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7 ways to get started as a budding entrepreneur

Lynn Elesy

Careers Commentator
Our rapidly changing world requires innovative thinkers and people willing to try new things.

Employers have always looked to gradu­ates for leadership and initiative. Today’s climate of constant change and uncertainty, coupled with the growing importance of the global community, means that being able to show concrete examples of entrepreneurial ability will help demonstrate that you have initiative, drive and enthusiasm and can provide essential skills for the future economy.

And, if you are like many of your fellow Aus­tralian university students who want to start your own business within a few years, why not get a jump on it now?

Getting an edge

Regardless of your degree, one of the best ways of developing entrepreneurial skills is through exchanging ideas with other like-minded thinkers, building knowledge by getting involved in new projects and trying out business ideas.

"Graduates must have the ability and capacity to adapt and learn new things."
– Kristina Kipper, KPMG

Here are 7 ways to unleash the inner entrepreneur and get started:

  1. Do your research! Read the stories of other entrepreneurs and understand what made them successful.
  2. Attend MeetUps for inspiration and ideas, and to meet and surround yourself with other like-minded people.
  3. Volunteer to run a fundraising campaign or event to get experience running projects and events.
  4. Start a business or become a contractor – tutor other students, sell products on eBay, create prototypes and wireframes to get more experience.
  5. Do a course. See what your university has to offer. Many uni­versities now have courses in entrepreneurship and enterprise or offer workshops on related topics, such as networking and innovative thinking.
  6. Once you've got a solid idea, enter a start-up competition so you're forced to flesh out your plans and test your idea thoroughly. You might just get some game-changing feedback.
  7. Start networking and see if there are any ways to partner up with other people offering a complimentary service. You never know how you might be able to help each other.

And check out Enactus, a global university social enterprise organisation that offers students support to work in teams on entrepreneurial projects with the aim of helping others.