Entrepreneurs are a crucial element to advancing as a human race by improving the lives of individuals and communities, as well as the overall economy. Being an entrepreneur is a challenging path to choose. It can take a mental, emotional physical, and financial toll. Yet, entrepreneurs say yes to the call and persist in fighting against all odds. Sadly, support and access to capital have withered. There has been a decline in entrepreneurship over the past century. There are many reasons why including the increase in student loan debt and the shrinking of the middle class, meaning uncle Joe can no longer afford to offer a business loan. That is why it is even more important for us to support new business startups of friends, associates, and even those we may not know.
Many times entrepreneurs feel as if they are working alone in a silo. In the building stage of a business, there is not a lot of outside encouragement to help build momentum. Momentum has to come from internal forces and often it can be depleting. A founder puts energy into every crevasse of the business – from product development to marketing to fundraising to stocking the office toilet paper. And if there is a setback the founder still has to be the cheerleader for the business by being strong, confident, and optimistic. It is no wonder why founders are 4X more likely than the general public to suffer from depression.
Being an entrepreneur is hard work. The support received often is in the form of praise, but rarely is there action behind the words of affirmation. Most of us are guilty of not taking action. Understandably so, life is busy and complicated. But what if you took just one minute of your day to “follow” your friend’s business page or pre-order their product?
What you may not know, if you’re not an entrepreneur, is how meaningful it is to receive support. The smallest of actions can be the biggest boost to a business and an entrepreneur’s momentum. Doing things like donating five dollars to a classmate’s crowdfunding campaign or offering to help paint your cousin’s new office builds the energy and momentum an entrepreneur needs. Here are some other ways you can help:
A very easy way to support is by “following” or “liking” a business page. Building a following builds credibility for the business and can be the key to opening up things such as funding, partnerships, and purchases. Many people look to social media as a means of evaluation. So click that button to support and consider sharing their content from time to time.
Entrepreneurs need various connections to launch and sustain a business. You might have the perfect connection needed to advance the business. This could be a potential mentor, angel investor, potential customer, influencer, press, or connections directly related to a need specific to the business (such as a warehouse with good rates or a graphic design artist). Every business is different, ask a founder what kinds of connections they may need. One intro email has the possibility of transforming the expansion of the business.
Forgo a couple of days of lattes and purchase your friend’s product. If you aren’t their target audience for the product, buy it and give it to a friend. There is no better way of showing your support than validating the product or service the person you know is offering through a purchase. It is a great way to show you truly want that person to succeed and for them to feel supported. The purchase can help them naturally to fund their business and offers concrete statistics to show market need and assist with other things such as increasing visibility through algorithms on a platform they’re selling on.
Post a review or send a testimonial to the entrepreneur for use on their website. If it is a physical product you can take a picture of it or even better a picture of you using the product so it can be used for promotions. Loaning your voice of praise goes a long way toward building credibility for the business.
Let others know about the service or product being offered. Be a part of launching the business into the world by creating a ripple effect of support.
Host a “business shower” to help birth a friend/relative/co-worker’s business idea. If you know someone starting a business throw a party or have a happy hour where you invite your friends to bring a gift to launch their business. This could be office supplies, pre-orders of what they are selling, or anything else that might support their business.
Time + Skills
Gifting a few hours of help to a business owner is a great way to show your support. That could mean contributing a specific skill set based on your expertise or offering generalized help. This is a nice way to personalize your support through direct interactions.
Your support matters. Any action you take helps a business and business owner in concrete ways. It can also be exciting for you to be on the ground floor of watching a business take off or see how your support gives an entrepreneur more courage, fuel, and confidence to lead their organization. If you know someone starting a business or is a small business owner consider supporting them. You can also offer help to global entrepreneurs or purchase their products, especially in developing countries where resources and role models are scarce.
Tiffany Pham, founder of Mogul, adds, “It is important to encourage and provide resources to diverse entrepreneurs because they experience life through different lenses which allows them to solve unique problems. Supporting the right entrepreneurs, especially in developing countries can create a sustainable impact. By uplifting a business owner, communities flourish, innovations rise, and the world becomes a better place. Different global entrepreneurs are addressing issues that, if solved, could help positively impact other world problems.”
Entrepreneurs find holes in systems and come up with solutions. They see opportunities where others may not. They shoot for the moon, but at times hit the stars. They hustle. They take risks. They push beyond their limit. They do what others may not be willing to do. They engage their curiosity and imagination. They believe anything is possible. They contribute to something bigger than themselves. They drive innovation and push the world forward. They research. They create. They learn. They grow. They generate jobs and boost economic growth. They make products and services that can improve people’s lives. They need you and you need them. Your support matters.
Other articles in this series:
Article 1: Sex And Power Dynamics – Women In Business
Article 2: Feminine And Masculine Workforce Dynamics
Article 3: Women In Business Are Breaking Through Age-Old Systematic Constraints
Article 4: Uncomfortable Truths And A Three Trillion Dollar Missed Opportunity: Women In Entrepreneurship
Thank you for taking your time to learn and being a part of making a positive change!
Amanda Nunes and Irene Aldana were all business in their final faceoff before a bantamweight title headliner on Saturday at UFC 289. Nunes and Aldana showed
Enlarge / Acer continued selling laptops, like these Chromebooks, in Russia after saying it suspended business t
Consul Generals from several nations addressed the strong bonds their countries share with the Queens business community. Photo by Paul Frangipane Sign up
“My Economy” tells the story of the new economic normal through the eyes of people trying to make it, because we know the only num