Many of the secret ingredients required to be a successful entrepreneur, college students already have, author and journalist Donna Fenn said Feb. 6 during her lecture on “The Secret Sauce of Entrepreneurs.”
“Entrepreneurs are really the people who are holding our economic future in the palm of their hands,” she said. “You are the first generation to grow up with true entrepreneur role models. Starting a business is cheaper, easier and faster than it has ever been before.”
Generation Y, also known as the Millennial Generation, is more social and values collaboration in a way that previous generations have not, which allows its members to better network with each other to create new businesses. Generation Y also a understands how to connect old economy businesses with new economy people, Fenn said, such as a student who started a dry cleaning business geared to restoring garments damaged by smoke, water and mold. He realized insurance companies covered the cost for such restoration, and he only needed to bring that to the attention of consumers.
Fenn also shared the stories of young entrepreneurs with organic baby food, wine-tasting and other businesses with social missions from their conception.
“You can start an impactful business in any industry, and you don’t have to be technology savvy. It is not likely that the next Mark Zuckerberg is sitting in this room, but it is likely that many of you will be successful entrepreneurs,” she said.
Fenn is author of Upstarts! How GenY Entrepreneurs are Rocking the World of Business and 8 Ways You Can Profit From Their Success and Alpha Dogs: How Your Small Business Can Become a Leader of the Pack. The former business journalist of 25 years is a contributing editor at Inc. Magazine and the co-founder of The Mentors Council, an initiative of The Young Entrepreneur Council.
“They best way to keep a job is to create a job of your own,” Fenn said, adding that entrepreneurship is the “best path to economic independence.”