We are quite familiar with the term “inner calling” – it has a streak and a pull of its own. Intrapreneurship is one element which is supposed to lead to path breaking organizational development from within an enterprise. This particular concept is picking up steam because people are realizing that it is a lot easier to develop a start-up, while already on the inside at an established company. And while entrepreneurs are in the spotlight right now, that will probably change once the public sees just how talented intrapreneurs can be. However, both initially and in the long run you should remember that this art in business is delicate and tends to attune itself with both conforming and conflicting interests.
While the idea of becoming an intrapreneur can seem like an easy route to pursue toward success, you still have to know how to approach it so that you avoid mistakes that others have faced along the way.
Jay Coen Gilbert, B Lab Cofounder
When we first started taking a closer look at benefit corporations, we were really building off of the momentum that began with B Lab, the nonprofit that pushes for Benefit Corporation legislation and certifies B Corps. Little did we know, we’d be interviewing Jay Coen Gilbert, one of the three cofounders of B Lab, on our blog! We were so excited, we added a few extra questions in today’s interview where Jay tells us about the benefits forming a B Corp brings to society and the environment, and that for all companies, it’s most important to take the first step and see where you stand.
1. What’s the source of your passion and inspiration that drove you into your leading role in the Benefit Corporation movement?
B Lab’s three cofounders, Bart Houlahan, Andrew Kassoy and I (Jay Coen Gilbert), all share a passion for using market forces to address society’s greatest challenges. We’ve worked in business for most of our careers and hope to harness the amazing talent, passion and resources we’ve seen there to make a better world. Ultimately, we founded B Lab to serve those entrepreneurs who are using business as a force for good.
The increasing bankruptcies or dissolution among small businesses has mirrored the decreasing confidence of small entrepreneurs have had in the already sluggish economy. Since the start of recession, securing funding for a small business is more difficult than ever. One example is getting credit to start a business venture. Since lenders and investors know the fact that small businesses are more prone to risks, they are getting wiser and stricter on who will be eligible to lend credit. This leads small business owners to pursue alternative funding options and other sources of funding that are often overlooked but might prove to be the start of smooth sailings for a business.
Having a great business idea is just the first step. Getting funding for your new company is the more challenging task that follows up. Often, individuals are discouraged from making their dream a reality because of the limited funding opportunities that are available.
It is possible to find investment for a business idea, even if the economy is slow. Presentation of your idea and having a highly professional business plan will show potential investors that you are serious and that you have what it takes to succeed. The following tips will help you present yourself well and capture the interest of potential investors.
It comes as no surprise that thousands of businesses, large and small, have gone bust during the current downtrend in the economy. Literally millions of workers have been made redundant, leaving them on their own to carry on. Some have tried their hand at contracting whilst others put their expertise to work at launching small business enterprises. Those enterprises that survived understood what it takes to start a small business in a bear market. Against all odds, many of these small businesses are flourishing concerns today because they took the time to get the facts straight before launching their company.
So You Have a Vision – Is That Enough?
Your business concept is awesome and you know it. But you need startup funds and a way to convince investors that they’ll see a return on investing in your business. The thought of putting together a business plan that will effectively “sell” your business concept to seasoned investors is intimidating, but it’s also essential in getting the funding you desire. A well rounded business plan will provide you with valuable insight into your business, its potential for success, and the areas in which you may want to fine-tune your operating model. Continue reading
Starting a business as a student is an exciting and eventful experience where you will have to face many hurdles in order to become successful. Throughout the process of starting my own business, I went through several challenges that many students who own businesses face and learned a lot of lessons that I want to share today.
Worrying about your finances is perfectly normal for students and one where having a full savings account, wealthy parents, or another source of capital would certainly come in handy. Starting out on your own can still be done with a small capital, no matter what your financial situation looks like. Continue reading
Oh, the elevator pitch. Everyone is supposed to have one – tucked away in their back pocket, ready to be unleashed. Typically most elevator pitches have been hanging on with their writers since college, hurriedly scribbled down the night before class. They’ll tweak it depending on the occasion, but after a while the delivery goes stale.
Disclaimer: It may not be appropriate to give your pitch in an actual elevator.
Minds always begin to wander the minute an opener like ‘Our company represents the future of…’ is uttered anyway. Continue reading