01.03.2016 in Entrepreneurship, Expolanka, Latest by copaceticweb 0

How work experience helps entrepreneurs.

With the popularization of Tech startups entrepreneurs are often synonymously referred to as innovators or disruptors, as these descriptive words take over the identity of entrepreneurs, the importance of previous work experience for entrepreneurs in developing skills and knowledge, primary or ancillary, is being downplayed.

 “I wanted to be an editor or a journalist, I wasn’t really interested in being an entrepreneur, but I soon found I had to become an entrepreneur in order to keep my magazine going.”

-  Sir Richard Branson

In a world where the phrase “Entrepreneurs are born not made” Jonah Peretti, Sir Richard Branson, Jan Koum, Jack Ma, Steve Jobs and many other entrepreneurs have proved to be an exception to this outdated statement. Even recent research has proven that the perception regarding this statement has shifted, where 37 of the 38 markets believed that entrepreneurship is something that can be taught, and that entrepreneurs can in fact be made. The respondents of the research further cited that business skills, management skills and “entrepreneurship in practice” training and education programs are essential for them to launch their own businesses.

How does one gain these skills? As the best way out is through, so are skills. Work experience has been an influential actor in moulding entrepreneurs, by honing entrepreneurs’ skills to helping them identify the area in which they should pursue their entrepreneurial activities.

“But, it was only by trying out as many different jobs as possible – from a fish and chip shops to working in a call centre – that it became apparent I was well-suited to being an entrepreneur.”

-          Nick Holzherr, Whisk.com

 Nick Holzherr is a firm believer of work experience and its ability to influence entrepreneurs in developing their skills. He claims that he’s past work experience has helped him to gain certain soft skills that he has used in his own business venture. For example, he has adopted certain aspects of the training programme at Deutsche Bank for the training of his employees. Apart from this, he states that he still uses the file-naming system that he learned from his time as an intern at the Bank at Whisk.com.

Another advantage of having prior work experience when endeavoring in entrepreneurial activities is that it helps an individual to identify their strengths and weaknesses, which helps them to understand the areas which they can thrive in and the areas they would need to make additional hires. This identification of strengths and weaknesses often lead to the realization of the area in which they would eventually start their business.

Additionally, once an individual has selected a business area,work experience in the said field will not only expose them to the method of operation, but it would also help to build contacts that would be useful once their business takes off. As a result, they would be able to understand if they truly have the will to go beyond their passion to pursue the venture in a professional and personal level.

However time is not an expendable commodity, how does an individual ensure that they will receive the essential work exposure? Entrepreneur.com had identified five business areas that budding entrepreneurs should consider working before starting their own venture, they are; Retail, Food, Sales, Customer Service, and Management. The reasoning behind these diverse areas of business is that it not only helps an individual to understand consumer buying behavior, but it also helps to understand the work style and leadership style that they will in due course integrate to their business.

Expolanka Holdings’ has often reiterated the importance of its covenant of “Building a great business with a dare to do spirit”; from its working culture to the different activities it has organized for budding entrepreneurs. The organization’s dare to do entrepreneurial spirit has been in constant motion from its founders to its employees. In an effort to further improve and exhibit the diverse skills of its employees Expolanka has organized various events like ‘Expo Sports’ Colours Night, and Expo Got Talent.

Expolanka has also organized many activities to improve the entrepreneurial learning in Sri Lanka, through sponsoring programmes such as Venture Engine, an AREA award winning project done in collaboration with Blue Ocean Ventures and Indian Angel Network that provides entrepreneurs with the necessary funding, mentoring, and information to turn their start-ups to successful, self-sustaining business ventures.

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