What I learnt about entrepreneurship today….
by Natasha Munasinghe
So here I find myself at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in the UK. We had Richard Branson kick us off how he got started on his journey. He was saying that when he started Virgin, he had no money, and so he sold advertising for his mail order catalogue even before he printed it. Why? He needed the advertising to fund his printing!
We also had some awesome British entrepreneurs share how they became entrepreneurs. Lord Heseltine who started up world famous Haymarket Group and former Deputy PM of UK – who shared how he started his journey on entrepreneurship by buying a boarding house with 2 of his mates and subletting the rooms with 1000 pounds. A year later, he sold the house and bought a bigger house and off he went.
As I write this blog, I am listening to Marc Nager co-founder of StartUp Weekend and Nick Seguin from the Kauffman Foundation talk about how important it is to have a team when it comes to entrepreneurship. They are saying that it is not about getting the ‘brilliant idea’ – it is about finding the right people who can work well together and do whatever it takes.
Sharing a very personal relationship about why I became an entrepreneur – I got a reminder this morning. I just heard that a good friend of mine is facing some hard times, is out of work and looking after his newborn child on his own. He has to stay home to look after his daughter and this is impacting his ability to find a job. The fact that I run a company means I can give him opportunity to work for me and perform some work that I need done. It’s not much – but it is something I can contribute to him. This was a very timely reminder that entrepreneurship is really about job creation and livelihoods – giving people a chance to live a happy life. Yes! the Zuckerberg type success is AWESOME – but ultimately impacting people positively I think is what it is about.
There are 123 countries sharing about all their activities, events and the momentum around entrepreneurship in their countries and I can’t help thinking – we have so much to do in Australia!
About the author, Natasha Munasinghe
Natasha Munasinghe is a solicitor and the Managing Director of The FRANK Team. She has most recently being a Judge at the Clean Tech Open which looks for new emerging ideas in the arena of sustainability. Recently, she has appeared on media outlets including Channel 10 and SBS commenting on themes such as entrepreneurship, community engagement as well as the influence of emerging generations.