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The business of entrepreneurship

Staff Reporter

Students of management schools share their experiences


  • Entrepreneurs advised to start a low-risk business
  • "Stealing a good idea, do it better"



    VALUABLE TIPS: Georgia State University faculty member Jim Beach talks to students at the Great Lakes Institute in Chennai. — Photo: S. Thanthoni

    CHENNAI: "Teaching of entrepreneurship is the teaching of how to get rich," said Georgia State University (GSU) faculty member Jim Beach.

    He should know, as he has been an entrepreneur several times over. Although he confesses he was pushed to start his own business because he couldn't get a job and his parents kicked him out of home.

    Mr. Beach spoke to the students of Great Lakes Institute of Management (GLIM) on Friday during a recent visit to the city with his students from GSU.

    An interaction between the two management schools was arranged so that they could compare and understand cultural differences in business environments and entrepreneurial activities in both the countries.

    A statistic shows that 86 percent of the millionaires in the U.S. are first generation, which means they didn't inherit, marry or divorce the money, pointed out Mr. Beach.

    Mr. Beach started his first business — a children's education company — with $ 2,000 on a credit card and grew rapidly. He said thesolid advice to the would-be entrepreneur was to start a low-risk business. It was not about creativity, it was about stealing a good idea and doing it better. Of course it is also important to do something you enjoy.

    "You should build the business with money on hand. Start small and slow as long as you own your own company," he advised the students. In the U.S., the average entrepreneur owned only four percent of their company in the end; what's the use of working so hard for that, queried Mr. Beach.

    The GSU students are covering four Indian cities to study how the government is intervening to help entrepreneurs. GLIM students introduced the visitors to their Entrepreneurship Development Forum (EDF), where they are able to experience the process hands-on.

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