Friday, July 20, 2012

Entrepreneurs: Why They Are So Important And Why We Need Them

Simply put, entrepreneurs are the innovators that stimulate job growth, economic growth and development that allows Americans to compete with and in the global economy. Entrepreneurs are vital to the future of our economy. Entrepreneurs have an attitude and behavior that benefits local communities and advances human welfare.

Who is an entrepreneur?

An entrepreneur is an individual who organizes and operates a business or enterprise, taking on the financial risks to do so.

That may sound simple, but let's take a closer look...

One of the most important things that entrepreneurship provides is employment. The unemployment rate has been at historic levels but recently there has been job growth. We feel that a big part of that job growth is due to the rate of starting small businesses. Entrepreneurs create fresh small and large-scale employment opportunities; as the business grows so do the number of employees. Entrepreneurs significantly reduce the problem of unemployment.

Entrepreneurs have changed the way we live, the way we do things. Their innovations have made life easier and increased the standard of living. Most entrepreneurs start their businesses because they wanted to do something they love, or were inspired by an idea they truly believe in. The positive effects of working in an environment that's important to you paves the way for innovations and advances in technology that increase economic development for our country. And on a much larger scale, when production of these good spreads worldwide, they make us competitors in the global economy.

Entrepreneurship is often called "economic gardening." It's a foundation that can continue to grow and year after year provide wealth to a community. Local communities benefit greatly from small businesses by tapping into existing assets and strengthening it socially and economically. On the whole, entrepreneurship has the potential to increase the wealth of communities.

Entrepreneurship is an exciting venture, and can quite literally change a person's life. There are so many great advantages to taking on such a project. To start a business you need motivation, talent and desire. You also need a strong business plan based on solid research. Entrepreneurs are capable of starting and growing a successful small business with the proper amount of education, hard work and experience.

If you have a business plan and want to become an entrepreneur, we can help you. A lot of important decisions need to be made when starting and nurturing a new business. We will use our education and experience with numerous others just like you to guide you in the formation and growth of your business. The foundation of a business is built on solid contracts and agreements. As business attorneys, we can draft contracts that will help protect your assets and help keep you out of court.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

7 Reasons Why Entrepreneurship Development Must Be Massively Supported

Entrepreneurship happens to be a subject I am very passionate about, right from age 15 till date. The challenge of building businesses from scratch, negotiating deals and investing in other people's business thrills me. Since the age of 15, I have been devoted to the lifelong study of entrepreneurship and investing. But even as an experienced entrepreneur, I still look up to my mentors for guidance and inspiration.

Now let's proceed with the business of the day. The word "Entrepreneurship" might sound unimportant or common to your ears, but I will advise you spend a little time on this article and get the tits and bits of what I am about sharing. The word entrepreneurship suggests several meanings and if a poll were to be conducted, I bet we will come up with 101 definitions of the term entrepreneurship.

Now what is entrepreneurship? According to Stevenson, "Entrepreneurship is the process of creating value by pulling together a unique package of resources to exploit an opportunity". It can also be said to be the readiness and skill of either an individual or group of personalities to sniff out investments opportunities, start business ventures and run enterprises successfully. But the definition I find thrilling is still that of Howard Stevenson, a college professor, "entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity without regards to resources currently controlled". I feel this definition is the best so far and I thank my mentor, Robert Kiyosaki, for bringing it to my notice. So if the term entrepreneurship is now clear, then you may ask, "Why stress the need for entrepreneurship development? Well, entrepreneurship development must be massively supported because it has the potential to achieve the following:

1) Create jobs through the formation of new business ventures.

2) Utilize available manpower and resources that might have remain idle and put them into productive use.

3) Entrepreneurship development makes it possible for individuals to create wealth, independence and status for themselves.

4) Stimulates growth in other sectors with increase in demand and supply.

5) Increases productivity by means of innovation.

6) Facilitate and increase the need for technology.

7) Boost the economy and increases the nation's GDP. 8) Entrepreneurship development can reduce dependence on social security and Medicare. With this few points, I hope I have been able to throw more light on the need for individuals to embrace entrepreneurship as a way of life and a means to better the society. Join the entrepreneur's train and I will see you at the top.

