Entrepreneurship@BU Newsletter: September 2012

paul-mcmanusExpert Insight

It Takes A Village to Educate an Entrepreneur

Paul McManus, Managing Director, ITEC

Entrepreneurship is the engine of growth in our economy.  Entrepreneurs bring innovation to market that truly change the world and make the U.S. competitive in global markets. They also are net-creators of jobs, wealth and prosperity. Working with students every day it’s rewarding to know that they truly understand that entrepreneurship is one of the most important aspects of our economy and increasingly, becoming a self-directed career path for many.

Whether considering starting their own enterprise, joining others at the ground floor or wanting to be a great employee, students know that they need to be the ones to make things happen. This is achieved when they are able to exercise creativity, recognize and seize opportunities, harness resources, be supportive teammates, take calculated risks and be effective leaders when needed. More to the point, our students know they have to not only develop a wide range of hard and soft skills to be able to do the job but also need hands-on experience to develop the kind of confidence, instincts and seasoning that gets results.

Each has a deep sense of mission, to spend a life doing good work and having an impact on the world…. choosing the entrepreneurial path as not just a way to make money, but to make meaning.

The Brave New World

I returned to Boston University (GSM’86) because I saw that entrepreneurship and the venture capital industry I worked in was undergoing a great change.  In just one decade, startups have gone from two guys in a garage to becoming true products of globalization, what we call “born-global”, “micro-multinationals” spanning time, distance, language and cultures to find resources, talent, capital, markets and customers. Their methods have evolved from fast… to agile…. to the now omnipresent “lean”.  (You can never be too rich or too thin – Wallis Simpson.) Read the rest of this entry>>

View From the Trenches


Helping Small Businesses Grow – One Balance Sheet at a Time:
An Interview with Nathan Bernard SMG ‘12

Having graduated this spring from the School of Management, Nathan Bernard’s four years at BU gave him the confidence to move beyond the protection of the campus and his peers, into the community, to apply the skills he was taught in the classroom. It was then that he truly learned how to make an impact in “the real world.“

By observing the business world and seeing the difficulties that plague small businesses, Nathan formed a financial literacy program known as BUBA, BU Urban Business Accelerator. The initiative prepares small business owners to manage their money and address key financial challenges that are a part of every small business through empowering them with financial knowledge and technical help.  Often times these small business owners are unprepared to manage the day-to-day cash money challenges that go along with running a growing business and have difficulty understanding how to manage their finances.

Nathan explained, “This summer BUBA ran a successful 10-week pilot program where teams of students worked closely with two business owners in the underserved community of Dorchester. They targeted key issues like cash flow management in order to promote financial education, clarification, and organization and used the accounting software program QuickBooks as a tool to help the companies manage by the numbers.”  Nathan was thrilled when MSNBC’s Your Business featured BUBA on their weekly show. Read the rest of this entry>>