Tag: Entrepreneurship

Global Entrepreneurship Week Ignites and Promotes the Entrepreneurial Spirit

Global Entrepreneurial Week was celebrated the week of November 18 – 24 across the United States and around the world.  It was launched in 2008 to promote innovation and entrepreneurship around the world and with over 100 countries participating to-date.  The purpose of the world’s largest celebration of its kind is to celebrate the spirit of innovators and job creators who launch start-ups that bring ideas to life, and drive economic growth and expand human welfare.

Here are some stories about the reach of this year’s event from different parts of the world:

 

South Florida Celebrates Global Entrepreneurship Week

In South Florida, various events during Global Entrepreneurship Week brought together entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and others.  Participants enjoyed success stories from panelists,  insight from executives representing companies such as Facebook and Netflix, and had the opportunity to participate in an elevator pitch contest.  Read more here.

Conversations about the Entrepreneurial Spirit in Government

Global Entrepreneurship Week also brought the conversation about incorporating the entrepreneurial spirit in government.  Namely, “the panel discussed innovation in government, the importance of having a strategy, acquiring and using key resources, and the interactions between government and business.” Read more here.

Nurturing the Entrepreneurial Spirit in Jamaica

The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) actively took the notion that big ideas come from small steps in debuting its new products during Global Entrepreneurship Week.  The Corporation is using banana bark to make paper and other items such as jewelry, wedding invitations, clocks, bags, trinket boxes along with other products.  Read more here.

Promoting Entrepreneurship Among the Youth in Rwanda

In Rwanda, Global Entrepreneurship Week brought the promotion of entrepreneurship especially among the youth.  The government hopes that technical and vocational skills will lead to a self-sustaining economy. Activities during Global Entrepreneurship Week included business competitions and entrepreneurship talk shows. The top youths had the opportunity to compete for the Real Fina Bank Entrepreneurship Award 2013.  Read more here.

Recognizing Entrepreneurs for their Entrepreneurial Spirit

In California, Entrepreneurs were recognized at the 2013 Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards which is also known as the Academy Award of Business. This year’s event celebrated “The Art of Entrepreneurship” and pioneering business leaders were recognized in nine categories.  The event was held at the Ontario Convention Center and presented by Cal State San Bernardino’s Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship.  Read more here.

Dell Announces UK Initiative for Entrepreneurs

As an extension of its success in the U.S., Dell Centre for Entrepreneurs announced the launch of a UK initiative for Entrepreneurs during Global Entrepreneur Week.  The goal is to provide entrepreneurs with support such as funding, mentoring and technical expertise as they start and grow their businesses. This is part of Dell’s global focus to provide support for new businesses around the world.  Read more here.

You can learn more about Global Entrepreneurial Week here.

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Igniting Your Entrepreneurial Spirit

The entrepreneurial spirit gives you hope and drives you to make something out of nothing.  See how I previously defined it here.  It empowers you believe you can get from point A to K, without directions and by taking an unplanned route.  Once you get to point B, you’ll leverage your experience from getting from point A to B to figure out how to get to point C.  There’s a risk you won’t make it to point K, but despite that, the entrepreneurial spirit tells you it is ok to try. The entrepreneurial spirit in rooted in the belief that effort and small steps are better than making no progress at all.

So how do you ignite your own entrepreneurial spirit?

Before Editing

Take ownership of what makes you unique.  Be in tuned to who you are, what is important to you and what you stand for.  Make a conscious effort to prioritize those things and customize your life so you experience more of them. Yes, it is possible to customize your life!  Remember that life didn’t come with a handbook so what society prescribed as the path may not be the one for you.  And that is perfectly fine.  But the responsibility to celebrate who you are and create the life you want is yours.

After Editing

Insert creative moments in your day.  The exploratory nature of creativity is fundamental to the entrepreneurial spirit because creativity allows you to experiment and see things differently.  Make it a point to incorporate creativity in your day so that you’re actively doing something.  I’ve always loved photography because it provides a lasting gratification associated with a moment that captured my attention and moved me emotionally.  So most times, I’m carrying my camera and when I’m not, my phone comes in handy. In addition to taking photos, I love editing them similar to what I’ve done with this photo.  Find a creative outlet that’s manageable and give yourself permission to explore and apply by doing each day.

