e-Zine 2019 no 1

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Find out about entrepreneurial ecosystems in Belgium, Italy, South Africa and the Ukraine

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Do you have an entrepreneurial role model? Who inspires you to want to think and act like an entrepreneur?

These are interesting questions for me.  Who do people identify as entrepreneurs? Which entrepreneurs do they find inspiring and see as potential role models? Responding to these questions on LInkedIn, people cited the following people as role models:

- Torben Bager, a Danish professor at a university entrepreneurship centre 

- Aliko Dangote, a Nigerian commodities entrepreneur

- Robert Kiyosaki, an American entrepreneur providing finance and business education

- Ivan Tyrsted, a Danish business angel

- Gary Vee, a Belarusian American media entrepreneur

and other people found inspiration in students in Nigeria and from their own grandmother!

Even these handful of people demonstrate that entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes, and that although we can find role models in the media we can also find them much closer to home.

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Discover the six stages of your entrepreneurial journey!

Do you want to understand how far you have come on your entrepreneurial journey and where to aim for next? 

My vision is that everybody can benefit from having an entrepreneurial mindset. However, the entrepreneurial mindset is often discussed in very simplistic terms - you either have it or you don’t. Therefore, your journey is simply to go from zero to entrepreneurial hero. Realistically, it can’t be as simple as that. For example, all around the world people know a lot about how to ‘start up’ but much less about how to progress to ‘scale up’.  

I am promoting a model that breaks the entrepreneurial journey down into six stages: 

1 Wake Up, 2 Wise Up, 3 Warm Up, 4 Start Up, 5 Scale Up and 6 Shake Up

The model is designed to help people to get going on their entrepreneurial journey and to help them plan how to get to the next stage. A big lesson is that the knowledge and skills that help you to master one stage might not be what you need to get you to the next stage!

The Entrepreneurial Ⓜ️indset Network is an international network with a mission to support you on your entrepreneurial journey. 

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What role should a university play in its city, region and country?

It was pleasure to explore this question when I recently gave a keynote speech entitled “The Living University” at a special event on the topic of “Third Mission of Universities: opportunities and challenges” organised by the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan.  The event was a stimulating mix of discussions, information sharing and cultural events including theatrical and musical performances.    Hundreds of people attended the event.  People from all walks life in Milan discovered "an unexpected university" - one that is intimately connected to the city.    For me the "Living University" is one that is fully engaged with the people of its city and is working in partnership to create economic, social and cultural value. It was very impressive to witness the mutual commitment of the university and the city to this vital collaboration.  I was very grateful to have been invited to contribute to this debate and I thoroughly enjoyed my first introduction to the beautiful environment of the university.  

Download an interview that was published in Corporate Social Responsibility Today.  

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What role can entrepreneurship play in the future of South Africa?

I had a great time exploring that question in January during the “Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education: fast-tracking entrepreneurship development” 3-day event in Johannesburg.   I led 4 workshops at the event on the themes of the economic and social impacts of entrepreneurship, the concept & practice of the entrepreneurial university, the 6 stages of the entrepreneurial journey and the power of the entrepreneurial mindset.   The participants, who came from 29 higher education institutions in South Africa were friendly, enthusiastic, knowledgeable, open and inspiring.  They were such a pleasure to work with.  Together we mapped out how each person could make their own contribution to developing the entrepreneurial mindsets that will be necessary for the future.  Many thanks to Norah Clarke at Universities South Africa and Anisa Khan at the British Council in South Africa for the invitation to contribute to this event.  I am already looking forward to our next collaboration!

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