Anyone can be an entrepreneur! Whether you’re participating in the GES in Hyderabad or following the GES virtually, these entrepreneurship resources provided by the United States and Indian governments can help you to launch your idea and take part in the global community of innovators transforming the world.
Without leaving your home, you can begin building your idea by accessing some of the many resources the United States has created to support entrepreneurship, like:
· Download the Startup Smart: A Handbook for Entrepreneurs – Handbook Series. Anyone can acquire the knowledge and skills to transform a business idea or insight into a successful business. This handbook helps aspiring entrepreneurs develop a mindset and the skills to honestly evaluate their business idea. It also helps them become comfortable with the idea of business risk and how to minimize those risks where possible. Being a successful entrepreneur takes knowledge, skills, business planning resources and mentoring relationships. It also takes time, planning, patience and flexibility. This handbook provides these tools and guidance for adventurous individuals who are “ready to ride the rocket ship” of being an entrepreneur.
· Register for the DreamBuilder Program. A free online learning program designed for women who aspire to be entrepreneurs, this 13-course interactive program will take you through the steps you need to start your business. In partnership with Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Management, this program guides participants to create a step-by-step framework for starting a business and conclude with a completed business plan.
· Take advantage of the GIST Network, an online innovation hub, featuring free monthly online interactive webcasts, including features on core fundamentals like building and supporting your startup, angel investments, and using setback to drive success, in addition to workshops on the latest technology like blockchains, and utilizing artificial intelligence in your startup.
· Join a GIST Innovation Hub, a community-led meetup group designed to build strong and vibrant networks of young science and technology entrepreneurs hosted in eight key regions across the world, or participate in a GIST Boot Camp, which empower young science and technology innovators and entrepreneurs through on-the-ground training and mentoring delivered by top U.S. mentors and in-country partners.
· In 2016, Kiva.org and the Department of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues launched the Women’s Entrepreneurship Fund, a matching loan fund that delivers direct access to capital to women across 83 countries. The Fund will help to provide access to capital for one million women entrepreneurs by 2021. Eligible entrepreneurs can apply for loans to start and grow their businesses.
· The Small Business Association Learning Center: While concentrated on online workshops for United States businesses, many courses outline fundamentals for entrepreneurs, including evaluating your ideas, choosing among different financing options, the importance of business planning, and legal considerations when registering your business.
· To learn about USAID investments in entrepreneurial ecosystems through U.S. and global partnerships, check out the Partnering to Accelerate Entrepreneurship (PACE) webpage. USAID recently released Insights from USAID’s Support for Small and Growing Businesses, an analysis of our approach to finance that aims to help better understand how working with intermediaries supports entrepreneurs around the world.
· Many organizations provide technical assistance or advisory support to startups and growing businesses as they require often more than just money to succeed and reach scale, but little is known about what works and what doesn’t in acceleration support. The USAID More than Money report aims to take stock of the evolving ecosystem of advisory support by mapping the current landscape, teasing out the trends, and highlighting lessons learned about what works to date.
· The Minority Business Development Administration (MBDA) works with federal, state, and local governments, as well as private organizations, to help U.S. minority businesses overcome the unique challenges they face. MBDA helps provide access to financing solutions and global supply chains, and manages the Inclusive Innovation Initiative (I-3) to increase minority business enterprises in technology transfer.
· The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Inventors Assistance Center provides patent information and services to the public and can answer general questions about the trademark process or provide guidance on the type of information to include on a form. The Trademark Assistance Center is the main support center for all customers, from first-time filers to legal professionals and experienced trademark applicants.
· Power Africa is committed to working with entrepreneurs and our African partners to increase the number of people with access to power. The Power Africa Toolbox mobilizes 160 different tools from 12 U.S. government agencies and 14 international development partners to drive deals and facilitate investment in sub-Saharan Africa. Tools include transaction assistance, finance, and legal assistance. Understanding Power Purchase Agreements is designed to help Power Africa partners master the expansive, and often confusing, universe of financing options for power project development.
From the United States and India, we wish you the best on your entrepreneurial journey!