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Who wants to be a millionaire entrepreneur?

Business Buzz is a monthly column presented by the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation. Every month, read about entrepreneurship, obtain business management tips, and find out what’s going on in the small business sector. Jamillah Lodge is a Business Development Officer for Bermuda Economic Development Corporation.

What exactly is an entrepreneur? Wikipedia states that the term entrepreneur was first defined by the Irish-French economist Richard Cantillon and is a loanword from French, commonly used to describe an individual who organises and operates a business or businesses, taking on financial risk to do so.

Now that the term has been defined, it should be easy for any of us to do, right? I would suggest that an entrepreneur is more than just a term to define a person willing to take business risk, but also a mindset.

Clifton Taulbert and Gary Schoeniger co-authored Who Owns the Ice House which tells the story of an unlikely entrepreneur who despite all things set against him, overcame unfortunate circumstances to achieve a better life through entrepreneurship.

So the question remains, how do we create the same mindset that Uncle Cleve harnessed when he established himself as a successful serial entrepreneur owning and operating five businesses in segregated Mississippi?

The answer starts with how many small business owners view entrepreneurship.

Many small business owners are sole proprietors, the owners having created a job for themselves.

To start creating an entrepreneurial mindset, you have to be willing to think beyond creating a job for yourself.

Ask yourself: how you can grow your business? and how will this growth impact you and other members of your community?

Having had the opportunity to hear entrepreneurs like Gary Schoeniger and Richard Branson speak, I noticed that they shared a consistent theme: that entrepreneurship was more than just about making money, it is about making a difference.

Many entrepreneurs may start with the need to survive, but true entrepreneurs once they have satisfied their survival instinct take it further and seek to effect change.

If then, as an entrepreneur, your role is to effect change, how do you do this?

Michael Gerber in his article Traits of a Truly Entrepreneurial Mindset suggests that “In order to develop a truly entrepreneurial perspective, you must begin again.”

He likens entrepreneurship and building a business to writing a book.

“What would that book of yours say?

“What would you, as the author of your book, wish to impart to your reader that would hopefully transform the way they think about their life, about their success, about their future?”

I agree that to truly become an entrepreneur, you have to be working towards something greater.

You have to have a driving purpose that will give you the strength to persist despite the many obstacles you may face.

Identifying your driving force, your cause, can help you to begin to develop an entrepreneurial mindset.

“In the words of Taulbert and Schoeniger “entrepreneurship is a mindset that can empower ordinary people to accomplish the extraordinary.”

She specialises in providing aspiring and existing entrepreneurs with business development advice and loan guarantee assistance.

In addition, she manages the marketing and communications plan for the Corporation and oversees the development of a mentorship and youth entrepreneurship programme.

She has a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer and should serve a general guide and should not be considered as replacement advice from a lawyer, accountant or other professional service provider.

Readers should consult with the appropriate professionals as necessary. If you have questions about starting a business in Bermuda, just ask BEDC: Email us at info@bedc.bm or call 292-5570.

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Published April 16, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated April 15, 2013 at 6:10 pm)

Who wants to be a millionaire entrepreneur?

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