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For decades, entrepreneurship has been viewed as something risky and mysterious that only a few lucky mavericks could master. This perception has been fuelled by a public reverence for successful individuals, who seem to have had no formal training to which their entrepreneurial success could be attributed. Some educational institutions have also shunned or quashed entrepreneurship as a non-discipline, something unteachable and incongruous with traditional discipline-based courses.

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Whilst the significance of entrepreneurship for a country’s economy is rarely disputed, the much-debated question is whether entrepreneurship is an elusive and exclusive “talent” that is inherent in some, or whether it can be taught and therefore extended to a wider segment of the population who will contribute to the growth of its economy. But I believe that entrepreneurship can be taught and that it is a process that begins with rethinking its definition.

Redefining entrepreneurship Read the rest of this entry »

by Justin Velez-Hagan, National Executive Director

A recent survey by Harris Interactive entitled The Youth Entrepreneurship Survey 2010, has proven exactly what The National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce has known all along:  young people crave entrepreneurial education and experience.

According to the survey, 40 percent of young people would like to start a business someday (does not include those who want to be a doctor, lawyer, accountant, or other professional occupation).  But perhaps more revealing is the finding that more than half of those surveyed who know an entrepreneur are interested in owning or starting a business compared to less than one-third of those who have had no contact with an entrepreneur.

Although highly neglected in our educational system, entrepreneurship has one of the greatest impacts on our economy.  Read the rest of this entry »

By Justin Velez-Hagan

National Executive Director

Washington, D.C., September 28, 2010.  Yesterday, the president signed into law the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act.  The bill has been touted as one of the best ideas for reinvigorating small business and job growth and, hence, deserves an analysis by The National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce, a staunch supporter of small business and entrepreneurship.

The legislation itself provides temporary tax incentives as well as a general account intended to provide local community banks with funding for small business lending.  Although its intent is clear, language within the bill does not guarantee funding for small business lending.  While 13 democrats voted against it, only 3 republicans supported the bill.  One of those democrats, the Chairwoman of the House Small Business Committee and the first Puerto Rican woman elected to U.S. Congress, Nydia Velasquez (NY), voted against the bill amidst concerns that capital from the bill would not go to its intended source.

After examining the bill, it becomes clear that the tax incentives are temporary and greater strain will be placed upon small businesses, limiting their ability to stimulate the economy.  Dr. Jeffrey R. Cornwall, the Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at Belmont University, states that small business owners “don’t need more debt, they need more customers—and the government can’t provide those.”[i]

What Makes the Entrepreneur Tick? Read the rest of this entry »

Entrepreneurship is one of the best ways to create jobs and wealth. The author of the linked article below, and those quoted within the article, agree with this philosophy.

We have chosen to highlight the following section as it encompasses our philosophy on entrepreneurial education and economic enhancement:

Michael D. Woodard, president and CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm Woodard and Associates and the author of Black Entrepreneurs in America: Stories of Struggle and Success, believes [historically black colleges and universities] would be remiss if they do not provide a curriculum on entrepreneurship.

“The most effective way for one generation to transfer wealth to the next generation is to engage in entrepreneurial activities,” Woodard says.

“Entrepreneurship is one way of providing jobs in the African-American community,” adds Woodard, noting that many minority-owned businesses have staffs that are over 50 percent non-White. Read the rest of this entry »

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