Celebrate Entrepreneur Week!
February 16 is the first day of National Entrepreneurship Week. What is an entrepreneur? A word derived from Old French meaning “to undertake”, Miriam-Webster defines it as “one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise.” Our country was founded on entrepreneurial ventures starting with Jamestown and entrepreneurs continue to make our economy flourish.
The business ideas that entrepreneurs bring forward are as varied as snowflakes but all businesses have three common needs. All need resources to grow and can include capital, skill or time. All start-ups need to reach a market. A third ingredient to the success of start-ups is defined as a “pro-business climate.”
Earlier this month, The Business Journals ranked Raleigh as the fourth-best area for small businesses. Raleigh and the rest of the Triangle offer a plethora of support for start-ups and numerous communities for collaborating and idea sharing. CED, Bull City Forward, Hub Raleigh, Bull City Stampede, Cary Innovation Center and Morrisville Innovation Foundation are just a few of the organizations providing support for entrepreneurs. Some focus on certain industry sectors and some on certain geographical areas, but all are working to help good ideas grow by connecting the entrepreneur to funding sources, locations, training, labor, suppliers, markets and the list goes on.
These organizations focus a great deal of time on creating a pro-business climate. Creating a working entrepreneurial community demonstrates success breeds success. These entrepreneur- support organizations build that community by setting up connection events, learning sessions and facilitating mentoring. These organizations also build a pro-business climate by working to cut through government red tape at all levels, seeking out grants and funding and sometimes working with their local governments to build an incubator to increase the likelihood for new ideas to grow into businesses.
The Morrisville Innovation Foundation just launched its HOTTies program. “HOTT” is an acronym for Heart of the Triangle for Morrisville’s highly desirable location and its focus on community. The program announced the five companies that will participate in this five-month program offering office space, education and a community of support. The five winning ideas range from education programs for kids to therapy development for health concerns and represent the great diversity of the Triangle’s economy. For more information, go to http://www.hottovation.org. Picture with winners attached.
It is hard to imagine that companies like Wal-Mart, IBM or Lenovo were once just an idea in someone’s head. Who knows? The next Microsoft might be in the office next to you or even better, your business! Let’s make sure the Triangle is the choice for start-ups to thrive and grow.
2013 HOTTies class: Paige Julianne Sullivan, Concert Telecommunications; Steve Doyle, Finder 411; Ed Burgard, Efflux Pharma, Creighton Blackwell, Chair, Morrisville Innovation Foundation; Carlotta Ungaro, President, Morrisville Chamber of Commerce; Samra Busic-Janisch, Excel Heritage Group. Not pictured is Jason Barker of JB Webnology Group.
Author: Carlotta Ungaro, President, Morrisville Chamber of Commerce