The Blue Ridge Business Journal and Joanne Anderson featured what local colleges and universities are doing to encourage local entrepreneurial start-ups on the cover if its latest issue. Dan Smith and his team have done a nice bringing more light to this very important regional topic.
Many people say all the time "there are no jobs in the region." That is simply false. Recruiters and staffing agencies will tell you they cannot find people to fill open spots. The real issue is what is an individual doing to acquire the necessary skill sets to make themselves employable. That is the REAL issue. We have far too many folks without billable skills. Companies pay employees for their time and skill, and then make a profit off of it. That is the deal.
Let's say for argument purposes that there are no jobs here. Under this scenario, one must ask what is the region doing to encourage entrepreneurship. You can do one of two things. You can work for someone else or you can work for yourself. The latter is not always encouraged as a viable option, especially in educational institutions at all levels.
Homegrown entrepreneurs creating micro, web-based, and small businesses is the future. We must encourage, celebrate and support people who make this decision to work for themselves. We all benefit in the end.
As a result, we are working to promote and communicate this concept with two upcoming events with Roanoke native Cameron Johnson. One will be held in Dr. Chris Neck's class at Virginia Tech on February 16 and the other at the Roanoke Civic Center on April 4. Both events are free, but require registration as space is limited. To participate, send me an email.
Let me know your thoughts on entrepreneurship.