I was lucky to attend Unbound Bahrain and Bahrain startups conference and meet so many entrepreneurs and startups and most importantly people willing to invest in your business. The panels were fantastic, and everyone spoke from the heart. There were so many sessions and of course there was the hackathon where many groups were trying to find the best way to do online payments. I will list down for you the best remarks on what qualities you should have as an entrepreneur, as well as a list of funding sources.
Some of the best remarks to help young entrepreneurs were voiced by people who are in business for a while, some of the remarks are here, some are mine:
- Think outside the box
- Prepare a good pitch
- Be humble
- Be innovative
- Always be alert and never procrastinate
- Money will not come easily as you have to earn it
- Sharpen your focus every day as an entrepreneur
- If you have a good idea go for it, don’t wait as the ideas are like the waves it can move to other heads and people will do them and you will lose out (think of those two that discovered the radio at the same time)
- It doesn’t matter what others think of your idea, if you have a gut feel that it will work just go for it
- Do not be a copycat, unless you think you can take the idea of someone else to a different level
- If you are listening to someone with a good idea, do not go first and implement it, you may or may not succeed as it didn’t come from your heart
- Stick to what you know, if you are an engineer then do your engineering ideas
- Your age doesn’t matter, you can be 12 or 72, if you have a good idea then go for it, the sky is your limit when success is to be sought.
If you are looking for funding, then, apparently there is lots of money out there if you have the right pitch, first though think about the sources and what their intentions are, try to fund your project through your own money, or your three F’s (family, friends and fools) or Peer to peer funding which is not dissimilar to getting money from the three F’s, however it’s a less structured approach; if that doesn’t work, then go for the other avenues list below:
- Angel investors (people who made money themselves and have lots of money to spend on new ideas)
- Crowdfunding is impersonal and it’s through a website. If your idea is good then you will get buyers.
- Be careful with both. You may lose your idea or your business to them if it does well, have a lawyer check your contract.
- Watch out for awards and grants too, many of these exist.
- Some VCs invest in the team rather than the idea.
Now I must warn you, you need to have knowledge of how to run your business, having an idea only may not work, you need knowledge in finance, HR, management, marketing, branding, and because you are still an infant in running a business then you will need to learn these yourself or get a mentor to help you. Many people like to give advice and actually are registered in certain website just to help young entrepreneurs.
Last advise, if you are a student, you may want to think of taking entrepreneurship courses, as you never know how life can turn, you may be an entrepreneur already.