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2013 Trends for Young Entrepreneurs

Posted By Karen-Michelle Mirko, Monday, December 16, 2013
Updated: Monday, December 16, 2013

I am a fan of Lean and the concept of #GetOutTheBuilding. All firms need to check in with their customers to confirm they are solving their problems and providing value. Community colleges are no different. Since many of us educate and motivate student entrepreneurs, I reached out to NACCE2103 ""Next Gen Entrepreneurs - Next Gen Community College" panelists Jason Jannati, Co-Founder of greeNEWit and Sheena Lindahl, Co-Founder and President of Empact. They told me the trends facing young entrepreneurs in 2013. Listen to their trends in this podcast.  


It is Possible to Start and Grow a Business in a Year of Economic Uncertainty

Jason launched his business in 2008 when the economy started to take a nose dive. He actually thought that year was a good time to start a business because it forced him to "set his business’ foundation, understand who their target really was and define value his company was offering”. Jason thought 2013 offered the same opportunity to students starting a business. One of his favorite sayings is "It takes pressure to create diamonds.” For Jason, that saying is a reminder that pressure if not always an alarm to stop but rather a signal that you are on the right path. 

Timeless Trend – It is Important to Connect with Other Young Entrepreneurs

Jason’s saying prompted Sheena to remind young entrepreneurs to network with other entrepreneurs. In times of uncertainty, connections with other peers that are going through similar challenges can be reassuring and a resource. "Knowing that there are challenges, knowing that you are not the only one experiencing those challenges, helps you stay in the game.” I agreed and thought it was important to not be limited to finding connections in your industry. Hearing other’s struggles and best practices can spark ideas for a non-related business. 

Missed Opportunities for Mentoring – Make a Right Match

Sheena saw an increase in mentoring program across the country. She has also seen a mismatch in mentors/mentees in some cases. As students first launch their business, it is useful to find mentors who are similar in business age. Entrepneurship who started their business in the last two years will remember what it is like to plan and launch. More established firms might not remember what it took to get their now publically traded company off the ground. It is important to offer a range of mentors with varied experiences.Some advice she had for any mentors was to try o make themselves relatable. Break down the barrier of how you are different. Share the very human story and feeling of launching a business and the inevitable #EpicFail.

What trend did you see with student entrepreneurs? Post a comment below.

Sheena Lindahl is Co-Founder and President of Empact, an organization facilitating entrepreneurship throughout the world through exposure, celebration and connection. Through Empact's Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour, Sheena has overseen 500+ events connecting communities and colleges across the country with young entrepreneur speakers and role models. To learn more about Empact's programs, contact

Jason Jannati is Co-Founder of greeNEWit, a company that helps society build more sustainable communities through energy efficiency. Jason is an Empact Connect entrepreneur and can be reached for speaking inquiries here.  

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