Entrepreneurship as a career option can be an exciting opportunity to be explored. This career path can take many directions and goes far beyond the sole idea of owning a small business and being your own boss.
Entrepreneurs identify needs, develop a vision, take action, and turn dreams into reality. They create products, companies, or even industries. They change individuals' lives or an entire society. Some work for themselves and others do entrepreneurial work within traditional companies. Some entrepreneurs' focus on money and others focus on leading social change.
There are more resources and tools than ever before for entrepreneurs to gain the knowledge needed, exploring this interesting career option. On college campuses across the country there is an increased interest in entrepreneurial careers. We hope the resources and information below will be of assistance. Make an appointment with a UB Career Services Counselor to discuss the wide variety of entrepreneurial career options!
Profile of an Entrepreneur
Common Skills, Traits, Qualities
- Total Commitment
- Initiative/Take Charge Person/Proactive
- Strong Work Ethic
- High Energy Level
- Strong Self-Confidence
- Flexibility/Adaptability/Ability to Change
- Excellent Communication Skills
- Opportunity Focused
- Ability to Partner with Others
- Ability to Sell
- Competitive Spirit
- Ability to Exploit New Markets and Create Opportunities
- Can Develop a Vision
- Accepts Challenges and Risks
- Basic Business Knowledge
- Management Skills
- Accounting Skills
- Marketing Skills
- Negotiation Skills
- Foreign Language Skills (companies are becoming more global)
Motivations of Entrepreneurs
- Being Your Own Boss
- Making a Name for Yourself
- Accumulating Wealth
- Solving People's Problems
- Creating Something Lasting
- Needing to Achieve and Compete
Paths to Entrepreneurship
Start Your Own Business
- Small Business Entrepreneurship - Small businesses have been responsible for creating 60%- 80% of new jobs in the economy in recent years Small Business Economy . There are 5.7 million small businesses in the U.S. which make up 99.7% of all companies and employ 50% of all non-governmental workers (Steve Blank).
- Buy a Franchise - A franchise is an agreement between a small business owner and the parent company. The parent company gives the franchisee the right to sell the company's products and often provides support services like advertising and supplier relationships, in return for a franchise fee and percent of the profits. Franchising makes up 40% of all retail sales in the U.S.
- Buy an Existing Business
Be a Self-Employed Professional
Become a 'one person' firm (such as a subcontractor, consultant, business analyst, inventor, independent agent or broker, builder, developer, craftsperson, artisan).
Be a Corporate Entrepreneur at a Traditional Firm
Such as new product development, research, change agent, innovator.
Be a Social Entrepreneur at a Traditional Firm
This is an employee of a firm who operates in a socially entrepreneurial manner, identifying opportunities for and/ or initiating socially responsible activity in addition to helping the organization reach its business goals.
Be a Social Entrepreneur
Social entrepreneurs focus on creating social capital and further social and environmental goals locally, nationally, or internationally (applying capitalistic strategies to achieve philanthropic goals).
Sample Career Titles of Entrepreneurs
- Self-Employed Owner/Operator
- Family Business Manager
- Start-Up Manager
- Product Manager
- Mergers & Acquisitions Analyst
- Business Development Manager
- Small Business Consultant
- Marketing Specialist
- Insurance Sales
- Real Estate Sales
Associations and Organizations
- American Management Association
- Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization
- Entrepreneurs' Organization
- Global Entrepreneurship Institute
- International Franchise Association
- Launch NY - Helping start-ups succeed in Upstate NY with financial and managerial resources.
- National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE)
- Students in Free Enterprise
- Small Business Association
- NYS Small Business Development Center - Buffalo & Niagara
- Buffalo State College Small Business Development Center
- UB Entrepreneurs and Resources
- UB Library Resources
- Entrepreneurial Studies Source – UB Libraries - This database provides the academic researcher as well as the student with the latest insight on topics relevant to entrepreneurship and small businesses. Entrepreneurial Studies Source offers users full text for more than 125 key periodicals, 135 reference books, numerous case studies, thousands of company profiles and over 600 videos with transcripts and related articles from the Harvard Faculty Seminar Series and Vator.TV, one of the world's largest social network sites for high-tech entrepreneurs.
- Stanford University - Entrepreneurship Corner
- The Kauffman Foundation
- Entrepreneur Meetup Groups
- Entrepreneur Magazine
- TannedFeet.com - The Entrepreneur's Help Page
- Young Entrepreneur
- Start Up America - Startup America is the White House campaign to celebrate, inspire, and accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation.
- The Entrepreneur's Source - coaching, support, franchising education
- No Jobs? Young Graduates Make Their Own