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 Entrepreneurship not only intelligence, but also risk taking

2017-12-11 00:00
by MediaVision on behalf of USB-ED

Young minds Grad procession.jpgIn this picture: The academic procession with our guest speaker, Ben Shaw, second from the left.​ 

Intelligence is not enough to make it in life as an entrepreneur, one also needs to take risk. Some of the best ventures, visions and people who made it in the world did it with risk and for which they received reward. One has to take risk to receive reward.

This was one of the key messages from Ben Shaw, an investment banker and founder of HouseME, a tech-enabled residential rental platform, as guest speaker at the recent 2017 certificate award ceremony of Young Minds Entrepreneurship Programme in Stellenbosch.

The program is presented annually by the Centre for Applied Entrepreneurship at USB Executive Development (Pty) Ltd, USB-ED, the private executive development company of Stellenbosch University. Presented since 2011, a total of 101 delegates received certificates this year.

He said that he discovered the value of reading at school and the "escapism" of it. "Reading takes you 'away' to another world to develop ideas and to solve problems. I also learned from reading the value of introspection and to understand what is happening on a daily basis and through that to set your own standards.

"I believe that one should never stop learning, even after studies."

Shaw said that as an entrepreneur one has to develop the ability to inspire others. "If you have not spent time with people and had to deal with them in a team - either as a member of a team or as a leader – one will not achieve anything."

An entrepreneur should also believe that he or she can actually make a dent in the world. To do that one has to believe in oneself.

"Don't let anyone put you in a 'box.' If you do not enjoy what you are doing, it is not worth doing. As an entrepreneur you should not worry what people are saying about you. You are only accountable to yourself."

Get a mentor and ask him or her how they would deal with a specific problem you are having and compare it with what you are thinking. A mentor's job is to help an entrepreneur stay on the path to what needs to be achieved. "A mentor is there to help and to guide you, but you still have to make the decisions.

An entrepreneur should ask what annoys him or her the most about the world. "If you can solve that problem, you can become an entrepreneur. You can also ask yourself what you would change in the world if there were no constrains what so ever.​

"The big question however, is how badly do you want to make your vision as reality," Shaw said.    

For more information about the Young Minds Entrepreneurship Programme, contact 021 918 4488 or or go to the website

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