As a part of the Global Week of Entrepreneurship, the fourth Starting-up inNikšić event entitled “Creative Entrepreneurship and Creating a Startup Ecosystem” was held today in Tehnopolis. It was an inspirational lecture by Will Mercer, creative entrepreneur, mentor and consultant from the United Kingdom. He introduced the participants with his rich experience in the world of entrepreneurship, methods of developing business ideas and establishing successful business cooperation, as well as how to overcome business problems.
Presenting himself as a strategist who tries to overcome problems by seeking creative solutions, Mercer began a lecture by introducing his career from the MSc in Physics to Finance, Entrepreneurship and Consulting. He is currently working to “revive” a castle in French Burgundy, with the goal of turning it into a successful coworking space for creativity and innovation, aimed at creative professionals who want to escape from urban areas and work on their ideas.
„JUST DO IT“
To people who want to start their business but think they do not have enough courage, money or experience, Will said that they should not hesitate. “Many people talk about entrepreneurship as if it were a theory, as if it were something you could learn. The essence is that you can learn it just by doing, “Mercer said, pointing to the importance of commitment and perseverance in terms of realizing concrete ideas.
Explaining how beginners in entrepreneurship should deal with everyday problems and obstacles, Mercer suggested that they try looking for an answer. “The only major virtue for a successful entrepreneur is perseverance, the ability to move on. So, when deciding what your business will focus on and which will solve the problem, it is very important that it is something that you care about. Therefore, when it becomes difficult and when there is an obstacle, you will find a way to deal with it and continue”, he said.
ENTREPRENEURS AS HEROES
In addition to discussing the daily obligations of future entrepreneurs, he presented his views on the entrepreneurial and startup environment in Montenegro. In this regard, as one of the key problems, he pointed that the key mistake that should be changed is the way of thinking or observing things, in the sense that entrepreneurship as a choice is still not perceived in the right way, and that it fails to be creative in many fields. He illustrated his claims on the example of America and the United Kingdom, where entrepreneurs like Richard Branson and Mark Zuckerberg are seen as heroes, while he looks at our environment as an area in which a change in the way of thinking must occur.
“Perhaps the most important thing that needs to change in Montenegro is the culture of thinking. People who start their business should be viewed as heroes, and not as people who are in trouble and who risk their “secure, permanent job” with a low paycheck, “explains Mercer, pointing out the importance of encouraging each new entrepreneur to risk a new idea and try to succeed.
ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN MONTENEGRO
Mercer describes our entrepreneurial environment as relatively young, but with a great potential.
“Entrepreneurial ecosystem in Montenegro is still relatively new, but everything that is new has many potentials. There are many young people who are increasingly using digital communication channels, but not many businesses that work with that. So, it’s a big chance in younger generations as a target group, this could be the first step.”
In addition, Mercer believes that great opportunities in Montenegro lie in areas such as tourism, agritourism, especially in the North of the country, and then finances, e-banking and software creation.
In order to see the Montenegrin entrepreneurial and startup ecosystem and to provide recommendations for its improvement, Will held a meeting with representatives of Tehnopolis – Jelena Djedovic, business incubator manager and Djordjie Brkuljan, manager for program activities and entrepreneurship development, as well as Biljana Sekulic on behalf of the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development – IPER. During the visit, the representatives of Tehnopolis presented our activities and shared information about the Montenegrin startup scene with them, while after the lecture, 1-in-1 meetings with tenants of Tehnopolis were organized. On that occasion, Mercer spoke with the representatives of Minuta Consulting, Daktilograf, Chodex Studio and Edukacija.me in order to provide concrete advice and guidance in the direction of further improving their business.
The event was held in cooperation with the Institut for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development – IPER.