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Students explore entrepreneurism

By Charleston Parham
On April 28, 2014

Entrepreneurship is a growing trend in the United States.

Small businesses have generated over 65 percent of the net new jobs since 1995, according to Forbes.

More and more individuals are starting their own businesses, and college students are no exception. Florida A&M is stomping grounds for a few entrepreneurs who are looking to secure their future.

Lack of income, desire to be independent and change in circumstances are a few reasons to become an entrepreneur.

However, the desire to build wealth is one of the most important motivations behind becoming an entrepreneur, according to a report by The Kauffman Foundation for Entrepreneurship.

For Rashad Bailey, a third year economics student from Chicago, and owner of Chicago Chicken and Grill, business is a lifestyle.

"I am business," Bailey said. "I've been doing this since I was in second grade. [I was] hustling Yoyo's and Snickers before I even knew what an entrepreneur was...time, energy and access to capital are vital when attempting to develop and sustain a successful business."

For a business to be successful, Ifeakandu Okoye, an economics professor in the School of Business and Industry, recommends spending a minimum of 14 hours a day developing a new business.  

Bailey also said that when you don't come from money, you have to maximize on every opportunity that presents itself.

Less than one percent of entrepreneurs came from extremely rich or extremely poor backgrounds who were surveyed by the Kauffman Foundation.

Ameer Brown, a senior public relations student from Queens, N.Y. who is a co-founder of Lavish Ent LLC, believes that having self-discipline to reinvest profits back into the business is the most challenging aspect of operating a business while being enrolled in school.

The odds are stacked against young entrepreneurs who are looking to operate a business, but there is hope.

The average age of company founders when they started their companies was 40, according to the Kauffman Foundation report. This could be an advantage for younger entrepreneurs if they utilize their time correctly.

According to the Small Business Administration a small business went bankrupt every eight minutes in 2009.

In lieu of the recent recession, President Barack Obama launched the "Startup America" initiative, which is aimed to aid and promote entrepreneurship.

The core goals are to increase the number and scale of new high-growth firms that are creating economic growth, innovation and quality jobs, according to whitehouse.gov.

Gina Kinchlow, the owner of Kinchlow and Co. consulting services, offered some advice for first time entrepreneurs.
"You have to really believe in your idea and you have to be realistic." Kinchlow said. "It takes tremendous capital to sustain a business.  Also, all successful businesses revolve around customer need."


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