8/7/2015

Inspirational entrepreneurship, the next generation!

‘Entrepreneurship is the process of starting a business’, at least, that is how Wikipedia explains the term. ‘The entrepreneur develops a business plan, acquires the human and other required resources, and is fully responsible for its success or failure.’ But what if you have a dreamcoach on your side?

The assignment

Next to working at the customer service desk, I am also a student, working towards getting a bachelor degree in New Media and Communication Technology. This year is my 4th year in the 5-year road to graduation. This year’s main challenge? Our Small Business Plan (SBP): we had to set up a business from scratch in 12 weeks. From idea to a complete business case, and as a finale we had to present it to a jury of experts.

The team

First things first: gathering a team! Together with fellow students Kristof Goossens, Robin de Groote and Stéphane Lapière, I formed a team. After a brainstorm session we had 4 business ideas to elaborate on. Only 2 weeks later, we needed to pitch the best 2 ideas in a first presentation. After that presentation we had our business idea but our team was a person short. We needed a dreamcoach. This person needed to be our experience, our voice of wisdom and had to challenge us to think bigger and better! But who could we ask to take up this role?

As a team, we decided we wanted someone we already know. Not all of us have bosses we talk or work with, or have even met in person. I was the only one who has “bosses” (although we do not like to call our partners like that) who work in services, started a very successful business only 10 years ago, and have entrepreneurship in their core values! I knew what I had to do! Convince our Belgian CEO Jan Delaere to be part of the team. And it worked, we were complete!

HOE was born

Our business plan got the name HOE (how). After studying our market, setting up an image, our vision and financial plan, our business plan was born. Our business?

“Process optimization and training in basic computer skills, completely tailored to the client”

In the whole process our dreamcoach proved to be our help, our critic and our mentor! Exactly what we needed and wanted, a challenge! We kept our business plan, but the advice and experience were golden in keeping our vision. When setting up a business it’s very important to keep your goal, your core business in mind. Especially if you want to build a sustainable business.

Elevator pitch

During the process of 12 weeks there was a competition called the elevator pitch. All the business plans of West Flanders could enter. The idea is to sell your business plan in 1 minute. The time it takes an elevator to reach an office, this is a trend in America to convince a busy corporate CEO to fund your project.

It was a full house, lots of teams had their game face on. As the CEO of team HOE, I had to take the stage and I had fun! As Jan said “believe in your project and in what you’re saying”. And it worked, team HOE won!

Pressure is on

Although we performed great during the elevator pitch, we still felt the pressure to have a fantastic final presentation. Only 20 minutes to explain the whole concept, the numbers, and the vision and motivate our complete business plan in front of a jury! Jan was also there, as were the other teams’ dreamcoaches. We must have done well since we got a great mark of 18/20!

Thank you, Jan

To thank our amazing dreamcoach, we gave him a certificate for best dreamcoach.

But we didn’t stop there. There was a ”best dreamcoach photo” competition and we entered Jan with this photo, and again we won!

So to all CEOs out there, if you ever get asked to be a dreamcoach, please keep this in mind. If you support the next generation you might get a great story out of it yourself!

Entrepreneurship is in the hands of the future, not just the now. We had a great time and a fantastic experience, and for those of you who are wondering: despite the great facts and figures, and the possible high success rate of the business plan, for now, HOE will not start up.

If you had a great SPB, or would like to know more don’t hold back and contact us!

 

Author: Inge Timmermans. You can follow Inge on Twitter (@IT8205) or connect with her on LinkedIn