You are Already an Engineer and You Are Most Likely Also Already an Entrepreneur!
You most likely have a number of skills to be an entrepreneur coming from your craft as an engineer, for example; numeracy and mathematical skills, data and critical analysis skills; systematic and critical assessment of complex problems, problem solving and the application of the theoretical knowledge, the ability to communicate; ingenuity, logical reasoning and practical intelligence.
The female engineering world is so excited to see other female engineers graduate and join them. If you want to become a female entrepreneur be certain that there you have a ‘tribe’ if you are not already part of a tribe, join one, they are ready to welcome and support you.
Now is a great time to be an entrepreneur and start a business for many reasons:
- Increase in Supportive Environments for Female Entrepreneurship
- Abundance of Financial Support for Female Entrepreneurs
- Rise of Women Entrepreneurs (older/younger/ migrant/everyone)
- New ways to do business (Social Entrepreneurship, Frugal Innovation)
Becoming a female entrepreneur in engineering in whatever field you are in, essentially you already doing what entrepreneurs are trying to master; face a problem that is both challenging to understand and solve. You are already both an entrepreneur and engineer at work as you try to analyse, develop and evaluate large-scale, complex systems and problems. This can mean improving and maintaining current systems or creating brand new projects. You already have most of the tools you require; designing and drafting blueprints, visiting and investigating systems in your field and know how to manage projects. This process is remarkably similar to entrepreneurship, but the solving of problems is done via business planning which helps you dissect your idea.
“Don’t over think it. Take calculated risks. You don’t have to ask for permission to succeed. It is not a rocket science, don’t be blinded by technical jargon and don’t be afraid just ask plenty of stupid questions! ”
Grainne Kelly, Founder and CEO of Bubblebum
Embrace who you are as an entrepreneur, your qualities and the opportunities that are possible
There is no fixed type of entrepreneur, you just need to be open minded and embrace who you are, your skills and your unique traits as an entrepreneur. Yes, becoming an entrepreneur inevitably involves business, marketing and finance skills; however, many do not realize the value that STEM skills hugely contribute to running a company. A lack of entrepreneurial skills should not deter you from your passion. These skills are extremely achievable and can be learned.
You will inevitably come across challenges before the opportunities. You will need to have a few things in place. The first tool you need is your Business Plan. This essential tool will help you methodically think you through the entire entrepreneurial planning process.
Your Business Plan Does Not Need to be Complicated.
Many entrepreneurs do not actually complete a business plan unless required to by their bank or funding agency. This is a lost opportunity. A properly prepared Business Plan should tell a story, make an argument and conservatively predict the future. Business planning guides you through the process of setting goals, explaining objectives and then mapping out a document to achieve these goals and objectives.
Just remember you will never be stuck, lean on your support system, your tribe. The industry is not as rigid as you think. Reach out and get help through your challenges starting with your Business Plan examples of who you can go to include Enterprise Boards, Incubators, Mentors, other successful Engineering Entrepreneurs, after all two plus heads are always better than one.
“Imagine what success looks like as a business owner in a few years in the future, and then figure out what you need to do to get there. Ask other scientist-run start-ups for advice on how to get started and how to grow your business. Find more experienced business and technical people in your verticals for advisors. Create a community of other start-up founders to share your wins and loses with. Be patient.”
Teri Dankovich, founder of Folia Water
The EMERGE Module 1 Engineering Entrepreneurship – Where are the Women? Covers each key step of your business plan in detail.