The Impact of Entrepreneurship Education

I would like to reccommend that you all take a quick look at this study, which takes less than 15 minutes:

The Impact of Entrepreneurship Education: An Evaluation of the Berger Entrepreneurship Program at The University of Arizona, 1985-1999

They do a great job showing the real impact that Entrepreneurship Education can have on people and the economy. They make a compelling case for adopting it.

You can find the complete PDF file at:



The Most And Least Profitable Businesses To Start ...

Entrepreneurs start companies for all sorts of reasons. Maybe they have a passion, like being in control, want more flexibility--or even hate their current jobs.

But no matter the inspiration, one thing's for sure: They'd better make money. A rising revenue line might make for good cocktail conversation, but if you don't turn a profit--and keep turning one--you won't be an entrepreneur very long.

Take a look ate the Most and Least profitable businesses to start, according to Forbes.com


HP and AméricaEconomía (a leading latinamerican business magazine) are on the search of the global SME´s (small and medium enterprises) of Latin America. You have to complete your info (if you are interested in participating) entering here.

Interested in knowing former winners?


Top Ten Myths of Entrepreneurship

Posted on January 10, 2008 at http://blog.guykawasaki.com/

1. It takes a lot of money to finance a new business. Not true. The typical start-up only requires about $25,000 to get going. The successful entrepreneurs who don’t believe the myth design their businesses to work with little cash. They borrow instead of paying for things. They rent instead of buy. And they turn fixed costs into variable costs by, say, paying people commissions instead of salaries.

2. Venture capitalists are a good place to go for start-up money. Not unless you start a computer or biotech company. Computer hardware and software, semiconductors, communication, and biotechnology account for 81 percent of all venture capital dollars, and seventy-two percent of the companies that got VC money over the past fifteen or so years. VCs only fund about 3,000 companies per year and only about one quarter of those companies are in the seed or start-up stage. In fact, the odds that a start-up company will get VC money are about one in 4,000. That’s worse than the odds that you will die from a fall in the shower.

3. Most business angels are rich. If rich means being an accredited investor –a person with a net worth of more than $1 million or an annual income of $200,000 per year if single and $300,000 if married – then the answer is “no.” Almost three quarters of the people who provide capital to fund the start-ups of other people who are not friends, neighbors, co-workers, or family don’t meet SEC accreditation requirements. In fact, thirty-two percent have a household income of $40,000 per year or less and seventeen percent have a negative net worth.

4. Start-ups can’t be financed with debt. Actually, debt is more common than equity. According to the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Small Business Finances, fifty-three percent of the financing of companies that are two years old or younger comes from debt and only forty-seven percent comes from equity. So a lot of entrepreneurs out there are using debt rather than equity to fund their companies.

5. Banks don’t lend money to start-ups. This is another myth. Again, the Federal Reserve data shows that banks account for sixteen percent of all the financing provided to companies that are two years old or younger. While sixteen percent might not seem that high, it is three percent higher than the amount of money provided by the next highest source – trade creditors – and is higher than a bunch of other sources that everyone talks about going to: friends and family, business angels, venture capitalists, strategic investors, and government agencies.

6. Most entrepreneurs start businesses in attractive industries. Sadly, the opposite is true. Most entrepreneurs head right for the worst industries for start-ups. The correlation between the number of entrepreneurs starting businesses in an industry and the number of companies failing in the industry is 0.77. That means that most entrepreneurs are picking industries in which they are mostlikely to fail.

7. The growth of a start-up depends more on an entrepreneur’s talent than on the business he chooses. Sorry to deflate some egos here, but the industry you choose to start your company has a huge effect on the odds that it will grow. Over the past twenty years or so, about 4.2 percent of all start-ups in the computer and office equipment industry made the Inc 500 list of the fastest growing private companies in the U.S. 0.005 percent of start-ups in the hotel and motel industry and 0.007 percent of start-up eating and drinking establishments made the Inc. 500. That means the odds that you will make the Inc 500 are 840 times higher if you start a computer company than if you start a hotel or motel. There is nothing anyone has discovered about the effects of entrepreneurial talent that has a similar magnitude effect on the growth of new businesses.

8. Most entrepreneurs are successful financially. Sorry, this is another myth. Entrepreneurship creates a lot of wealth, but it is very unevenly distributed. The typical profit of an owner-managed business is $39,000 per year. Only the top ten percent of entrepreneurs earn more money than employees. And the typical entrepreneur earns less money than he otherwise would have earned working for someone else.

9. Many start-ups achieve the sales growth projections that equity investors are looking for. Not even close. Of the 590,000 or so new businesses with at least one employee founded in this country every year, data from the U.S. Census shows that less than 200 reach the $100 million in sales in six years that venture capitalists talk about looking for. About 500 firms reach the $50 million in sales that the sophisticated angels, like the ones at Tech Coast Angels and the Band of Angels talk about. In fact, only about 9,500 companies reach $5 million in sales in that amount of time.

10. Starting a business is easy. Actually it isn’t, and most people who begin the process of starting a company fail to get one up and running. Seven years after beginning the process of starting a business, only one-third of people have a new company with positive cash flow greater than the salary and expenses of the owner for more than three consecutive months.


The Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards

The Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards is a unique business plan competition for female entrepreneurs in the initial phase created in 2006 by Cartier and the Women's Forum with the support of McKinsey and INSEAD management school.
Each year, 5 Laureates, one per continent, receive a US$ 20 000 grant and personalized coaching support for a full year.This website - www.cartierwomensinitiative.org - intends to provide you with the main information regarding our Awards and how to participate in our competition, but also key resources for writing your business plan, launching your business and realizing your dreams.

Read more on:
Deadline: February 15, 2008, 23:59 (Paris time: GMT + 1, extended deadline).

If interested, I know a colombian winner of 2006, that I´ll be happy to put you in contact with.


Hamburgers made out of cactus?

To see the original new in spanish from the colombian newsletter EL TIEMPO, click here
Happy new year!
Sorry for the silence of this blog in the past days, but as in many latin countries, we were on Xmas holidays. The good news are that there are lots of entrepreneurial stories to share after this break!
Let me start with this first one, that I found particularly fascinating.
In the northern colombian departament (state) of GUAJIRA, a team of wayuu indigenous secundary school graduates started recently what they call "the first bakery in the desert". Before having this bakery, sure they could get somehow bread, but this one would be already old and hard, in all cases not an attractive thing to buy or eat.
The innovative aspect of their bakery, is that they have discovered in the cactus, one of the most common plants in the desert, a great insume to produce food and drinks such as sweets, wine and even hamburgers! What for the "white men" (called by the wayuus white mean arijunas) is an useles plant, for the young team of wayuu entrepreneurs became a source of work.
Their endeavor started after they visited a zone in the desert full of medicinal plants and other native species of flora ... after this they talked to their grantparents about the old traditions and came to the conclusion that their environment was ruled by three main things: SUN, SAND and CACTUS. So, they had to find a way to make use of them, specially with the cactus. For that, they contacted Rafael Márquez, who is known as one of the most experienced individuals in cactus in Colombia.
This sounds like a great story (and it is!) however the limitations and difficulties to make all this happen were ane are many. Lack of efficient transpotation means, energy, computers and internet have made the education of teh former secondary students and set up of the business very hard. The government has tried to offer some help in equipement and energy plant, however a big proportion has been useless. And here is when the real entrepreneurial challenge starts, a good idea is not enough, resources are needed, and this search of resources and the balance to keep still their products of high quality is the current day to day of this wayuu entrepreneurs. I really hope to read and hear much more from them in the future.
If anyone is interested to support, let me know!