Do you own a small business either online or at a physical location? Anyone who turned an innovative idea into a successful online business or a company with several branches along a busy street or a mall is an entrepreneur. Such individuals start a new business venture by producing, developing, and innovating a new product or service.
An entrepreneur like Mark Zuckerberg developed his own innovative concepts into a profitable business at a young age. Today, Facebook is one of the most popular social media platforms globally, while the founder, who joined the rank of the world’s youngest billionaire at 23, has become a role model for technology-savvy young student entrepreneurs.
Other well-established entrepreneurs that started successful ventures when young include; Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Richard Branson of Virgin Airlines, the late Steve Jobs of Apple, etc. You, too, can become a successful student entrepreneur by following these tips.
Be Open-Minded to New Ideas
Most entrepreneurs never knew where their innovation would be or come from. But through reading, observing, listening, and learning, their big idea originated from a sector or industry outside their primary interest.
So if you’re studying computer science, medicine, business, or others, you can direct your knowledge and skills towards innovation in industries such as fashion, healthcare, food, technology, childcare, etc.
Pick a Product or Service that Inspires You
A good topic motivates, inspires, or even challenges you. So think about starting a business in an area you’re passionate about, i.e., food, childcare, fashion, fitness, technology, etc. You may consider using the skills and knowledge you have gained in school to start a business or a topic that makes a change or impact your community, or solves a humanitarian need.
Build Your Knowledge
You must have knowledge in business, finance, marketing, human resources, technology, accountancy, etc. The majority of these skills you will learn in school, but for some, you will have to enroll for short courses on some online platforms such as Coursera, Udemy, LinkedIn Learning, etc.
Remember, your first office might be your bedroom, garage, and the like because you can’t afford to rent an office. However, you can become an innovative entrepreneur and manage a big enterprise when your finance and business knowledge are well-grounded.
Nurturing a strong professional network is important because these individuals serve as your mentors and coaches. They help you in every stage of your entrepreneur journey by offering you advice, help, recommendation, partnership, contacts, etc.
Connect with like-minded friends you meet during societies for student entrepreneurs, meetups, networking events, etc. You can also search for shared workspaces in the neighborhood because they run workshops and events that can help you meet other young or established entrepreneurs.
Participate in Competitions, Grants, and Awards
Apart from networking, you can invest some time and effort in researching for student entrepreneur awards, grants, and competition. Many startup companies have received funding and support from investors that look for sound ideas such as yours. The best place to start is your university, where you search for programs interested in working with young entrepreneurs.
Next, search for regional and global awards, competitions, and grants. One famous premier global competition for students is the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA). The program is interested in students who operate or own businesses while studying. Its objective is to accelerate your success so that you can make a positive impact in your community.
Learn About Your Target Industry
Gather a lot of information about your target industry. You can do that by becoming an intern in a company. The opportunity will enable you to put what you learned at school into practice in a real-world situation. It will also help you build knowledge and skills, as well as gather valuable insight that you can use in your area of interest.
Sign up for informative newsletters and blogs, follow the latest industry news, influential persons in the industry, etc.
Lastly, write a business plan, start small, and don’t be afraid of failure. Keep your business lean and avoid overspending at the beginning. Choose a mentor from your network who has more experience than you because they will give you more guidance.
Therefore, if you’re a student aspiring to be an entrepreneur in the future, you should take your academic learning seriously. Your education is your greatest asset because it will help you manage a successful business.