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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Minority Grants For Small Businesses

The US Federal Government recognizes the issue of improving disadvantaged people's lives. Their constituents have voted congressmen and senators to power. Their primary election campaigns are based on the promise to minorities for their economic empowerment. t is these promises, which drive the politics of grant giving by Federal and local State governments.
Grants for Small Business:
A grant is a direct financial contribution made by certain organizations to the needy. It is made for very specific outcomes with no expectations of repayment. These grants are based on certain criteria and are designed to encourage entrepreneurs to start or expand their small business ventures. Millions of dollars in the form of small business grants are available for any minority group of Americans. They may be African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics, Indian Americans or any other minority.
Minority Grant Programs:
Government minority business grants are listed on all the government grants assistance programs. They allocate funds for lending to minority entrepreneurs, student business training, unemployed, community-based business opportunities, real-estate ventures and investment, research work and inventors, amongst others. A woman entrepreneur or an ethnic minority is entitled to funds specially earmarked for their business development.
Any entrepreneur seeking the fund for any type of business or any personal project must have a viable business plan. They should focus on how well their business would survive independent of these programs. Eventually, your aim should be to build a successful business. Have some sort of maturation plan in place to succeed without minority funds within three to five years. A lot of far-sightedness, hard work and perception of market need of your business are very important. If your business maturation plan is not in place, you are in a great risk of either business failure or being bought out. A good financial opportunity goes waste. So apply for these minority business grants and funding for a great opportunity to start your own venture and improve your social and financial status.
Types of Grants:
Ever since the Federal government has launched this minority grant for small businesses, the minority business has grown four times faster as overall US firms. Since 1992, the increase has been from 2.1 million to 2.8 million firms. These grants can be availed for:
o For initial business start-up, you can avail up to one billion dollars from minority business grants.
o Grants in millions available for expanding the existing business
o Receive $9,000 in minority grants for free legal advice.
o Millions available for purchase of your first home
o Up to $75,000 available from minority grants to remodel your home
o Receive $6,000 in minority grants for college tuition.
o Receive free monthly grant finances for emergency assistance.
o Receive special assistance for woman entrepreneurship program. There are many more listed priorities to receive these grants.
The federal government and local state government Active Affirmative Action has given a big opportunity to minor ethnic communities to start their small businesses. This will lead to their economic empowerment and social integration.

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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Changing Demographics in Entrepreneurship

Over the last 10 years, entrepreneurship has become a growing trend with growing importance within the global marketplace. In fact, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), about 330 million people, or 14% of the adults in the 35 countries surveyed, are involved in forming new businesses.
Whether it is the desire to be your own boss, pursue your own ideas or the hope of financial rewards, people are changing their outlook on how to do business. Within the scope of entrepreneurship there are four demographics that are increasing faster than ever.
Women Entrepreneurs
In 2002, the most recent year the U.S. Census Bureau collected business ownership data, there were 6.5 million women-owned businesses. That number is up 20% from 1997. Traditionally, women-owned businesses were most prevalent in the health care and professional services industries. But surprisingly, the fastest growing areas of women-owned businesses are construction (up 30%), agricultural services (up 24%) and transportation (up 20%).
Minority Entrepreneurs
The number of minority-owned businesses has also risen sharply over this same period. Growth in African-American owned businesses is up 45% from 1997 to 2002. Both Asian-owned businesses and Native American-owned businesses have also increased, at a rate of 24%.
Senior Entrepreneurs
Although the U.S. Census Bureau does not specifically collect data on senior-owned businesses, there is strong evidence to suggest more seniors are getting involved in entrepreneurship. This dramatic increase can be attributed to corporate downsizing, growing worries that seniors are going to need more income to cover future health care expenses, and an increasing desire for older workers to obtain personal fulfillment in their lives after retirement.
Young Entrepreneurs
Perhaps the fastest growing demographic of entrepreneurship is young people. According to a Gallup study, 7 out of 10 high school students want to start their own companies. Interest in entrepreneurship is also growing on college campuses. Presently there are 1992 two and four-year colleges that offer at least one course in entrepreneurship. This number is up from just 300 colleges in 1985.
No matter who is starting all these new businesses, entrepreneurship is undoubtedly a growing trend throughout the world. As the economy is struggling and people are getting laid-off, more and more people are realizing the benefits of entrepreneurship. The desire to become a corporate eight to fiver is losing steam, when are you going to jump on board?