Choose risk-taking over risk-aversion.  We are creatures of habit and we prefer things we’re used to. We like to be and feel comfortable.  But if the entrepreneurial spirit is about doing, exploring and discovering new things, then this approach won’t work because you don’t get new results by repeating the same steps.  To get a different outcome, you have to embrace new and different approaches which involve risks.  It is an old saying but no risk, no reward.

Maintain a big picture perspective.  You will miss a lot of things if you continuously have tunnel vision.  Yes, you need to concentrate and focus on one thing at times, but it is also important to be aware of what’s happening around you.  When you’re able to read your environment well and keep a pulse of what’s going on, you’ll be more prepared for tomorrow. You’ll be better at anticipating what’s next, what to get into, what to avoid and where opportunities are.  Continue to question and think of ways to make an overall connection.  Remain mindful of the vision and keep your perspective broad.

Develop the habit of sharing.  When you take the road less traveled and go against the grain, people will stare, talk and wonder about you.  As humans, we generally feel more comfortable with things we know and are familiar with.  So anything outside the norm tends to make people uncomfortable. Instead of letting this reaction discourage you, use it as an opportunity to inform others and share your story.  Let them know what drives you and what you’re passionate about. Tell them what you want to accomplish and how you plan to do it.  As they begin to understand, you’ll notice them becoming more supportive, congratulating you on your courage and possibly expressing a desire of wanting to do the same.

Have you identified your entrepreneurial spirit?  Are you looking to ignite it?  If you already have, how do you keep it active and maintain it?

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A Picture Guide To Creating An Effective Budget – Part 1 of 3

Budget.  For many, this is a scary word.  It means numbers.  Making sense of numbers.  Calculating numbers.  And quite frankly, I’ve learned over the years that not everyone is comfortable confronting numbers.  But if you want to have control of your financial situation and use simple concepts that big businesses use to your advantage, you’ll need to be armed and ready to face the numbers.  I’m happy to say that they’re not as intimidating as they may seem!

Even numbers can be visual, and in this Three-Part Series, I’ll show, in pictures, how you can create an effective budget that gives you power and control over your finances.  In Part 1, we’ll address the overview of a budget and why it is important.  In Part 2, we’ll go over how to create a budget; and in Part 3, we’ll address what to do after you’ve created your budget to maximize its use.

So what is a budget, why is it important and why do you need one?

A budget is an itemized financial plan for a certain period of time such as a week, month or year.  You anticipate your income (inflows) and plan your expenses (outflows) accordingly so you can see what you’re left with.  Ideally, you will spend less than you bring in.  Here is what this looks like:

This snapshot of a budget allows you to see your monthly income, itemized expenses and what you have remaining. This makes it easy to see if you’re sending more than what you’re bringing in.

Over time, a budget helps with planning ahead and in anticipating problems that may arise.  This insight allows you to think about what changes should be made and respond by reallocating resources as needed.  For example, if you’re over your groceries amount for the month, you can plan to spend less.  Or if you’re spending too much on cable each month, you can negotiate a lower rate with your cable company.

See how the highlighted amounts changed compared to those in Exhibit A. By planning and reducing your expenses in certain areas, you’ll be left with more to reallocate.

To your benefit, a budget provides an organized and easily understood breakdown of how much money you’re bringing in and how much is leaving your pocket.  It is an invaluable tool that allows you to manage your money and prioritize your spending.  An important point is the fact that the effectiveness of a budget doesn’t depend on your income.  In fact, your financial situation is largely about what you do with your money as opposed to how much you make.  With a budget, you can identify and get rid of wasteful spending, quickly adapt as your financial situation changes and attain your financial goals faster.  You’ll have a more accurate sense of if you’re able to afford your dream vacation or your friend’s wedding.  You’ll know how much you can save for your future.  This financial clarity is especially empowering.

With the reductions made in Exhibit B, additional money at your disposal can help you save more for your future or toward planned expenses.

In Part 2 of this series, we’ll go over each step in creating a budget that is tailored to your situation.  Share your experience with a budget or what you would like to see in Parts 2 or 3 in the comments section below!

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