A colleague of mine is going through the exciting-yet-somewhat-scary process of college applications with her daughter. It is certainly no secret that times have changed, but I was surprised to hear about the latest choices for fields of study – particularly in the business world. A number of schools are offering study tracks and degrees in entrepreneurship, and one well-known university has even developed a major that takes students beyond the U.S. to Hong Kong and Milan. Wow! Talk about a road scholar!

What this says to me is that colleges and communities have gotten the message that new companies are worth all the blood, sweat, and tears that go into them. In addition to the personal satisfaction of creating something from nothing, start-ups are the primary sources for:

  • New ideas
  • Much-needed employment opportunities
  • Vital economic growth

For a short visual demonstration of these concepts, watch “Three Things” from the Kauffman Sketchbook series.

Right here in the greater Milwaukee community, those three factors are in high demand, and some impressive resources now exist to help new businesses achieve success (see below for some helpful links on the subject). I believe this is exceptionally good news for our industry, where the entrepreneurial spirit is very necessary. Hey… Capital Electric wouldn’t be here without it, nor would a number of other wire and cable leaders with us on that list. We are all part of a network that demands innovation, technological advances, and efficiency – and those become possible because of individuals who dare to believe in ideas that are original or different.

Working for an established organization, how can you be an advocate for new business? For starters, you can seek them out and work with them. You might be surprised… a small start-up could provide the perfect solution you need. Becoming a mentor, or attending networking opportunities to share your experiences, are also great ways to support the up-and-comers.

There’s something equally important we can do – every single day – that will contribute new ideas, employment opportunities, and economic growth to our community. Regardless of company size, purpose, or history, we can behave like entrepreneurs. The spirit that drives people to invest so much of themselves into an idea is the same determination that can make or break your business, and mine. Take note… studying these traits could result in the highest grade you’ve ever earned.

– Mike



Below are some links for entrepreneurial support within our community. Get involved! Discover or create ways to help new businesses and professionals succeed where it counts most – right here at home.

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

Startup Milwaukee

Transform Milwaukee

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