Mushrooming of entrepreneurs; separating the wheat from the chaff

The mushrooming of entrepreneurs in the country is very progressive and worthy of praise. Entrepreneurs contribute highly to the economic development of the country both nationally and globally. They play a key role in the success of any economy at all levels and need to be appreciated, recognized, incentivized, and capacitated to reach their full potential.

However, some of them are using the influx of entrepreneurship initiatives as a cover to parade themselves as entrepreneurs without any tangible or operational business to show. The majority of them move from one grant initiative, award ceremony or seminar to the other without focusing on and developing their own businesses to profitability, to leverage it as a pedal for further growth.

This is very alarming and must be closely looked at by various players in the entrepreneurship ecosystem to ensure funding is given to dedicated entrepreneurs who are actually seeking to develop sustainable businesses.

The term “Public Relations (PR) Entrepreneurs” has been used to describe mostly young people who are hiding behind the entrepreneurship revolution and using social media to promote themselves and their businesses that are not well grounded, but are portrayed to be extremely viable with skyrocketing profits and impact, sometimes even sugarcoating it to make that impact social.

These PR entrepreneurs move from one social media handle to the other, over magnifying their own achievements, receiving one obscure accolade or the other and luring potential investors and donors to buy into their superficial initiatives.

It is however worthy to note, that everyone possesses the ability to be an entrepreneur – to dream, to invent, to create and to capitalize on opportunities. Yet, others are able to conceive a great idea for a new business, to create an original and innovative business based on a simple but explosive idea.

For some of us, it may take a longer time to develop that ability and it may take more work.  In either case, it is necessary for each of us to know that, learning to invent, to create, to conceive original business ideas, is a process of discovery.

Becoming an entrepreneur is an unending journey of self-development with no final destination. One that requires a constant investment of time and energy,  an attitude of patience, determination and perseverance, all coupled with an enthusiastic  and unwavering belief in your business idea.

Several entrepreneurship initiatives such as Enhancing Growth in New Enterprises (ENGINE), an entrepreneurship development programme funded by DFID and implemented by TechnoServe Ghana, have had to reject certain “entrepreneurs” whose business records of the last three to five years showed that they have been contesting in a plethora of different initiatives using the same concept to compete and yet the businesses were stagnant and not developing as falsely claimed.

Normally when you go to various gated houses in residential areas, it is boldly inscribed “beware of wild dogs” but in this context, one must take great caution to “BEWARE OF PR ENTREPRENEURS”.

Entrepreneurship is a demanding business that requires people to take it very seriously, and put in all the necessary systems and structures to allow it to grow. It is not merely an escape from working for others.

If not properly understood, entrepreneurship may be very misleading and can adversely affect the perceptions of others about entrepreneurs in general. This may consequently reverse the growing interest in the development of entrepreneurship in the country and the continent at large, and will in turn diminish the hard earned resources many stakeholders are investing to improve the entrepreneurship ecosystem.

According to Forbes, any young person in any other area of developing a business, must follow at least 5 of the steps below;

– Developing of a differentiated and value adding business model

– Ensure your business can make money right from the beginning of the business

– Get out of the building and find customers for the product and use customers to help build the product and work consistently to make it a success.

– Invest in continuous experimentations and mastering of the process. By changing different components of the business model canvas based on testing and validating it with the customer or the product and making the appropriate changes, then can move to massive execution.

– Develop the business further and remain sustainable and above the competition.

In the aforementioned listed criteria, there was no mention of jumping from one donor to the other or one grant to the other. Focus on developing the business.

The more we spend time on the business, the more it improves on its viability.  Real entrepreneurs spend an incredible amount of time to develop and sustain businesses to grow profitably.

Sometimes getting grant money to fund a business can be illusive because it does not give an accurate picture of how to independently break-even and become profitable, and the business can stagnate with the slightest withdrawal of the donor or grant.

The wealthiest asset entrepreneurs have is their minds, yet PR Entrepreneurs do not invest in their minds to develop their businesses off the ground with practical measures and systems.

This is a clarion call on all entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs that the world is getting cleverer, the mysterious veil shrouding entrepreneurship is being uncovered and the stakeholders and investors are becoming more warier of who they spend their money or investments on, so we all need to pull our weight and put in the necessary required time, effort, passion, drive and commitment to grow our ideas into sustainable businesses.

Overhyping your business without having robust structures and smooth operations will not sell your business for long. But a very effective mix of marketing with a grounded practical approach, coupled with qualitative experience will allow the business to grow in a sustainable manner, and even outlast the entrepreneur to become a multi-generational business.

Do not use the short cuts, go through the drills of entrepreneurship and grow your business to success.

 

By: Jonas Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana

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