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Minority Grants For Business

Minority grants are really important for they contribute a lot to the overall progress of national economy. Most of these helpful grants assist in the growth and development of new businesses, and thereby encourage entrepreneurship, to a large extent. Government funded grants for minorities are widely accessible from the Federal ministry. In addition to it, various other grant schemes are available from different state level authorities as well.

If you belong to a minority section of the community, there can be lots of options before you avail of one of these really helpful grants. As an entrepreneur belonging to the minority section, one must avail of these grants specially crafted to cater a lot of help, to the growth of business. A bulk of these grants offered is funded directly by the federal ministry, and some by the state government itself. However, to avail of one of these hugely popular grants, one must go through certain formalities.

Being a first time applicant for minority grants, one must target those specific programs which are focused to be the concerned area. It can just turn out to be the starting point of the business. These grants which are available from the local organizations, need to fulfill certain criteria as well. One must thoroughly go through the requisite application format, before applying for one of these grants.

One of the best and well-known minority grants available to individuals, who have a passion for setting up their own business comes from an organization called "Operation HOPE". Till now, they have aided close to $72 million in minority grants, to business owners and entrepreneurs belonging to minorities. If you reside in Southern California, you can pay a visit to "Operation HOPE". However, if you need to procure information on the available grants, while sitting at a remote location, their website can serve the purpose as well. But in both the circumstances do not forget to check out the eligibility criteria before applying.

Minority grants are meant to encourage entrepreneurship for medium and small scale business groups as well as individuals belonging to the marginalized sections of the population. These Grants not only help to build up the confidence of an individual belonging to minority sections, but also help in overall economic stability.

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Cheap auto insurance: understand your options before you buy

Women entrepreneurs have grown at a rate three times the growth rate for overall U.S. businesses according to the Center for Women's Business Research. Many more young women entrepreneurs are starting their own businesses right out of school. A host of colleges and universities are introducing programs geared to entrepreneurship. Because women are still having trouble reaching the top levels of corporate management they have found a way around the glass ceiling by opening their own companies.

Although traditional lending institutes prefer to lend money to people who get business and management experience before they go into business the advent of the internet has reduced the cost of doing business significantly. The advantage of the internet for small business is that it is fast and relatively inexpensive. If you want to put an ad in a major national magazine it would cost thousands of dollars. You could target an ad to readers of that same national magazine for as little as $50 on the internet. While the preparation time for an ad in the national magazine may be three months in advance, a Google ad is instant. It is hard to track the response with the national magazine. With Google you can start testing quickly.

Women entrepreneurs run into problems growing their business. They are not traveling in the same networking circles or socializing in the same clubs and golf courses as male business owners, so they're not hearing about the opportunities to raise money and to grow their business. Also, women learned how to manage money by the way they manage their household budgets where the only way to increase their disposable money or increase savings was to be frugal. Many have grown their businesses without borrowing.

Women need to change their views about borrowing money to finance growth. Everyone understands borrowing money to finance a car to handle sales calls or other business needs. Borrowing money should be viewed as a vehicle to get from one stage of business to another stage of growth much like a car goes from one sales call to another.

The types of business women are starting continue to be in the service and retail area. Women have trouble proving themselves in industries traditionally dominated by males, such as, construction, manufacturing, farming or other physically labor intense businesses. The hardest part for women is convincing a client to put them on the approved vendor or bid list. To overcome this obstacle women entrepreneurs can join organizations that support women-owned minority businesses such as the WBC (Women's Business Council). These organizations have sponsors that go all out to support minorities as part of their corporate culture and image.

