Entrepreneurship is the Key - 2010 NACCE Student Essay Contest Winner
Friday, January 7, 2011
Posted by: Matthew Montoya
Brevard Community College
An entrepreneurship student was once quoted saying, "Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won't, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can't”.
I will say that many of us, whether already successful entrepreneurs or aspiring, can find a lot of raw truth in that statement. After all, the word entrepreneur itself is in part, one who assumes great financial risk in the hopes of achieving success. Many of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs were in fact, college dropouts: unable to afford both their education at universities and the funding for their business ventures. In today’s economy, dropping out of college to follow an entrepreneurial dream is a drastic and risky decision.
However, with affordable tuition community colleges have become an ideal place to create and nurture entrepreneurs. With unemployment rates nearly doubled since 2005 (U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics), college degrees are now a necessity for students hoping to stand a chance in today’s competitive job market, and through the support of community colleges aspiring entrepreneurs will not have to make the choice between an education and a dream. Research has shown that the 2010 unemployment rate for high school graduates was 10.8% (Zagier 2010). That figure dropped by more than half for college graduates. These figures are no secret to high school students, and enrollment numbers are on the rise at community colleges across the country. With more students beginning their college careers during high school via programs such as Dual enrollment and early admissions, community colleges have come to be a vital step in the shaping of this nation’s future entrepreneurs.
However, aspiring entrepreneurs may wonder how a community college can provide the tools they need to be a successful entrepreneur. Where are they to go to learn the ins and out’s of becoming a business owner? Many can and will choose the path most traveled and learn through the course of many trials and errors. However, hasn’t it always been said that we should learn from other’s mistakes? The same holds true for other’s successes. Brevard Community College is embracing this knowledge, developing degree programs specifically tailored to the aspiring entrepreneur. By gathering courses from various degree programs and bringing them together to create a program that includes all aspects of business ownership and management, from beginning business plans to maintaining a successful business.
Many business owners journeyed down a bumpy path, learning for themselves how to (and how not to) deal with legal issues, marketing, finances, management, licensing, ethics and of course networking. Through proper education and preparation, community colleges are becoming a vital tool for those who aim to be both successful college graduates and business owners. Smaller class sizes, personalized attention and affordable tuition are all coming together to make community colleges an increasingly popular choice among high school graduates. There will always be a great risk involved in being an entrepreneur, but where would we be without risk takers?