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Sunday, July 23, 2017

How to look at art: Are you ready to be an entrepreneur?

'Weirdo' by John Njeru, 21
'Weirdo' by John Njeru, 21

Vision 2030 envisions economic sustainability for all. Entrepreneurship is considered key to achieving this goal, but it entails more than a business plan and spreadsheets and ‘selling tomatoes by the road’.

In our fast-changing world, where ‘business growth is driven by creativity and innovation’ as per the World Economic Forum, creativity is a must-have skill. “Without creativity,” says leading industrialist Manu Chandaria, “survival is impossible.”

Entrepreneurs differ from ‘traditional’ businessmen and women. Their minds revolve around innovation: new products, new services, new markets, new business models, new technology. They always think ‘improvement’ and act on it.

‘Traditional’ businesspeople think only of profit, not innovation. As one senior executive told me, ‘There is no innovation culture in Kenya.’ They cannot think outside the set frames, and fear to even question them.

Entrepreneurs invent the future, quite literally, and therefore, leadership — the ability to bring change — is also key to their success. And here again, creativity comes first.

The creative and practical sides of entrepreneurship are closely interlinked and go hand in hand with each other from start to finish. The trick is to learn not to rely on occasional ‘light bulb’ moments but to think creatively on a regular basis.

How to learn creativity? Everyone can enhance his or her creativity. Art studies are the most effective way to develop the ‘creativity software’.

Are you creative enough to pursue the entrepreneurial career? Try to answer these questions:

1. Do you believe in creativity or think creativity is not important?

2. Do you aim to do something different, to attract more customers, and to evaluate new ideas to determine their effectiveness?

3. Are you afraid to fail, or do you see failure as opportunity?

4. Do you strive to collaborate with others and know that creativity likes teamwork?

5. Do you know any creative thinking tools and techniques? Do you know where to learn them? If the answer is ‘no’, you can pre-order our ‘Creativity Know-How’ book by sending your request to [email protected]

If you wish to harness creativity is a startup, think along these lines. Find the need, the problem, the ‘pain’ that you want to solve for your customers. Really understand the problem: what is the main question you want answered? Organise regular brainstorming sessions with your team or associates, and churn out every possible solution. Evaluate ideas by asking what problem does your idea solve, who are your customers, what are the risks, and how to market the idea. Share ideas and get feedback: ideas must be refined and fool-proof before being implemented.

Alla Tkachuk founded Mobile Art School in Kenya. Become ‘Kenya Patron of the Arts’. Contact Alla for more information on [email protected]


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