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If I want to be entrepreneur, what can I do in university?

Besides study, what extra activities are recommended? #entrepreneurship

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Michelle’s Answer

Hi, Ena.

I used to run an Angel Investor Network and have significant experience in venture capital and private equity. As a result, I've worked with thousands of entrepreneurs throughout my career.

One of the important things to recognize about being an entrepreneur is that you are likely going to be expected to have some insights into all of the functional areas of your business. Therefore, a good, broad based education, with some focus on business, marketing and operations will benefit you.

As a focus area, I would consider finance/accounting. I have noticed throughout my years of working with entrepreneurs that most founders feel very vulnerable when having to discuss their financial projections with potential investors. And, as this is an area that is critical for investors (all investors want to know how they are going to see a strong return on their investment), this is an area where your skills can be important. I've also found that raising money is the area that entrepreneurs like the least about their job! Raising money to fund your business will likely be necessary (either from an investor or from a bank), and this process can take a lot of time away from the day to day running of your business! So again, having strength in this area and being able to intelligently explain and stand behind your financial plan can really help you get through this process quicker and will increase your chances of succcess.

I hope you find this helpful! Good luck, Ena!

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Ken’s Answer

Hi Ena!

Congratulations on wanting to be an entrepreneur!

I have assisted many people that wanted to set up their own businesses, and the first thing that I advised them to do, after determining what kind of business would suit them the most, was to start working for someone who already had a successful business of that type and work for them. You would not want to let them know that you want to start another business of that type but let them know you want to be the best employee that they have ever had. Not only will this enable you to learn what made such a business successful (without making all of the mistakes along the way), by you may very well be in line if they decide to sell the business or retire or welcome you as a partner. I have seen this happen!

Also, talk to your local Chamber of Commerce in your community, as that organization is comprised of small businesses helping each other to succeed.

Here is a great site for free assistance with businesses:

Let me know if and how this might be of help. Keep me posted. I would like to follow your progress.

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Scott’s Answer

Many universities now have majors in Entrepreneurship. There are great programs that can help give you the background you will need in business, marketing and other skills for your business to be successful. They can also help you decide the correct business for you. Check with the university you are attending, or find one that offers such a program.

Thank you very much! Now I am studying at a business school without the major. Ena W.

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David’s Answer

The most important element to combine with academic training is real world experience. I would choose a University that has a reputation for providing internship experience and completes real world projects.

In addition, I recommend obtaining mentors with experience in the fields you are most interested. Mentors can provide you with valuable insights in to expectations and the time of behaviors and habits that make for a great entrepreneur.

The great thing today is you can easily prototype and trial ideas using online market places. My mentor says start small, think big, scale fast.

David recommends the following next steps:

Research universities with a reputation for internships and actual business project work.