In today’s society, entrepreneurs hold an important position in our economy. They are the distinct few who serve as the driver of the economy’s engine and stimulation of economic activity. In fact, a community is successful only to the degree to which it encourages entrepreneurial activity. The entrepreneurs and their activities are the critical determinant of the level of success, growth and opportunity in any economy.
Entrepreneurship encourages competition: Most entrepreneurs tend to be naturally competitive, they think outside the box, and they see how an industry could benefit from a fresh perspective. When an entrepreneur enters the market, they begin to shake things up and even challenge the existing market. Whether an entrepreneur is launching a new product or bringing an existing product to a new group of customers, established companies are forced to make changes or fear losing market share.
Entrepreneurship encourages innovation: Entrepreneurs represent the main source of job creation and innovative activity in an economy, two factors that generally result in raising the standard in any community. Under the right conditions, entrepreneurs have an incredible opportunity to serve their community as they help engineer innovative solutions to problems and challenges they see in existing industries.
For an economy to thrive there must be competition, growth and innovation.
Entrepreneurs move communities forward: Entrepreneurs must lead the development of any entrepreneurial community because entrepreneurs who bring new products and services to market are the true job creators in our economy.
Since January 2016 the Wichita community has seen the launch of several entrepreneurial related initiatives, including 1 Million Cups, Startup Grind, e2e Accelerator, LaunchPrep, and Co-Working Wednesday (launching in October). While these may not seem to be extravagant leaps and bounds, each of them serves a purpose of moving our economy forward. Allow me to provide some insight.
There have been 80 1 Million Cups gatherings, nine Startup Grind fireside chats, six companies graduated from the e2e Accelerator, and 15 companies receiving mentorship through LaunchPrep.
That’s 160 early-stage entrepreneurs presenting their companies for six minutes. That’s nine successful Wichita entrepreneurs sharing personal stories and lessons learned on the road to building great companies. That’s six entrepreneurs receiving investment to accelerate the growth of their business beyond Wichita. That’s 15 entrepreneurs receiving one-on-one mentorship from Wichita’s most successful entrepreneurs.
For entrepreneurship to continue being an economic driver in Wichita, it will take the entire community – both from the public and private sectors – collaborating for the common good and raising the standard for our economy.
Genuine support for the entrepreneurial community can change the outcome of a new business by providing mentorship, connections and resources. Entrepreneurs know the value of community intuitively and are more than willing to help.
Don’t underestimate the power of a small weekly activity. Even little changes can make a big difference.
Jacob Wayman is director of the e2e Accelerator.
Interested in writing for “Business Perspectives”? Contact Marcia Werts at firstname.lastname@example.org or 316-269-6762.