Helping hands

You can expect that an entrepreneur has all the acumen and drive to succeed. But everyone benefits from guidance, help, training and insight. And for those entrepreneurs who have already succeeded, it is good to see them putting something back. Some recent developments must surely be welcome in helping more entrepreneurs get started or in developing further. The Hip-hop star Dr Dre along with music industry aficionado Jimmy Iovine have donated $70 million to the University of Southern California (USC). The USC newly created academy will provide a four year programme for undergraduates in areas of marketing, computer science and the arts. It will also include 1-1 mentoring and interaction with names from the entertainment industry.

A more established programme that is having visible success is the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme. Established for a while in the US, but quite new over this side of the pond, the course provides a demanding, structured, practically focussed support to small business leaders who are seeking to grow their businesses. People who have completed the part time study enthuse about the experience of learning alongside other ambitious small business owners, and learning from a range of experienced practitioners in the business community. One great benefit for those entrepreneurs is that the programme is fully-funded for successful applicants by the Goldman Sachs Foundation.

Somewhere between these MBA-style programmes and networking events, is this meet-your peers approach. This cross-over event can maybe help generate ideas and support. Much like the developing market in India, where business is not just funded by investors, but those angel investors provide start-up advice and mentoring. An interesting development and one that might work really well for certain industries. Such exchange of ideas and experience may throw up those out-box type solutions that you so wish you had thought of.

So maybe that should be in your business planning document. High quality learning and advice from the best in the industry. Sounds like a good recipe for success.