that has seen more than an 8.4 percent growth rate over the last 5 years. Host a food truck day that includes sampling the food followed by a discussion of how they started their business.
- Host a Maker Faire Day
Create your own maker faire event. Part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new, Maker Faire is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors. Invite the community to come to Maker Faire to show what they have made and to share what they have learned.
- Business Venture Competition
Intended for high school business classes, this competition requires dividing a class into several teams that compete to formulate a money making business venture. Each team will be expected to select a product to sell for one week, as well as manage the finances, look for investors, and conduct market research. The team that makes the most product revenue by the end of the week wins the competition.
- Creativity Workshop
Organize an afternoon workshop teaching students how to unleash their creativity. Design firms, artists, and educational institutions would be uniquely qualified to demonstrate their various creative processes that elicit the best ideas of participants. The activity may feature case studies of how creative projects developed from an idea to an actuality using different intellectual processes or ways of thinking.
- Lights, Camera, Action: Spotlight on Entrepreneurs
Host a film festival showcasing enterprising individuals. Have students create and submit videos on the theme of entrepreneurship and hold a film festival showcasing student work.
- Entrepreneurs Interview
Students should select a local entrepreneur and interview the person about their business. This should also include how and why they started their business, what problems did they have, and how did they finance it. Students should also ask why the entrepreneur chose to do business in their community and discover the benefits of starting a business in their own hometown.
- Business Spotlight
Work with the high schools to help promote awareness to the possibilities of Entrepreneurship, to educate them by interviewing LLCs, Sole Props and Partnerships with 15 questions. Then students will put together a PowerPoint or oral report covering the questions. At the end of their presentation, they are to have produced a commercial for the business the student chose. The presentation should be no more than 5 minutes with the commercial being between 30 and 60 seconds.
- Entrepreneurial Breakfast Series
Prior to school, sponsor a breakfast for students and listen to local entrepreneurs talk about their product and business. Encourage the local chamber to sponsor the event. Food talks!
- Teenagers Learning Code
Coding isn’t just for the super-geeks anymore. Getting a little code under your belt is an incredibly valuable skill for marketers and any other members of a business team. Do you have students interested in learning how to code? Reach out to local coders and invite them to schools to present on how they went from knowing nothing about code to building great websites.
- Creating Professional Landing Pages
A website can make or break a company. Invite local tech entrepreneurs to a school’s social media or business class and focus on the entrepreneur’s company website. Have the youth provide ideas about how the website will attract their age group.
- It’s My Future
Get young people thinking about a career early. Work with the Junior Achievement, Future Farmers of America, DECA and other youth related organizations in your area on career mapping and work readiness.
- Getting a Head Start: Launching Your Career Before Graduation
This session will benefit both students studying consulting and entrepreneurial business leaders needing a change or new ideas to expand a market. Provide students with the opportunity to show businesses their new way and how it could benefit established businesses. Each student-consulting firm will present their ideas to a business leader for improvements.
- Lunch with a Mentor
Sometimes all future entrepreneurs need is food, a mentor and a nudge in the correct direction. Organize an interactive luncheon with future entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial leaders in the community. Each day could have an entrepreneur from a different sector speak and answer questions.
- How To Become an Entrepreneur in 10 Days
Each day will be a new step in the direction for students to start their own business. Ten separate stations will each present ‘one day of things to do’ that will make sure a business will succeed, allowing for a self-guided experience.
- Music Festival
Organize a music festival that will showcase local talent in all genres of music, allowing kids to perform as well as help with backstage needs. Artists can showcase their talent on stage in front of a large audience demonstrating how entrepreneurs come in many different forms.
- Shadow an Entrepreneur
Seek out local entrepreneurs and ask to observe them on a typical business day. Ask the entrepreneur to share their insights into what it takes to be successful.
- Ethical Entrepreneurship
Organize an event that sheds light on the issue of ethics in entrepreneurship. Put together a panel to answer questions about what is ethical in the business world and what is not.
- Ignite! The Entrepreneurial Fire
Select 5 local entrepreneurs to give five minute Ignite! Presentations. There must be 20 slides to communicate multiple aspects of entrepreneurship.
- Creative Writing for Business Strategies
Students in all grade levels will learn the art of “storytelling” or short story writing to engage in topics like the family business, a business idea for the future, plans to make money after graduating or reinventing an existing product. The students will present their business stories to their peers. The skills learned are public speaking, sales and business writing.
- Co-working Space Open House
Co-working spaces offer a great starting point for entrepreneurs who are not generating revenue and unable to afford rent. Take a tour through a co-working space and have them talk about the benefits for a startup entrepreneur.
- Tour Food Incubator
For those students who want to get in the culinary field but lack a commercial connection, arrange a tour of a food incubator and have the food entrepreneurs talk about what it’s like.
- Angel Conference
Coordinate an investor-led event, connecting future entrepreneurs and new angel investors. This conference will bring a collection of new and experienced angel investors into a room where they can understand what angel investors do and what they expect for their money.
- Crowdfunding: What to Know Before Starting a Campaign
Crowdfunding is a new way to raise money and there are many different types of crowdfunding. (Reward, equity, donations and loans). Coordinate a panel of people that have done it before (successful and unsuccessful) and a lawyer that knows the legalities and mechanics of raising money for a company through this 21st-century innovation.
- Startup Weekend
Startup Weekend is a 54-hour event that brings together designers, developers, entrepreneurs, and experts from all domains for the purpose of creating a company. All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and embark on a three-day frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing and market validation. The weekend culminates with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback!
- Entrepreneur Trade Show and Workshop
The trade show and workshop offers contestants a workshop on how to make your sales pitch to potential investors. It is all in preparation for the Entrepreneur Trade Show. The Trade Show mocks a typical industry trade show where each contestant designs their booth, markets their product or service and pitches their business to an audience of judges.
- Getting to Know You: How Entrepreneurs Have Helped our Economy
Work with your local paper to write a series of articles highlighting local entrepreneurs and their successes. Articles will cover diverse business sectors from sole proprietors to small employers.