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eJournal USA: Entrepreneurs: The Next Generation

10 May 2011

A Learner English version of this eJournal is planned for early 2012.

Today’s young people are more connected to each other and to the wider world than any previous generation. Many reject the status quo because they see alternatives, know that a better life is within grasp and are willing to reach for it. That’s how U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton described the youth of the Middle East and North Africa on April 12. But this description can be applied to youth almost anywhere.

Many young people around the world share the belief that entrepreneurship is the most effective and exciting vehicle for realizing their dreams and ideas. Entrepreneurship gives young people an opportunity to better their own lives and those of their families. And, as the founder of an organization of young entrepreneurs writes in this issue, it also gives young people freedom to transform their communities and change the world for the better.

To be sure, entrepreneurs, whether adolescents or adults, face daunting obstacles, particularly in countries with underdeveloped financial systems, overdeveloped bureaucracies and inadequate infrastructures. Yet, today is a better time than ever to start a business. The Internet offers access to a variety of resources for potential business owners and many governments make doing business easier in the hope of creating jobs and tapping the economic growth potential of entrepreneurship.

This publication discusses many of the opportunities and challenges of being an entrepreneur today. It also discusses — and debunks — persistent myths about entrepreneurship.

If you are a young person interested in exploring the path of entrepreneur, you can read about how some of your peers have started their ventures and set off on a new path in life.

Young Entrepreneurs Remake The World
Ankur Jain, founder and chairman of the Kairos Society
This is the perfect time for young people to experiment with entrepreneurial ventures.

A $25 Sun-Powered Lamp for Millions
In India, Amit Chugh and Matt Scott aim to “give back to society” and make their enterprise commercially viable.

Art and Money Mix for China’s Neocha
Sean Leow and Adam Schokora promote young Chinese artists and have fun in the process.

Debunking the Myths: A Summary

Debunking the Myths: 1. Entrepreneurs Are Individual Players

What Makes Someone an Entrepreneur?
Jeanne Holden
Creativity, flexibility and dedication are just a few of the personality traits of successful entrepreneurs.

Dancing in the Online Marketplace
Ideas are exploding in Brazilian Roberto Fermino’s head.

Debunking the Myths: 2. Entrepreneurs Are Born, Not Made

Entrepreneurs Press Ahead, Despite Obstacles
Katherine Lewis
Small business owners in developing markets need more determination and resilience to overcome hurdles.

Debunking the Myths: 3. It’s All About the Money

Dialing “Biz” for Development
Somalian Nasra Malin and her partners bet that both bad and good guys need phones.

Teenager Takes Charge of Events
Palestinian Waed al Taweel didn’t know what entrepreneurship was when she started her company.

Debunking the Myths: 4. Real Entrepreneurs Always Succeed

Taking on Google
The Egyptian ElFadeel brothers want to make their Web search engine outshine the Library of Alexandria.

Turkish Connection
Fatih Isbecer has made the mobile phone much more than a gadget.

Debunking the Myths: 5. Entrepreneurs Need a Lot of Money to Start a Business

Photo Gallery: Why Did You Become an Entrepreneur?

Additional Resources

(This is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/iipdigital-en/index.html)