Inspiring Young Entrepreneurs

ACT FEARLESSLY. If you have a budding business idea, the worst thing you could do is not pursue it. Many young adults are afraid to enter the world of entrepreneurship because they think they’re too young, or they feel like they don’t have the right qualifications. If you have an incredible idea and an entrepreneurial spirit, all you need is a plan of action and some funding. Luckily, if you live in Quebec, there are plenty of opportunities to obtain financing (Futurpreneur, Young Promoter, ProMontreal Entrepreneurs, to name a few). Montreal offers a favorable landscape especially for young entrepreneurs, and it becomes more difficult to access lower interest loans as you age beyond 40.

DECIDE PASSIONATELY. If you’re researching entrepreneurship, one of the main tips you’ll come across is to be fearless in your decision-making, and that’s because passionate decision-making is going to be the driving force of your entrepreneurial pursuit. Focusing on something that is of interest to you will be crucial in your efforts later on because it’s all about operating within a context that continues to inspire you. If you’re passionate about the task at-hand, you will be that much more inspired to tackle it head-on. Opening a business is a lot of work and it will take a toll on your personal life, but if you’re passionate about it you will have the drive to press on during hard times.

SATISFY A NEED. The best way to decide on your next business venture is to have a critical look at something you’re passionate about and pinpoint ways to ameliorate the system: what kind of product/service is lacking here? How can I develop something that will satisfy a need? Whenever you think, “I wish ‘x’ service existed” or “If only there was a ‘y’ product to help me right now”, seriously question whether or not you could make a business out of filling in these blanks.

VALIDATE YOUR MARKET. Once you decide on a product/service, it’s important to make sure it’s a real need; be certain that this issue you are solving is really an issue. You don’t need to have taken extensive business classes to be able to do this. In fact, simple research will suffice. Approach it the same way you would approach a school project—you need to do your research before you can write a good thesis. Try to find statistics that corroborate your end goal (Stats Canada really helps!).  Don’t be worried if your idea services a niche market. It’s actually much easier to operate within niche markets because there’s less competition.

CULTIVATE ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT. The thing is, not everyone is meant to be a business-owner. Having a good idea is useless unless you have gumption to pursue it in a meaningful way. My mother always encouraged me to be entrepreneurial, and although I never acted on that advice in my teens, it stuck with me and now I can’t help but think in a very entrepreneurial way. By using the term “entrepreneurial spirit” I don’t mean to evoke the sentiment of capitalist greed – rather, I mean that I am able to think creatively, and that I am unafraid to venture down the unbeaten path. I don’t have an education in business, but I do have the ability to be innovative, and that’s a huge advantage.

– Erica Falco, Intern at ProMontreal Entrepreneurs

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