We help young entrepreneurs  – and their advisors & mentors – understand and apply our entrepreneurship methodology, called our Pathway to Business Ownership.

GUIDING PRINCIPLES

GROWTH MINDSET

We know that people’s most basic abilities – and their businesses – can be developed through dedication, learning, and hard work. Volunteers and young entrepreneurs should share this mindset.

LEAN & SCRAPPY ENTREPRENEURSHIP

We believe that the best way to launch a business is to test the business idea quickly, reliably and repeatedly – the Lean Startup approach. We believe in bootstrapping a business, using resources you already have or can easily get without spending too much money or taking on too much risk.

FOCUS

We believe that focus on a single idea at a time is vital. If an entrepreneur can first learn how to successfully build one business, then they can apply that learning to other ideas more easily in the future.

  40/40/20 RULE

 We believe that when launching a new business, an entrepreneur’s best teacher is their customer. To learn from their customer, we encourage entrepreneurs to spend 40% of their time trying to sell their product or service, and the other 40% of their time making their product or service better. In this way, they learn what their customers like and don’t like. Then, we also encourage them to spend roughly 20% of their time getting feedback from their mentor & advisors, working on business “maintenance”, learning, dreaming!

Our advisors and mentors provide support across 14 different areas to help young entrepreneurs build their business.

BUSINESS MODELING & PLANNING

Business models | Business plans | Vetting business opportunities | Defining a value proposition | Industry and competitor research | Estimating business costs | Customer segmentation | Marketing & sales channels | Predicting revenue | Identifying and evaluating key suppliers | Identifying and evaluating partners | Lean Startup methodology | Strategic planning

CUSTOMER DEVELOPMENT

Identifying customer problems & desires | Finding where potential customers are | Identifying channels to reach customers | Identifying customer demographics and psychographics | Surveying customers | Interviewing customers | Finding product-market fit

PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

Product design | Market positioning products | Manufacturing | Materials sourcing | Shipping & delivery | Estimating unit costs | Pricing products | Taking product photos | Testing new products with customers | Improving product quality

SERVICE DEVELOPMENT

Service design | Market positioning services | Hiring & Outsourcing | Delivering services | Estimating costs of services | Pricing services | Creating bids and proposals | Taking photos of services | Testing new services with customers | Improving service quality

WEBSITE & TECHNOLOGY

Website visual design | Website copy and content design | Website creation | Creating social media | Using business apps | Using other online platforms

FUNDING

Getting crowdfunding | Getting a bank loan | Getting a loan from friends or family | Getting a loan from a supplier | Selling equity to investors | Pre-selling products or services | Getting grants for nonprofits

MARKETING & SALES

Negotiating business partnerships | Making direct sales | Building “brand ambassadors” | Getting PR & Publicity | Throwing events | Creating printed advertisements | Getting speaking engagements | Building a community | Preparing for trade shows | Selling through online platforms | Marketing through social media | Email marketing | SEM | SEO | Blogging | Creating marketing videos | Content marketing | Tracking customers | Customer testimonials

LEGAL & REGULATORY

Understanding & managing risk | Creating & reviewing contracts | Creating the right legal business structure | Getting permits & licenses | Getting insurance | Creating liability waivers | Trademarking | Copywriting | Patenting

ACCOUNTING & FINANCIALS

Budgeting | Setting up bookkeeping | Setting up Quickbooks or Xero | Setting up business banking | Credit card processing | Accounting | Preparing financial statements | Financial forecasting | Preparing for bank loans | Preparing for equity investors | Managing money | Investing money | Tax preparation

BRAND

Naming a business | Creating a business identity | Graphic design | Logo design | Business color selection | Identifying imagery | Slogans and taglines | Creating key business messaging | Creating an elevator pitch

OPERATIONS

Creating business procedures and policies | Analyzing & improving operations | Creating work plans | Managing equipment or property | Leasing or purchasing property

BUSINESS SOFT SKILLS

Negotiation | Self-confidence | Growth mindset | Self-awareness | Stress management | Resilience | Persistence and perseverance | Patience | Perceptiveness | Communication | Teamwork | Interpersonal relationship skills | Organizational and Time Management skills | Dealing with difficult personalities or situations

TEAM

Recruiting a co-founder | Recruiting volunteers | Recruiting employees | Hiring employees | Managing employees | Paying employees | Firing employees

STRATEGY

Strategic plans | Setting goals & milestones | Evaluating company performance | Setting a vision & mission | SWOT analysis | Scaling up operations

The right support, from the right people, at the right time.