Somalilandsun – School leavers and graduates in Somaliland facing unemployment would do well to consider entrepreneurship if they have courage and a desire for challenges. There are thousands of talented young people in Somaliland who are struggling to find work in the highly constrained and difficult local job market and who can instead use their skills and ambition to create their own jobs by becoming entrepreneurs.
Choosing Entrepreneurship as a Career
For many students and graduates, the thought of starting and running their own business is more a dream than a career option. However, using your time to solve a certain problem in society by creating a new product or service on a small budget can lead you to being able to work for yourself. You can do something you’re passionate about, create your own career path, develop the skills you’re interested in and create the lifestyle that you want, which is a dream come true for many people.
However, starting a business is very challenging and entrepreneurship is not an inborn talent for the vast majority of people. Instead, entrepreneurship — like success — is largely a choice and can be learned. With the right research, self-awareness and both the willingness to fail and the desire to succeed, it’s possible to take control of your own career and, in many cases, create additional jobs for others in the process.
What is Entrepreneurship and who are Entrepreneurs?
Definition: The word “Entrepreneur” has been taken from the French word “entreprendre”. It means undertaker. Entrepreneur is another name for Risk-Taker. Below are some definitions of an entrepreneur:
1. An entrepreneur is an individual who takes moderate risks and brings innovation.
2. An entrepreneur is a person who organizes/manages the risks in his/her enterprise.
3. An entrepreneur is an individual who takes risks and starts something new.
4. An Entrepreneur is an Economic agent who unites all the means of production.
5. An entrepreneur is an individual who takes moderate risks and brings innovation.
6. An entrepreneur is a person who has possession of a new enterprise, venture or idea and assumes significant accountability for the inherent risks and the outcome.
7. An entrepreneur is one who undertakes an enterprise, especially a contractor, acting as intermediary between capital and labour.
8. An entrepreneur is someone who starts or operates a business venture and assumes the responsibility for it. He or she provides goods or services to individuals or businesses for payment… etc.!
What does an entrepreneur do?
Entrepreneurs use personal initiative, and engage in calculated risk-taking, to create new business ventures/companies by raising resources to apply innovative new ideas that solve problems, meet challenges, or satisfy the needs of a clearly defined market. Therefore, entrepreneurship is not restricted to business and profit: Entrepreneurship involves bringing about change to achieve some benefit. This benefit may be financial but it also involves the satisfaction of knowing you have changed something for the better in society. Entrepreneurship is essentially the act of creation requiring the ability to recognize an opportunity, shape a goal, and take advantage of a situation. Entrepreneurs plan, persuade, raise resources/capital, and give birth to new ventures/companies.
Characteristics of an Entrepreneur
The words most commonly associated with entrepreneurs are: drive, self-confidence and ambition. Entrepreneurs are quick learners who make the most of their time and resources. They are good communicators who are careful with money, deal with problems straight-on and like to be challenged. The best entrepreneurs are successful because they are passionate about what they do, and their passion spreads to their clients/customers and their team. This helps because when things get difficult, it’s easy for them to remember why they are doing what they doing, and that pushes them to keep going.
Overcome the fear
The biggest difficulty to starting a business — whether one that’s been carefully planned or a business created out of personal necessity — is the fear of failure. The fear of failing and, potentially, losing everything is a common one, everyone has it! The best way to overcoming this fear is learning to embrace failure. You will certainly face difficulties or hit the wall from time to time — but it’s the ability to change direction and keep moving towards your goals that separates the successful from the unsuccessful.
Create a successful new business
Those looking to start their own businesses need to understand the ingredients and strategies of entrepreneurship if they’re to succeed. There’s great value, not only for individuals but for Somaliland as a whole, in creating more new businesses. The mainstay of the Somaliland economy is small business and it is the future of meaningful, sustainable job creation. The few existing big companies in Somaliland cannot create all the jobs the country so badly needs. The country and its government need to cultivate an environment that allows people to start businesses and keep them in business.
Do what you love – but make money too
When it comes to picking a suitable new business one of the most important things is to find something you love doing, but also something that which will make you money that is to say something which is economically viable.
It’s important you understand your own main competencies and use that to answer the questions “what would make me happiest?” and “what would be acceptable to the market and market conditions?” For some this might mean turning a hobby into a job, for others it might mean taking a personal experience and turning it into a training course for others.
One of the advantages of today’s knowledge economy is that it is possible to start many sorts of businesses with very little capital. This means the ability to start small and take one small step at a time, rather than searching for big capital or taking on debt. By starting from zero with very little borrowing, entrepreneurs can maintain control of their young businesses as they grow.
Don’t give up
Starting small also means when you do fail you can jump back more quickly and have lost less in the process. Which brings us to the most important question entrepreneurs need to ask themselves: Are you prepared to lose everything and come back despite hardship and misfortune? Remember, we don’t read or hear about entrepreneurs’ failures in the media, only their successes, but behind those successes are dark times and struggles. You need to be prepared for that, because the honeymoon phase will be over quickly.
By: Imran Jumah – Lecturer, ADMAS University College – Hargeisa…
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