Are you thinking about entrepreneurship?
By Klemen Marinčič, mag.
Desire for success, persistence, ability to learn from mistakes, optimism, creativity, dynamism, and innovation. Do you recognise yourself in these qualities? Furthermore, are your desires and goals focused on seizing business opportunities? Then you have a good foundation to enter the business world.
What does the word entrepreneur actually mean?
An entrepreneur is a person who has the ability to recognise opportunities, create value, and is creative in solving problems. Starting your own business also involves a certain level of risk. To embark on the path of entrepreneurship, you must have the desire to start your own business and be willing to take on any associated risk.
Types of entrepreneurship
There is misconception that entrepreneurship only involves coming up with a good idea for a new product or service, based on which you set up a company to successfully market that product or service. This is the so-called start-up entrepreneurship, but there are other types as well.
Family entrepreneurship: as a rule, a family business mainly employs family members who occupy key positions in the company and hold the majority of ownership. Family businesses are then not just small-scale shops or production facilities. Family businesses also include large companies such as H&M, Tetra Pak, Benetton and others.
Franchise entrepreneurship: a system of business collaboration between legally and financially independent companies. This concept of marketing products and services is based on close collaboration between legally and financially independent companies – franchisors and franchise holders. In exchange for economic compensation, the franchisor grants another company the right to set up a similar business in strict accordance with its instructions and standards of quality. Some notable examples of franchise businesses are BHS Service, Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonald’s, Max Mara and others.
Internal entrepreneurship: the promotion of entrepreneurial thinking within large companies or corporations. In such companies, internal entrepreneurship is an attractive means of developing an innovation environment, new approaches to career development, a way to enter new markets and employ new technologies, and a process of decentralising operations. Since the entrepreneur is an employee of the company, they can make use of its infrastructure and resources. One example of internal entrepreneurship are the yellow Post-It notes, developed by a group of employees at 3M Company.
Social entrepreneurship: this type of entrepreneurship creates products and services that respond to social needs and problems, creates social benefits, and contributes to innovative solutions to social, economic, environmental and other problems. It provides jobs and social inclusion for vulnerable groups, and such organisations do not operate for profit. Social entrepreneurship is thus based on the non-profit principle (surplus revenues are reinvested into own activities), equality of members (owners and/or founders do not have a dominant role, decisions are taken by all stakeholders), and volunteering (all stakeholders of a social enterprise participate on a voluntary basis – employees, volunteers and others).
Where can I turn for help?
There are a number of support environments for anyone who wants to start a business, such as business incubators, advisory services, and funds. Below are a few links to organisations supporting entrepreneurs:
Start:up Slovenia: https://www.startup.si/en-us
Young Entrepreneur: https://mladipodjetnik.si/en
ABC Accelerator: https://abc-accelerator.com/
Ljubljana Technology Park: https://www.tp-lj.si/en
Are all entrepreneurs successful?
The business world is not just about well-known and widely adopted products and services, people who made a fortune with their invention, and success stories in general. No, the business world is much more than that. Entrepreneurs also face challenges, failures and crises. Although you may recognise in yourself the traits typical of an entrepreneur, this is no guarantee that you’ll actually succeed in the market. Ups and downs, successes and crises, victories and defeats are an integral part of business. Look at failure as an opportunity for a fresh start, a unique experience from which you can learn. There are many examples of companies that almost failed in their first years, yet ended as a success story (such as Microsoft or Apple).
UL Career Centres and entrepreneurship
If you want to develop your entrepreneurial potential, if you’re motivated to learn and gain the knowledge and skills you need to develop your idea, we invite you to join our activities.
- Throughout the year, we organise workshops at member faculties. With a focus on communication, professional knowledge, and skills, these workshops encourage entrepreneurial and innovative thinking and help you put your ideas into practice. Contact the career adviser at your faculty or academy for more information.
- 3P: Ready to start your entrepreneurial journey? The event encourages young people (especially students) to explore their entrepreneurial potential, presents examples of good practice and support groups/organisations assisting those who are starting on their entrepreneurial path or think about doing so.
- I will be an entrepreneur! You can also create your career on your own terms. You can turn your business idea into reality or join a team of young entrepreneurs. Slovenia has a well-developed support environment, where you can learn about business opportunities or start developing your own idea. UL students can join the Ljubljana University Incubator, which helps entrepreneurs and everyone who wants to become one to test their business ideas. They offer mentoring, entrepreneurship workshops and online education. You can find many business incubators and support environments online and connect with them when developing your enterprise.
- I created an invention or innovation – what now? The University’s Knowledge Transfer Office can help you evaluate the potential of your idea, protect your intellectual property rights (registering a patent, model and trademark), promote your idea, and find business partners. They also offer guidance to those at the very start of their entrepreneurial journey.