Women entrepreneurs starting their own business need all the help they can get and should not be afraid to ask for it

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Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Hardest Thing For an Entrepreneur

For an entrepreneur the hardest thing to do is to get started. In this final article, Part 3 of three articles, I explain how I have seen others find the same key to entrepreneurship.

As I applied myself to finding, developing if necessary, and selling the software products and services of the software technologies business my wife and I owned I noticed that I was one of a minority. Not many people started their own companies. Entrepreneurs were a minority. They still are. For example I was the only one from my business school class who was self employed. The rest of my MBA class mates had jobs. In almost all respects, except one, my MBA classmates were better off than me. I was paying myself a pittance and ploughing any money that my company made back into hiring new people and buying the associated computing equipment. My classmates had high powered executive jobs and enjoyed good salaries. But there was one thing I could do that my classmates could not do: I could do what I wanted when I wanted even if I had to constrain what I wanted to my very meager, entrepreneurial, financial means.

Little did I know.

After seven years I surpassed my classmates' freedom and income levels. I was semi-retired. Best of all, I would never look back. The the dream I offered people I hired, the people they hired, all were critical factors in entrepreneurial success.

So I found that the second element in the key to successful entrepreneurship is to 'keep going.'

During that seven year period I wondered when financial independence would happen. I never wondered IF it would happen. Long afterwards I learned that both my wife and a key director in our company had been one step away from throwing in the towel in the fifth year of that seven year period. When I found out, I was amazed. My wife and the key director are serious people. They would have been serious when they considered quitting. In retrospect I thought they were extremely fortunate that quitting never occurred to me.

Since then, some of my business school classmates have started their own businesses. One is very successful although his business is predicated on expensively high inventory levels as a method of ensuring good customer service. Each classmate who started a business has had to overcome the hardest thing: getting started.

Over the years I met many aspiring entrepreneurs. One, Mr Graeme Hart, became New Zealand's first billionaire and is now the wealthiest man in New Zealand. Graeme got started early in life. Apparently, in his twenties, with no formal qualifications, Graeme began buying and selling businesses in New Zealand. He kept going; and his experience illustrates the second element in the key to entrepreneurial success.

In 1997 in a colossal blunder that threatened to destroy him, Graeme purchased hundreds of millions of dollars of shares in, Burns Philp, an Australian listed company. It was a dud but this was not evident to Graeme at the time. Despite the naysayers and business media ridicule, Graeme took the chairman's seat in the company and his astute stewardship of the company transformed it into a billion dollar investment. That's why I say the second hardest thing for an entrepreneur is to keep going. After all no-one else is going to keep going on behalf of an entrepreneur.

I have also met aspiring entrepreneurs who were excessively well researched and far too concerned about the adequacy of their capital funding and cash buffers. One entrepreneurial family saved about $NZ60,000. It was start-up capital for a specialised catering business. The family asked me for advice. Should they wait a little longer and save another $20,000 so as to purchase the best catering equipment and sign a lease on big, flashy, premises with wonderful cooking facilities? Or should they get started with their $NZ60,000 grub stake? You can guess what advice I gave: get started today; put your money away; persuade your suppliers to lend you all the equipment and materials; persuade them to advance enough credit so you don't have to use your capital.

The family never came back to me and, to this day, I doubt if they got started.

An extremely entrepreneurial woman asked me for advice about her specialised entertainment and professional services directory business. The woman hired a marketing and sales manager to sell hundreds of copies of the directory. But profitable sales eluded the sales manager. Without sales the business staggered fatally under the overheads and expenses load. The business lacked a pulse; cash flow was negative. If there is one thing I always, somehow, understood from the first day of my company's life, it is that cash flow is the most important objective result in a business. Profits can be zero, customer service can be terrible, and marketing can be non existent, but as long as cash flow is positive then a business will continue to operate. For this reason, I always made it my priority to make, or help make, sales. Without sales, the directory business entrepreneur could not keep going and close-down was inevitable.

Now you know why the hardest thing for an entrepreneur is to get started. And the second hardest thing is to keep going.

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