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Ten Tips for Young and Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Tue, 14 November 2017

This blog is part of Shell LiveWIRE’s 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Week activities aimed at celebrating innovation and young entrepreneurs.
Starting a business can be tough at any age, but being a young entrepreneur can be especially difficult. Luckily, more and more young people are taking the chance, turning bright ideas into innovative and dynamic businesses that are providing real solutions to today’s challenges.
November 13th-19th marks Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), the world's biggest festival of entrepreneurship and an initiative Shell LiveWIRE is proud to support. In celebration of the event, we've gathered the best tips our alumni have to offer for young and aspiring entrepreneurs as they take the initial leap into entrepreneurship.
1. Start now
The only way to learn is by doing. Turn your idea into a reality and "start now" advises Shell LiveWIRE Grand Ideas Award winner Edwin Broni-Mensah of GiveMeTap: "If you have an idea, any idea at all, start building parts of it right now and keep experimenting and learning. You may realise you have created something amazing very soon!"
"Your most crazy ideas can make a difference," adds founder of Mimica and winner of the 2016 Shell Staff Inspiration Award, Solveiga Pakštaitė, "Don't let yourself wonder 'what if?' in the future."

2. Be positive
For co-founder of Flawsome! Drinks, Karina Sudenyte, a positive outlook is essential when starting a business. Viewing obstacles as goals, the Shell LiveWIRE Smarter Future Award winner emphasises that having the right mentality is key to succeed in business: "I've realised how important it is to have the right mind-set as an entrepreneur. We consider obstacles as positive challenges, which helps to motivate us!"
3. Build resilience
The ability to adapt and change, especially in difficult or unforeseen circumstances, is imperative for any entrepreneur. Henrik Hagemann, co-founder of CustoMem, gives the following advice for aspiring entrepreneurs: “I would suggest working on your ability to build-up your resilience in order to be able to cope with whatever comes along. Good emotional and physical health is very important.”

4. Work hard
The road to entrepreneurship is a long and trying but incredibly rewarding one. A combination of hard work, determination and passion is key to starting a business states founder of GreenPad Enterprise, Zak Ajia: “My advice for anyone wanting to venture into entrepreneurship is that they should have a genuine interest in it, have belief and confidence in the entrepreneurial ideas generated, and work very hard.”
5. Be patient
As the old saying goes, success does not happen overnight. Irina Fedorenko, co-founder of BubbleNut Wash, points out that patience is key when developing a start-up: "It's important to understand that things don't always go as planned. Just be patient and learn as much as you can while you go. Don't descend into a cycle of self-doubt - have confidence in your ability!"

6. Network, network, network
Setting up a business is hard work especially if you're doing it alone. Connect with other business owners and create a network with other likeminded individuals advises Alex Bond, co-founder of Fresh Check, and finalist for the 2016 Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award: "If I had to give a worthwhile piece of advice to prospective entrepreneurs, it would be to make yourself known! It's crucial to network and to talk to people".
7. Focus on the future
After starting your business, it's important to have a long-term vision which will guide your business in the foreseeable (and long-term) future. Think about where you plan to be in 3 months, 6 months and 12 months' time – then consider the longer-term recommends Adam Routledge, finalist for the 2015 Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and co-founder of Edible Bug Farm: "I would advise any young entrepreneur to take their time and focus on what will make the most significant difference in 20 years time, instead of any get rich quick schemes which seldom work. I would say to find something you are passionate about and you think has potential. Focus on small goals, so that each day you take a step closer to achieving your overall business aims."

8. Keep going
It's easy for the initial excitement of starting a business to wear off, but it's important to keep the momentum going – even through tough and challenging times. Don’t be disheartened by failure, says Marjan van Aubel, founder of smart energy business Caventou: "Be hardworking, be a rebel, and have no fear of failing. Don't try to do everything by yourself – that is the biggest mistake you can make. Don’t give up."
9. Believe in yourself
Believe in yourself and what you are doing. Think about the impact of your business and the effect it will have on others. "If you know what you're doing is a winner and if you believe in you, DO IT," advises Bryn Powell, winner of the Shell LiveWIRE Grand Ideas Award and co-founder of Containers Hostels, "There is no such thing as failure, only feedback. Think of a time that you were confident and successful, vividly remember it, and project that feeling into the future of your ideas, because that is where you're going. That was you then, that is you now, and that is you in the future."
10. Have fun
Finally, don't forget to enjoy the journey and to have fun says Haidin Rashid, founder of Materialize.X: "I really wish I'd known how fun being an entrepreneur could be before I started! The skills you learn and the people you meet are invaluable. Keep your idea simple, believe in it and you will succeed."

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