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Emerging landscape of Entrepreneurship: Challenges and Opportunities

Louise Andrew
August 24, 2018

Entrepreneurship! We often go through this word these days. But what is it exactly? Entrepreneurship is a business ownership tied with financial risk and anticipation of profits or losses. Sounds fun? May be not exactly fun, since one needs to bear a lot of responsibilities as an entrepreneur. Yet, why is entrepreneurship increasing in various parts of the world, especially among youth? After all, it isn’t easy. One does not simply dream up a business idea today and start up the very next day. So why so many youths are being attracted to this?

Hans-Peter Siefen is a 33-year-old who held his last salaried job in his teens. Currently, he is a co-founder of the Nordic Business Forum (NBF) which is an annual business seminar that invites the world’s leading business people and thinkers to the Nordics. Initially, entrepreneurs and innovators were lacking in the Nordic Islands. Owing to the high level of ambitious youth leaving the Islands for higher education and not being replaced at the same rate, this was becoming a general issue, and thus, creating challenges to society. To remedy this, entrepreneurial teachings and education strategies were developed and mapped out in schools to help young people obtain the entrepreneurial skills required to start their own businesses. This one-year pilot project began in November 2015 with the following participating Nordic Islands: Bornholm – Denmark, Andøya – Norway, Gotland – Sweden, Pargas – Finland, Iceland, Greenland, The Faroe Islands, Åland.

According to the Nordic Startup Bits, the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Index (GEI) ranks Denmark the highest country in Europe as having the best entrepreneurs. Internationally, it ranks at number four, after the United States, Canada and Australia. The GEI further went along to state that Denmark’s high level of education plays a major part in what makes them good entrepreneurs, and their framework overall for the development of new ideas and businesses. Also, with support of the government through the prioritization of developing a regulatory framework for new businesses and through streamlining the startup process, encompassing only four procedures at minimal costs, Denmark was able to help make entrepreneurship a part of popular culture.

However, like most of us out there, Danes are risk-averse. By getting the next generation of entrepreneurs introduced to innovation and entrepreneurship concepts in schools, as well as having young people realize that the possibilities are endless if only they are willing to go pursue their passion, risk aversions can slowly be extinguished. At the NBF in Helsinki, Hans-Peter Siefen revealed these six of his success measures to young entrepreneurs:  

  1. Take advantage of your youth: Don’t mind that you may lack credibility or experience. Actually, this is an advantage as it is easier to get more attention. Attracting support for your cause can seem more likely as getting into discussions can happen relatively and with ease.
  2. Be open-minded about your business idea: Asking for help to improve your business should be one of your priorities! It is important to get that advice and feedback, especially from experienced entrepreneurs who’ve surely been down the same path as you.
  3. Sales, sales, sales: Getting experience in sales is highly recommended as it helps in areas such as: attracting investment, new customers, and motivation to your team.
  4. Choose your CRM software carefully: Having the right kind of software from the get go is a benefit as your customer relationship management increases. This will come in handy as a reminder as to all necessary details for delivering a good and consistent service.
  5. Use content marketing to your advantage: As a startup, social media can play a great role in getting your audience. Distribution of content via such channels helps create your unique brand/identity and attract sales.
  6. Fall in love with your customers’ needs: Falling in love with your customers’ needs allows you to adopt new ways of thinking. Figuring out the best way to deliver value to your customers can prompt you to make changes to your products and give rise to your final product that can be enjoyed by a larger costumer mass.

Former US President, Barack Obama would refer to small businesses as the “engine of an economy”. One question that arose was that if entrepreneurship was so vital to the US economy, why wasn’t entrepreneurial education being taught in US schools? Founder of Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) and author of an Entrepreneur’s Manifesto, Steve Marlotti attested that he has seen the firsthand powerful effect that learning to start and operate a small business has on young people. Having witnessed how owner-entrepreneurship education can create jobs, prevent students from dropping out, and provide economic rescue for people in low-income communities, Marlotti questions the likelihood of discussion on making owner-entrepreneurship education standard in every high school in America. By instilling the entrepreneurial education in the youth, they can be empowered and definitely act as the driving force in the economy

About the author

Louise Andrew

Andrew earnt an undergraduate degree in Accounting from Monroe College in Saint Lucia, an Eastern Caribbean island nation. Andrew is currently working on a project of a recycling business to improve the environmental standards in St. Lucia.


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