One of the most important things that every entrepreneur (and human being) should learn is to ask for help when it’s needed. As I’ve said before, healthy wolves hunt in packs; lone wolves die alone in the cold.
My column in this week's Financial Post looks at one entrepreneur from Haliburton, Ont., who dared to seek help with a business that was just sort of going nowhere. Thanks to mentoring and consulting from the Innovation Synergy Centre in Markham, Gena Robertson’s “School’s Cool” program is now being sold by a major U.S. educational distributor, and she is now considering overseas deals.
Ms Robertson’s case is also interesting, as she has spent more than 20 years being a “social entrepreneur,” creating new programs and partnerships in the social-services sector. Adopting a for-profit mindset required some serious relearning for Robertson, some of which I tried to chronicle.
To attract investors, Robertson had to figure out what the business would look like, and especially how it would source, warehouse and distribute its wares. It also meant preparing Robertson to pitch her business to potential angel investors. "That was painful," she admits. "When you work in social services, you play down what you do. You share the credit. When you pitch to investors, you have to say, 'This is what we do, this is how great we are.' "
For the full story, click here.