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.
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.
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
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 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 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
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
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
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
Recruiting a co-founder | Recruiting volunteers | Recruiting employees | Hiring employees | Managing employees | Paying employees | Firing employees
Strategic plans | Setting goals & milestones | Evaluating company performance | Setting a vision & mission | SWOT analysis | Scaling up operations