Thursday, February 2, 2017

You Can Be An Entrepreneur If You Set Your Mind To It: Part 1

By Amy Wang, Events Assistant (Work Study student)

Like many millennials, one of our biggest worries is finding a suitable job and jump-starting our careers after we graduate from university. Many students seem to have a clear plan on what they want to do after graduating: enroll in grad school, finish grad school, and then get a high-paying job.

However, life doesn’t always function in a straight line. Sometimes we don’t recognize the diversity of career options available to us, and the field of entrepreneurship may be one of those options. In the field of entrepreneurship, you get to create your own opportunities and possibly be your own boss, but it’s even more than that.. Having the ability to bring innovative ideas to life will not only make you feel gratified, it is also a very valuable skill that employers look highly upon in specific industries. Going into entrepreneurship will only open more doors for you.

Conceiving an idea

The most difficult stage in becoming an entrepreneur is coming up with a great business idea. In Peter Thiel’s startup book, “Zero to One”, Thiel states how creating new or better ways of doing something (going from 0 to 1) is harder than scaling or globalizing an existing idea (going from 1 to n). Essentially, coming up with a unique product or business model is what should be focused on to stand out against what’s already out there.

If you have a great idea for a business that you’ve been thinking of, that’s a great start. For others, developing that entrepreneurial mindset or great idea may seem tricky. Forbes magazine puts this thinking into a simple 2-part process:

●     Think of what field you’re an expert in or would like to be an expert in
●     Identify things that you can make or ideas that you have for a small service

Bonus Tip from Amy: Think of a problem that already exists and how your business idea may act as a suitable solution

If you’re someone with no entrepreneurship or business background, starting a business may seem daunting. You may feel incapable or inexperienced to take on such a big task, but it all comes down to your willingness to seek support and to learn new things, whether you are a business student or not. The entrepreneurial mindset is possible to have regardless of the program you are in.

Keep an eye out for Part 2 where I’ll talk about how to get started and tackle failure!

In the meantime, be sure to check out the great events and workshops taking place at UTSC throughout February and March!

Celebrating Entrepreneurship at UTSC

Entrepreneur Expo: Happening on Friday, February 10th, 2017 from 1pm-4pm in the IC Atrium. Get the chance to meet UTSC students and alumni who’ve launched their own start-ups , entrepreneurship based campus groups, and resources available to young entrepreneurs!

For more information on the above event as well as the series of other events on entrepreneurship, visit

Did you know that UTSC has an innovation and business incubator? If you’re looking for mentorship, funding or a space to work on your startup idea, UTSC’S the HUB is the perfect place. Find out more about The Hub.

AA&CC has a useful tip sheet on the different stages entrepreneurs go through. This will be helpful in planning out your business plan: AA&CC Entrepreneurship

Don't forget to search #startupUTSC on Twitter for updates!

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