The path of the entrepreneur isn't for everyone - NEF give young people the skills, experience and contacts they need to start their own business, but here are the qualities you'll need to get there.
1. An Appetite for Risk
No one gets it right first time, and that's not a bad thing. You need to be able to take risks and see what works and, more importantly, what needs improvement. If you play it safe all the time you could miss out on valuable learning experience.
You will meet many challenges on your journey; some you will expect and some will be a complete surprise. Remember that facing difficulty is a completely normal part of this process - the important thing is how you face these issues. Every successful entrepreneur has faced problems in their career, but in the end you may realise that this unpredictability is half the fun of taking this path.
3. The ability to manage chaos and cope with uncertainty
One of the key strengths of a new business is agility, so you will need to be ready to change your ideas and practices to suit the needs of the market and your customers. The early days will likely be a process of finding out what you're good at and building your team accordingly, so make sure you are comfortable with change and adaption, and ready to harness the power of chaos.
4. Strong commercial acumen
It's not enough just to have great ideas - you need to be able to make them work in practice, and keep working. These means you need to work out how to monetise and sustain solutions, and adapt to commercial changes. The entrepreneur has to play many roles, especially at the start, so you need to be able to judge what routes are worth taking, and what ideas might bear fruit.
5. Self-awareness and humility
Entrepreneurs are aways learning and adapting, and sometimes you will get things wrong. You need to be able to take responsibility and also accept help when you need it. NEF helps you build connections with established entrepreneurs so you can learn and be inspired, so you need to be ready to listen. Self-awareness is also essential when you build your team - you need to know your strengths and weaknesses in order to choose people who complement your skill set
An obvious one, but nevertheless essential. Entrepreneurs are driven to succeed, in their way and on their own terms. You need to be always looking for the new ways to get ahead, to build your business and to improve.
7. A Passion for Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship can be a uniquely satisfying path, though no one claims it is the easiest. It is crucial therefore that you have the desire to really make it in this world, to keep you going through any ups and downs and to drive your ideas forward. If you want others to follow you in your endeavours, you will need to believe in them too and be able to inspire that passion in others.
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