The Challenges for Entrepreneurship Today

Today, with the internet boom, entrepreneurs have become one of the most dynamic forces in the economy. Entrepreneurs are now driving the technology boom, which is itself driving much of the world's economic growth. This makes entrepreneurs very important from a macro-economic perspective. They have become a broader economic phenomenon that has a major impact on the economy. As the globalism of business becomes even more widespread, this impact will be felt even more deeply. Entrepreneurs are already becoming a major force in developing nations and in the economy worldwide.

The scope of what entrepreneurship involves will continue to change and evolve as the world continues to change and evolve, and yet there are some common issues of how to start a business, how to finance the business, how to run the business that within this community we can share and learn from each other. While we still have many heroes and stories, entrepreneurism is an established field with a wide range of issues at all stages of the enterprise.

A common denominator for all entrepreneurs is the challenge of starting a business, be it through inventing something, looking for a new idea within a business, finding the right opportunity to break into a business or buying into a franchise. And all of these take planning - organizing all the aspects so that you reach your goals. All entrepreneurs are also faced with financing their entrepreneurial venture. Even intrapreneurs usually are faced with financial hurdles within corporate rules. So unless the venture comes from your own pocket getting money is a challenge that requires preparing funding proposals or applications to be written and/or presented for loans, venture capital, angel investors or even IPO's. There is so much information written about these stages of an entrepreneurial venture that sorting the good from the bad is an overwhelming challenge in and of itself.

Once past those challenges, however, one would think there would be smooth sailing. Given the business has a good plan, everything should proceed with minor glitches. However, the implementation stage seems to be the real make-or-break point of an entrepreneurial venture. There are hypotheses that part of the problem is that idea people and implementation people are very different breeds of people, but there are enough exceptions to that rule that is a difficult position to defend. More realistic, perhaps, is that there are such a wide variety of skills needed at the implementation stage, that no one person can have the skills to manage all the functions well. The real talent is for entrepreneurs to recognize what they do well and then find employees or subcontractors who can fill the gaps.

One way to look at this implementation stage is to look at how many different skills are involved in operating a business. Operating a business involves employees, marketing, advertising, sales, communications, public relations, legal needs, government regulations, equipping the office, risk management, disaster planning, crisis management, insurance, technology, hardware, software, the internet, and the financial aspects of the company - bookkeeping, managing debt, taxes, and barter.

Without a strong technical basis, there is no business. Above and beyond this, however, is the conceptual aspect of management: ethics, leadership, growth philosophy, and even the exit strategy of the company. These are much less tangible, yet set the overall theme and direction that the business will take.

How is an entrepreneur to deal with all this overload of challenges? The good news is that there are plentiful resources: discussion groups, educational resources, professional associations, and publications to turn to for support and counsel. One could also say that having so many available resources is also bad news because one other element that entrepreneurs have in common is lack of time -- sorting through those resources to find the ones that work for you can be an arduous and painful process. That is what this site is really about -- a place that helps people running small businesses find the valuable information they need to find solutions for their particular needs and interests.