Wednesday, February 8, 2017

You Can Be An Entrepreneur If You Set Your Mind To It: Part 2

In Part 1, we talked about how to get to conceive an idea – but you might wonder…

Taking Your First Steps and Getting Support

Not only is it important to have a great idea, being able to take action and to execute it, is equally, if not more important when launching a startup. When you’re taking your first steps towards starting your own business, keep in mind that the goal of starting something is to show that you’re able to make a profit (no matter how big or small) out of something that you’ve created or to solve a problem that exists. From there, you can either scale up on your existing idea or apply the knowledge that you’ve gained towards better ideas.

1. Market research. Conducting market research allows you to figure out who your potential customers are and what’s already out there for them. Start by talking about your idea with those in your network. Figure out who your customers are. Look at what other businesses are already doing and see what you can do differently.

2. Mentorship. Mentorship programs not only provide you with great mentors, they often come with resources you can have access to as well as funding! It’s a great way to develop the skills you need in a hands-on way. Mentors can be easily found through your friends, professors, LinkedIn or even through a quick google search. If you are not sure of how to approach someone to seek mentorship, a Career Counsellor at the AA&CC can help you with that!

3. Funding. As university students, graduate students/recent alumni, there may be many programs or funds that you’re eligible to compete for, both on and off campus. Be sure to participate in pitch competitions as well to expand your network, get constructive feedback and get a chance to win some funding!

4. Track your progress. This is a neat tip that I got from an entrepreneur in my network. Tracking your progress through blogging or by writing in a journal allows you to track both your achievements and your mistakes. This allows you to better understand your business and can help you figure out your next steps.

The Failures behind the Success Stories

Being an entrepreneur is not an easy path as there’s always a lot of uncertainty and risk involved. Some people will support you greatly, and others will be skeptical of your business plans and ideas. It’s incredible how entrepreneurs can still stay level-headed despite the failures and rejections they’ve endured and for that, I have a lot of respect for them. 
“Does a lesson taught from someone else’s mistakes resonate just as deeply as the ones you learn yourself?”-Tyler Oakley, Binge

As important as it is to take advice from others, you will learn so much more from putting yourself out there. If you’re seriously considering entrepreneurship as a career path, don’t be afraid to take a risk and to try out an idea even if other people may think you’re crazy or don’t believe you can make it. You will learn so much from the journey of being an entrepreneur and will gain many great experiences! To get started on this journey, take advantage of 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, click here

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. For more info, click here 

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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