10 Entrepreneurship Myths and Thoughts from Entrepreneurship Summit

This is our second article on entrepreneurship!

We wrote this article about a year ago while attending the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES 2) in Istanbul, Turkey. This week, the same summit (GES 3) is taking place in Dubai so it is appropriate to bring back this article the next two posts that are also related to entrepreneurship.

Today [December 2011] was the 3rd day of the Second Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Istanbul Turkey, a magnificent city. The bright spot of the day was the celebration and recognition for the Arabia 500 + Turkey (& Pakistan) where people (CEO and general managers) were piling up on the stage. I thought the stage will collapse under us but we managed safely to get out and go into the dinner and celebration with nice Turkish Food and Music, Sharabat (drinks) and Kahva (coffee).

Traditional Turkish EventOn the learning and sharing side, the star of the day (in my opinion) was the Endeavor CEO speech, Linda Rottenberg. Linda was impressive, inspiring, and passionate with many stories to tell about great entrepreneurs from South America to the Arab World, including women entrepreneurs and other exciting news.

Linda covered 10 myths of entrepreneurship and I will highlight some of them below. I  must stress here, that I am writing from memory so not all items below are direct quotations; most comments I have rephrased while maintaing the integrity of the “myth”.

  1. One of the Myth often thought of is the belief that People in the MENA Region (Middle East and North Africa) (the author prefer the term West Asia and North Africa) are copycat entrepreneurs; meaning they are not capable of innovation. Linda shared some success stories that debunk such a myth.
  2. Another Myth: “no women entrepreneurs are capable of leading growth companies” and there are many stories that make such a statement a myth.
  3. “Everyone can be an entrepreneurs” obviously that is not the case, many like the comfort of a “steady” job.
  4. “Companies who create wealth also create jobs” and obviously this is not always the case since some entrepreneurs create companies and exit with millions while creating a few hundred jobs whereas others might have sustainable businesses with large employment base and limited wealth creation for a few individuals.
  5. “The most promising / high impact entrepreneur do not need help” and this is far from the truth. Everyone can use some help, mentoring, support, among other things.
  6. The last myth for this post: “entrepreneurship is a solo business”

Other learning from the Summit and loose thoughts from here and there:

  1. Due to the importance of the internet and social media, under Turkish labor law there is now a new listed position and it is “social media specialist”.
  2. About the need for entrepreneurship, a speaker highlighted the following: “a young graduate can look ahead into their future and think ‘what to do to earn a living … OR … what can I do to change the word.” An entrepreneur might say “why not both?”
  3. A person from the audience mentioned: “do not give your child money and they will become entrepreneur”.
  4. My personal favorite thought of the day “if you are a decision maker in government or large organization start giving business to the little guy instead of writing RFPs to multinationals.”

With this, I say good night from Istanbul. Time to reflect on the last three days and come up with something bright to convert the knowledge and learning into action!

What are your thoughts or do you have any myth on entrepreneurship?



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About Mounir Ajam

A Project Management thought leader, who believes that project management touches all people, in all aspects of life; personal and professional.Initiated and led the formation of SUKAD Corp to develop the Uruk PPM Platform.An advocate of real-world, practical and applied project management.Champion of adaptive project management, tailored methods, and organizational project management.Available anywhere in the world to advise executives and organizations on the strategic value of project management. Ready to help organizations build and sustain the Project Management Function and the capacity to lead projects successfully.