Very quick post today but it’s about a topic that I think is incredibly important for those who fund ESOs to take note of: entrepreneurship support should not be about sharing facts, figures, and well-known tools like the Lean Canvas, it should be about providing individualized assistance to the entrepreneurs we’re trying to serve.
If you’ve worked in the entrepreneurship space at all, you know two things to be true: 1) a true entrepreneur doesn’t wait to be told the answer but goes out and proactively seeks the answer and 2) success is more about the execution than the idea.
That tells us that an ESO whose primary offering is “teaching” entrepreneurs a bunch of stuff that is easily Googleable isn’t actually offering anything of value to the most promising entrepreneurs. A true entrepreneur would just Google it (or take an online class, or buy a book, or whatever).
What’s important is not that I explain to you what the value chain is, it’s that I help you place your business on that value chain and determine if it would benefit you to integrate vertically along that value chain; not that I show you a BCG matrix and explain the meaning of stars, cash cows, dogs, and question marks but that I help you analyze where your various offerings fall within that grid and what strategic changes you need to make based on that information to ensure that your business is sustainable. It’s not about sharing the information that you could have easily Googled, it’s about helping you apply that information to your business and implement the strategies you come up with effectively.
Thus, if you’re funding entrepreneurship support, I strongly encourage you to take a look at the details of the programs that you’re funding. If you’re funding the “teaching” of easily Googleable knowledge, perhaps spend that money to create tech tools to help make that information more easily accessible for those that don’t know what to Google. If you’re funding coaching or consulting around how to effectively apply that knowledge to real businesses, understand the economics of the one-on-one support that is required to do this well.
Just some additional food for thought for ESO funders…