If you ask people what entrepreneurs need the most to succeed, they will often tell you it's money. Having the capital to operate and grow a business is important. Yet, I am convinced something else tops the list. It's something business builders themselves are often unaware they need.
Entrepreneurs' Greatest Need
The greatest need was confirmed by Jay Bailey, entrepreneur and president and CEO of the Russell Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (RICE) in Atlanta, Georgia. He was the keynote speaker for The NIIC's Dr. Daryl Yost Ideas@Work event. "Entrepreneurs' greatest need isn't capital; it’s community," Bailey said.
RICE is the nation's largest African-American-focused incubator and has created a strong community. When working with its clients they say, "We support you. It's ok. Let's create a safe space for you to fail and fly."
It's a concept that's working in Atlanta and can work in northeast Indiana, too.
A Community of Communities
Northeast Indiana is a community of communities. Groups of individuals with different skin colors, cultures, socio-economic backgrounds, ages, abilities, locations, sex, perspectives and more. Entrepreneurs want role models and mentors within their own communities.
Usually, a certain level of trust needs to exist before these individuals ask for help to make their ideas a reality. We need to provide that for them.
The Challenge for Everyone
It takes a mindset change to realize we each have something to offer to create the community of support business builders need to gain confidence and knowledge to succeed.
Bailey challenged all with the "power of one." He said, "Change the world, starting with the three feet around you. Look around. What do you have now that you can give? How can you be impactful?"
Northeast Indiana CAN build that for all of our communities, and it starts with you.