ELGIN – The entrepreneur mindset involves being optimistic in seeking solutions, said Amy Schultz, instructor of entrepreneurship and project-based learning at Feather River College in Quincy, California.
“I would describe the entrepreneur mindset as – first and foremost – optimism. Because that will drive everything else,” Schultz said. “It gives you hope that whatever your challenge is, you will be able to overcome it. Optimism is what attracts other people. People are naturally attracted to optimists and people with great attitudes.”
Schultz was one of several panelists who spoke via the Internet on Wednesday at Elgin Community College about the “Global Entrepreneurship Mindset” during Global Entrepreneurship Week.
More than 300 students signed up to attend the all-day event, which included other panelists discussing small-business and women entrepreneurs in a global economy.
Paul Little, principal of the Nova Scotia Community College Waterfront Campus in Halifax, Nova Scotia, said entrepreneurship “is seen as a guiding star” to help the province step out of its current economic situation.
“We are actively pursuing how entrepreneurship can take us to a stronger economy,” Little said.
Entrepreneurship is part of that college’s four sustainability pillars, Little said, which are environmental, cultural, societal and economic.
“You can’t have the other three without a strong enough economy to support it,” Little said. “Entrepreneurship is one of the key elements of it.”
Kathy Lara of Lima, Peru, spoke about how she pursued education in marketing and business to establish her own digital company, buying a franchise with a partner.
“Being an entrepreneur is always a challenge,” Lara said. “I am my own boss … I push myself harder.”
Chelaire Lewis, 21, a junior at Western Illinois University, said she was attending the event so she could learn how to start her own business.
“As a plus-sized girl – I never see clothes I like,” Lewis, of Elgin, said, noting she wants to design plus-size clothing.
Lewis said she is majoring in fashion and business administration, intending to design clothes and market them.