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The European Centers for Entrepenuership (ECE)

ECE will seek to provide a network of support, mentorship and inspiration for web entrepreneurs. It will foster community, confidence and connections the Centers also provide technical support and training for web-based business

Photo of Rachel Rosenbaum
9 15

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Fear of failure is one of the largest hurdles to growing the number of European web entrepreneurs. Specifically, new business owners fear that if they take risks and the business fails, they will not have a second chance. Helping them overcome these fears productively is critical for their business’ success.
The Center concept creates a physical and virtual location for entrepreneurs to meet and help each other work through their business challenges. Most importantly it creates a network of encouragement for them to take smart risks with their businesses. Based on the support-group concept and nick named “Entrepreneurs Anonymous,” the support provided by the Centers brings together (virtually and physically) entrepreneurs so that no one has to face the fear alone.

How will your concept support web entrepreneurship?

The Centers will help address fear by: Hosting discussion groups among web entrepreneurs to talk through issues of running a business. Creating community through networking events and social activities—such as a football (soccer) league. Inspiring action by hosting TE&D talks and other speakers who have failed before success. Providing mentors who have successfully run business or who have invested in successful businesses for new web entrepreneurs. The Centers will build expertise by: Developing a library of resources for web businesses. Available online 24 hours a day, this resource will continually be updated. Connect with Centers across Europe providing access to more markets. Create community discussion boards for businesses owners to share knowledge and experience. Provide courses and assistance in business practices, such as developing an appropriate business plan. Better preparing business owners to successfully present ideas to potential investors. Also, hosting TED+ talks (Louise Wilson) at the Center would further push the idea of reinstating how valuable failure can be for the future of a business.

What kinds of resources will be needed to get this concept off the ground and scale it?

The ECE model is quite flexibility in its scalability. In some regions or countries, it’s simply an online presence organized by professional staff. For some Centers, perhaps they have an executive director who then engages local event planners and coordinates businesses classes through local Universities to accomplish the mission. With even greater investment, the Centers can actually be physical locations, serving as web entrepreneur hubs across Europe.

How could we get started?

Even before building a physical Center, the acquisition of mass amounts of information—including economic and market analysis for countries all over the world—a search for passionate people with the power and desire to organize and inspire fellow Europeans and support is necessary. Support may be gained by creating a free membership list in which entrepreneurs register so the program can begin to see the number of people it will serve, where they are and whether they are willing to get involved. The membership would begin by simply sending the entrepreneurs updates on ways they can get involved in business opportunities, TED videos and connecting them with other members that might help advise their process. The compilation of business individuals who have succeeded and are willing to help is a great building block to get this idea started. With a strong network of individuals and resources, a strong foundation for the Center can begin to take hold.

Virtual Team:

Rachel Rosenbaum Gilad Meron John Tauzel Sirietta Simonici Tracey Brandenburg

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DeletedUser

We think that this idea shows a lot of potential and would be a great addition to the European business world. Have you considered conflicts with time and scheduling, how about weekly Skype sessions on Sunday afternoons just as an example. Great idea so far!

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DeletedUser

We're from Wells College =]

Photo of Rachel Rosenbaum

We talked about skype sessions as a great tool for a 24 hour (or at least work hours) outreach for entrepenuers. I like the idea of also having group skype sessions as well though!

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DeletedUser

Great ideas, might want to also include how to find funding and/or grants etc

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