True or False: Entrepreneurship Edition

Common Misconceptions About Entrepreneurship… Is Entrepreneurship What You Really Think It Is?

There is always going to be a societal perception surrounding any topic because of information society has instilled in us as the “norm” and what “usually occurs”. Entrepreneurship is one of these topics. There are certain elements that coincidentally occur with most situations, but that does not limit it to every single occurrence. Individuals with no knowledge or experience with entrepreneurship may tend to perceive it in a way that is learned from pop culture, media, or experiences in their daily lives… but that isn’t all it is.

Although the majority of people may perceive entrepreneurship a certain way, these common misconceptions can be dissected and explained below:

1. Entrepreneurs are born, not made

Image Source:  Giphy

Image Source: Giphy

Some people tend to believe that individuals are born as entrepreneurs, which means that they cannot be “made” or “developed”. It may seem as if individuals are born to follow a certain path because of their natural talents and abilities. However, talents and abilities can be practiced and built. It is definitely nurture rather than nature because entrepreneurs can be created, honed, and trained simply through passion and determination. If you are passionate and have a plausible idea, you can become an entrepreneur as long as you are not a quitter and are determined to see your idea through to the end.

You don’t necessarily have to be a “born leader” to be an entrepreneur or be born a genius at running a business. You can learn these skills through lessons or real-life experiences. If you are willing to learn and put in the time and effort, you can definitely succeed. Regardless of whether you are naturally born with talents, any skill needs to be consistently practiced. It’s possible to acquire skills and abilities to become a successful entrepreneur no matter if you were “born talented” or not. Anyone can become an entrepreneur – you just have to be passionate and dedicated to your idea or what you want to achieve.

2. Entrepreneurs are gamblers

Image Source:  Giphy

Image Source: Giphy

Creating any business on your own is risky which is why people have a perception that entrepreneurs are “gamblers”. It is a common belief that the more you risk, the higher the return/reward you can get. However, entrepreneurs only take up risky challenges if they believe the odds are in their favour and that they have a chance to gain the reward because they tend to seek the best risk/reward action. All risks need to be carefully calculated and thought out. This is because all risks can put the business’s reputation, time and investment at stake. You do not want to take a risk purely on your belief – lots of research needs to be done beforehand. Most businesses are risky, but with thorough thinking and planning, one can take calculated risks and not lose everything, even if the business may not fully succeed.

3. Entrepreneurs just want to make a lot of money

Image Source:  Giphy

Image Source: Giphy

Contrary to popular belief, money is not the only means in which success can be measured, and financial gain is not the only factor that motivates entrepreneurs. There are various factors that can motivate and inspire someone to become an entrepreneur such as chasing a dream, a desire to have a flexible schedule, being your own boss, having freedom, and making a change in the world. Money is definitely a motivator, but that doesn’t mean that it was what drove them to start the business. People usually create businesses because of their true passion for it and this is why they have the patience and effort to grow the business.

4. You have to be young to be an entrepreneur

Image Source:  Giphy

Image Source: Giphy

People tend to have this idea that an individual should become an entrepreneur at x age to x age because below that bracket would be too young or above that bracket would be too old. Yet they don’t realize that age should not be a limitation for entrepreneurship; in the end it’s simply a number depicting how old you are which shouldn’t hold back what you choose to do at whatever point in your life.

As we are currently in the digital age, businesses can be easily started wherever and whenever through e-commerce. With the technological advancement today, no matter where you are and how old you are; you can start a business.

5. All entrepreneurs have a degree in business

Image Source:  Giphy

Image Source: Giphy

Obtaining a degree in business may help you yield a slight advantage, but it isn’t a necessary component to become an entrepreneur. So many notable and successful entrepreneurs didn’t actually start out with a degree in business – let alone finish school for that matter. With hard work and determination, anyone can be a successful entrepreneur. You just have to WANT to learn and be willing to learn constantly – whether it’s marketing or another topic related to your business such as food.

