In a previous article we explained the benefits for students to join the entrepreneurship support ecosystem at the University of Pretoria (UP) at no charge. They have youth and time on their side and those with entrepreneurial passion have much to gain by starting to utilise the system without delay.
While entrepreneurship is the ability to start and grow a business, it is also a mindset that students can develop. They can decide to develop their own businesses and not depend on finding jobs after graduating. They can become employers rather than employees.
Entrepreneurship gives you the freedom to do what you love and to make a difference in an industry or a career field of your choice by providing a product or service that fulfils a need in that specific area.
To assist on this path, the Entrepreneurship Professional Online Development (POD) and its subsequent phases of offerings (#Start_UP, #Link_UP and #Grow_UP) will provide successful candidates with all the tools, skills and aid that they need to become entrepreneurs.
In the #Start_UP phase, you will refine your business ideas and present them to a team of experienced business managers who will help you by suggesting changes where they see pitfalls. Those that are workable will be taken to the next phase.
As a young entrepreneur, you will benefit from the skills and experience of expert business managers and analysts who will critically evaluate what you have put forth. This means that you will not be spending time, effort and money on an entrepreneurial project that will fail owing to inexperience, poor market analysis, or lack of need for a particular product or service.
It could take up to three years to develop an entrepreneurial model for a business that works. Students signing up for the free POD course in the first year could have a business up and running by the time they graduate. This gives them the opportunity to be generating their own income, while receiving support from UP during the course of their studies.
In the current economic climate, many graduates will struggle to find employment, but that does not need to happen to you. All you need is the will and mindset to be a leader in your field. With the skills and experience of the UP Entrepreneurship team and the benefit of youth behind you, you have the right mix to make your business idea a success. Remember, it does not matter what you study, every discipline has entrepreneurial opportunities for self-employment.
Some of the advantages of being a young entrepreneur include:
- You have the ability to adapt to and implement new technologies easily.
- You can take more risks in business because you have time to rectify errors and recover from minor losses. This is not the case with older people in business who have more to lose and less time to recover.
- You have a vision for the future that you and your peers will inherit. Your mind is open to new ideas and ways of thinking. You have the ability to change the world.
- You can learn from failures and do better next time.
- You have flexibility and freedom. As a student, you have lengthy holiday periods in which you can work and invest time in your business ideas. The flexibility of working for yourself can become a lifestyle if your ideas are successful.
- You can grow your own networks from your peers in class. You will all graduate soon, and then have the necessary resources to call on in terms of skills and business contacts among fellow-alumni.
- You are in charge of your own destination.
- The UP Entrepreneurship Programme will support you all the way.
You can make a difference to your future, and positively affect the lives of those around you by becoming a successful entrepreneur. Skills and resources have been made available to you. You simply need to sign up for the POD course right away by registering through clickUP at www.up.ac.za/POD/Entrepreneurship.