Dec
15

Why Do Entrepreneurs Bootstrap?

Jeff Cornwall, Director of The Center for Entrepreneurship at Belmont University, wrote this blog post as an introduction to a new book he is writing. Sounds like a great topic to explore. Jeff has a terrific blog The Entrepreneurial Mind.

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Why Do We Bootstrap?

I am working over the break between our fall and spring semesters on a new book on bootstrapping. It is a text that is part of a new Entrepreneurship series from Prentice-Hall. It got me reflecting a bit on why bootstrapping is such an integral part of the entrepreneurial experience. It is worn by so many entrepreneurs as a badge of honor. They beam with pride when they tell of the creative way that they have gotten things accomplished for their business when operating on a shoestring budget.

So why do so many entrepreneurs bootstrap their businesses? That is the question I ask at the beginning of the book. The answer to this question is not as simple as it might first appear. Some reasons for bootstrapping a business are borne out of necessity. Resource limitations are genuine constraint of many start-up businesses. The average start-up in the US only has about $10,000 in capital to launch their business.

But in other instances, the entrepreneur makes a conscious choice to be a bootstrapper outside of resource limitations. Whether it be to improve the performance of their business or be it borne out of the values of the entrepreneur, sometimes bootstrapping is a conscious management style. Many entrepreneurs start out of resource limitations, but make the choice to make bootstrapping part of their culture.

Over the next couple of weeks I thought it would be fun to blend my book writing and my blogging a bit. I will be making several posts reflecting on the various reasons entrepreneurs bootstrap.

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