Individuals have the ability to come up with an idea and create something regardless of the degree they have – you can even have no degree. People also learn as they go, so skills that you may not have now that you may need in the future can be learned through taking lessons, self-teaching or through real-world experiences. Entrepreneurs come from all different backgrounds; the diversity is what makes entrepreneurship so interesting because you use what you know to your advantage and constantly build your skills as you go.

There is not one true path to success with regards to entrepreneurship. You can be a college dropout and become a very successful entrepreneur. It is all about how innovative you are, how passionate you are, and how much you want to succeed.

Even in Enactus Ryerson, not all of the project managers are pursuing a degree in business – they come from all different programs across campus.

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Blog post by:

Jenny Bang

 


5 Pieces of Advice from Successful Entrepreneurship Students

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Thinking about majoring in Entrepreneurship? The Entrepreneurship major (ENT) is one of Ryerson’s newest and most exciting majors. With classes like Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Strategy, and Identifying Opportunities, students are not only taught entrepreneurship strategies but also how to begin to think and solve problems like an entrepreneur. Much of your classes will focus on experiential, or project-based learning. Concepts such as design thinking, and out-of-the-box problem solving are enforced with hands-on projects and venture creation.

If this sounds interesting to you, you might want to consider majoring or minoring in ENT! To help incoming ENT majors prepare, we reached out to ENT majors at Ryerson and asked them for advice they would give to incoming students.

1.     Stay Involved!

Like all other majors, you can only take full advantage of the skills and concepts you learn, once you put them to use! School programs and groups are a great way to do this. In the Entrepreneurship major, it can be especially beneficial to attend workshops to learn how to expand on, and apply concepts learned in class in a social setting. Networking events are also a great way to meet more individuals in your major and those interested in entrepreneurship. This can broden your network, and allow you to ask upper-years questions. The Ryerson Entrepreneurship Association (REA) hosts lots of ENT-centered events throughout the year; these can be a great place to start.


2.     Take Advantage of Zone Learning

Image Source:    WhyRyerson   .

Image Source: WhyRyerson.

Ryerson Students have access to 10 different start-up incubation zones, each for different industries. This means bringing your ideas to life has never been easier. Enhance your student experience by taking advantage of startup workshops and employment opportunities hosted by the zones. You can even apply for a membership if you have a business idea, but don’t know where to start. These memberships offer mentorship, funding, resources and connections to get your startup or experimental project off the ground. Joining a zone can give you real life experience as an entrepreneur.

3.     Discover Your Purpose and Nurture Your Passion

In order to become a successful entrepreneur, it’s no secret that you need drive and a passion to make change. To enhance your success in this field you must dig deep and find out what type of change you want to make. Are you passionate about a social change you want to see in your environment? Or maybe you have an idea that you know will change the world for the better? Figuring out what drives you can motivate you toward success and give you a sense of your goals as an entrepreneur. Once you choose something that inspires you, the possibilities are endless!

4.     Set Goals and Work Towards Them

Being an entrepreneur isn’t simply working in a specific industry, but being an industry trailblazer with your own unique ideas. Think about where you want to go once you graduate, or what types of businesses you might want to start. Think about the skills you will need to make your goals a reality and actively work towards them. Once you focus your studies using a specific business or product idea, you are able to focus your learning and motivate yourself more!

5.     Delete Misconceptions and Be Ready for the Realities of Entrepreneurship

Many people think the life of an entrepreneur is glamorous, and some choose the profession only because it seems trendy, or because they don’t want to work for others. It’s important to understand the life of an entrepreneur isn’t just those things. Just because many of your classes won’t have exams, doesn’t mean the program isn’t serious. Prepare yourself for a lot of hard work, sleepless nights, and thinking on your feet. Just like any other profession, success will come your way so long as you’re willing to work hard, and develop connections and instincts. Much of the learning you do in class is experiential, so be ready for lots of hands-on learning, and for both positive experience and mistakes.


Overall, pursuing an Entrepreneurship major is a unique and a rewarding experience. We hope these tips help you decide if the major is for you, and prepare you for what may come next.

Thank you to the following Ryerson Entrepreneur students, for providing insights on their program experience for this article: Aniel Molina, Rand Abu Ras, Marie Rocha.

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Blog post by:

Zoe Papakonstantino