My only capital when I started Trans Pacific Traders in 1946 was my accumulated military pay. What I did have was a willingness to research, find opportunities, and make deals. Fancy furniture and a large office would have to wait.
There are two types of people in this country. There are those who wait for their ship to come in, and there are those who learn how to swim out to the ship. In this volatile economy, we need many more of the latter.
A 10x10 kitchen, a few employees and a passion to improve the quality of school lunches in the Chicago area -- that's how Gourmet Gorilla began. My husband and I started our business because we saw a need that we wanted to fill.
I've learned that gradually building on past accomplishments can be a successful way to grow a business. This allows you to test your market, get operations working smoothly, and refine and strengthen your products or services.
For young people frustrated by the job market, entrepreneurship remains a tempting opportunity to fashion a career on their own terms. However, for novice entrepreneurs, just starting the business may be the most difficult part.
The Master's in Management degree gives this generation -- whether they want to start a business or work for an existing company -- the ability to gain competitive skills relevant to their chosen profession.
Telling powerful entrepreneurs' stories and aggressively educating people on how to start a business may have more of an impact on reducing our unemployment rate than some subtle or complicated change in tax policy.