For Entrepreneurs


Various resources, including those related to entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, business plans etc can be accessed on this page

What does it mean to be an entrepreneur?

Very simply, an entrepreneur is someone who sees an opportunity to fill a need and takes the initiative to fill it. Entrepreneurs are often associated with business or for-profit examples like that of Pierre Omidyar, founder of e-Bay, who recognized the need for people to buy and sell an infinite number of items in an online marketplace. Entrepreneurship, however, has a broader reach than for-profit ventures as entrepreneurs are also those who recognize and seek to fill a social need. One example is Steve Mariotti, a former business entrepreneur and public school teacher who started a foundation to teach entrepreneurial concepts to low-income youth. Regardless of the particular venture, the ability to innovate, to handle risk and uncertainty, and to work independently are key characteristics of successful entrepreneurs.

Many entrepreneurs start their first ventures as students, as a sideline to explore an interest or idea. Below are highlighted resources both at and outside Columbia to support entrepreneurial interests.

How do I get started?

In considering pursuing an entrepreneurial idea, you should first ask yourself some questions:

  • What is the product or service I am proposing?
  • Is there a strong need for this product or service?
  • To whom will you market your product or service?
  • What is the industry you are entering? Is it a growing industry?
  • What changes do you foresee in the industry both short term and long term? How will your venture be poised to take advantage of these changes?
  • What factors will make your venture successful? Do you have the resources (financial, human, time) and skills necessary to undertake this new venture? What background experience, skills, and strengths do you personally bring to the venture?