“I want to become an entrepreneur” - this is my personal conclusion after the first six months of our MY-WAY project (http://www.mywaystartup.eu/).
Meeting great experts, change-makers, innovators and people who are passionate to support young wannabe entrepreneurs has radically changed my way of thinking. Before MY-WAY, I thought that I am too old to become an entrepreneur (by the way I am 31). I have a cool job and I am surrounded by great people (hold on... I will not leave the company... I am seriously in love with my job) and I did not really understand why these people are so enthusiastic: what makes them so motivated? Money? Success? No, absolutely not!
These people are different; it is true, but only in a good way. They (not only the entrepreneurs but also those who are supporting them) are motivated simply by doing a great work they believe in – independently, knowing that every action they take has a direct impact on their company, employees, business partners and of course their society (check out what social entrepreneurs are doing, they are amazing people).
I could list the good examples, best practices until tomorrow morning, but still, here comes the question: Why do young talented people boggle at the challenge of turning their ideas into a startup? Fear of failure? Lack of knowledge? Simply they do not know how to start? Yes, a little bit of all of these. So how can we, those who would like to support the young people, handle this barrier?
MY-WAY project is also trying to understand these obstacles. We have conducted a study among students to understand their fears, knowledge, and expectations for support. This study will be available soon on our website; its results are fascinating. We are not the only one dealing with this issue. The LIFE project - Failing Forward http://failingforward.eu/ - (one of the 10 H2020 projects next to MY-WAY that are working on the implementation of the Startup Europe Initiative – yes we are a big club: http://startupeuropeclub.eu/) is about collaborative learning from failure in entrepreneurship and collaborative actions to bring entrepreneurship forward. It is a great initiative, we are leaning a lot from them and we are trying to deliver their message to “our students”.
Recently I met the CEO of BridgeBudapest (http://bridgebudapest.org/). This unique initiative is from Hungary, the founders are great innovators such as Prezi, NNG, Ustream, LogMeIn and Seagate Technology. “… the biggest problem is that the majority of Hungarians do not believe in themselves and in the possibility of change”. BridgeBudapest would like to change this negative attitude by making a positive contribution through sharing stories of successful Hungarian entrepreneurs.
If we want to be really honest, this also applies to others in Europe, but with the support of these initiatives (and of course many others – I can write about them if you are interested?!) big changes will happen soon...
Main conclusion: I want to be the part of this change! How about you?
Question to the EM community: Would you like to read more about the startup world and unique initiatives? Shall we continue this topic?