Copyright TIGERS® Success Series    

by Dianne Crampton

In a recent press release, The Blackstone Charitable Foundation and The Burton D. Morgan Foundation announced a $3.2 million, three-year partnership to train the next generation of entrepreneurs in Northeast Ohio. This partnership is the realization of a groundbreaking initiative that gives university students and alumni the skills, knowledge, and guidance to start new companies.

Dubbed The Blackstone LaunchPad, the premise is that this innovative program presents entrepreneurship as a viable career path and offers students, faculty and alumni concrete tools and guidance to transform ideas into thriving businesses. Unlike traditional college programs available to a very limited population, Blackstone LaunchPad is open to all students.

Could presenting entrepreneurship as a viable career path, be a possible solution to an ailing economy? I believe so and whole-heartedly support the innovative program. Since the allure of receiving the “gold watch” at the end of a 30-year career is going by the way of the dinosaur in today’s economy, young adults entering the workforce should absolutely consider blazing their own business trails.

According to the findings reported in my November 11 blog, “Fifty-four percent of the nation’s Millennials either want to start a business or have already started one. They recognize that entrepreneurship is the key to reviving the economy.

Blackstone’s Chairman and CEO, Stephen A Schwarzman went on to say, “Our economy needs the kind of immediate, fast-growth activity that only comes from entrepreneurs. Fostering a new generation of entrepreneurs is critical to America’s recovery, which is why we are investing in Blackstone LaunchPad to help young entrepreneurs harness their talents and transform creative ideas into viable companies.”

Entrepreneurs are an ingenious, creative lot, and determining their business culture from the start is the most conscious decision they can make. For over 20 years, the TIGERS® Team Wheel™ game has been an instrumental leadership-training tool in presenting entrepreneurs with the keys to creating a dynamic team culture.

The TIGERS Team Wheel is a hands-on, highly interactive team-building exercise that engages every learning style to get to team and organizational root issues quickly. This team development game has industry wide effectiveness and helps entrepreneurs lay the foundation for their business culture and initiate collaboration between team members for personal and organizational success.

The game establishes productive and cooperative behavior expectations that team members, themselves, endorse. It cuts short the stage of team growth called “storming” that is often plagued by confusion, misunderstandings, and conflict.

With the Blackstone LaunchPad projected to create 150 businesses over the next five years and generate over 3,000 direct jobs, it is critical that these young entrepreneurs build the team culture, values, and goals they seek in their newly forming businesses and teams. Once these values are determined, implementing team buy-is the next step to ensuring the business thrives and creates future jobs. The TIGERS Team Wheel is a developmental resource that addresses the issues of team and workforce development, strategic planning, employee conflict mitigation, communication, team consensus, and team building.

“Small businesses create almost two-thirds of new jobs in the American economy. That’s why it’s so important to give start-up support to our best and brightest young minds,” Senator Sherrod Brown reported in the Blackstone press release.

Now this is a “stimulus package” worth buying-into: young entrepreneurs with fresh new business start-ups to rebuild an ailing economy. By creating tomorrow’s “job creators” young entrepreneurs and more mature workers who are re-inventing themselves will receive the skills, mentorship, and services to succeed in business and ultimately aid in the recovery of a tough economic downturn.

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