From the previous learning pathways in this ‘Introduction to Entrepreneurship’ course, we have seen that there are complex legal, ethical, and financial decisions to be made when setting up a new business. Any business owner, especially an inexperienced entrepreneur, needs advice and guidance from others. These can include:
- professional advisers – trained professionals such as lawyers, accountants, and IT consultants with specific areas of expertise
- a mentor – someone with relevant experience, offering informal guidance and support
- a formal or informal support group, such as a business owners’ network
Different types of business advice
- To understand the range of professional advice services that may be available for a business owner and why they are useful, read these two articles produced by government-funded business support agencies:
Note that some of the terminology and legislation referred to in these articles is specific to one particular country, but the issues and services referred to will be relevant in many different business environments.
- Consider the situation of one entrepreneur in Malawi, Emmimah Nyalugwe, as reported by the Microloan Foundation. What are her main sources of advice?
- Try to read one resource from your own country about getting professional advice for starting up a business.
Consider one or both of the questions below:
- In How business advisers can help, entrepreneurs are urged not to rely on family and friends for business advice. Do you think this is right? What benefits and challenges do you see in turning to family and friends for advice, instead of professionals?
- In your country or culture, are there any other people, such as a community leader, that you would turn to for advice on starting or running a business? If so, what insights would you expect them to bring? How would you evaluate their advice?
Post your responses in the Business advice discussion forum and comment on what others have said, where appropriate.
Next, we will look at the role of business mentors.