Five Benefits of Being a Young Entrepreneur August 21, 2014 RICCentre By: Dana Bibi Often the gap between being an employee and being involved in a start-up seems daunting. Even though you have nurtured a brilliant idea and might have even developed a prototype, you are not sure if this opportunity should be pursued– especially at a younger age and earlier point in your career. Although it might seem intimidating to start your own business, there aremany benefits. Here are five reasons that should motivate you to taking that leap and becoming an entrepreneur! Adventures and networks Entrepreneurs interact with different people and new environments every day. They escape the monotony of a 9 to 5 desk job in favor of a more exciting schedule. No two days are the same! You also have the opportunity to network with a large community of motived people, and develop valuable communication skills while building a network of contacts. Risk taking Entrepreneurs become more accustomed to taking calculated risks, which will ultimately pay-off in the future. You will not be spoon-fed success; opportunities are created by taking risks. Being a young entrepreneur teaches you how to take calculated risks, and helps develop confidence while overcoming the crippling fear of failure. Flexibility and freedom By becoming an entrepreneur at a young age, you quickly learn to be independent and self-reliant. Entrepreneurs have full control of their schedule and of their business – they are their own boss. There is an opportunity to expand your skill set by experiencing and performing the varied roles in a start-up. Self-directed learning is another positive side-effect. Making a difference Entrepreneurs give back to society. Your start-up could provide the community with a product or process solution to a specific, existing problem such as creating an environmentally-conscious product like Andrew White has done. Entrepreneurs are able to see their product impacting and improving society – that would feel good! Accessible and Available Support There are many organizations that support entrepreneurs and their start-ups in Southern Ontario. For example, the RIC Centre serves the Peel Region by providing free mentoring, networking, funding, and entrepreneurial training. There are many opportunities to get funding as well, such as the Ontario Centres of Excellence’s SmartStart Seed Fund, which is “designed to assist young entrepreneurs from the age of 18 to 29 transition their start-ups from product development to market entry and company building”. To learn more about entrepreneurship and starting your own company, please visit www.riccentre.com. About the Author Dana Bibi is currently enrolled in the University of Toronto’s Digital Enterprise Management and Professional Writing Programs. Her interest is primarily captivated by how information technologies influence and are influenced by globalization, and this relationship’s effect on the economy, social identity, culture, and politics.