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The Beauty of Entrepreneurship: Why do we need entrepreneurship and what takes us to a successful business story?

International speakers from several countries met in Bucharest on Wednesday, November 9th, for the first international conference dedicated to the Romanian entrepreneurs, the Beauty of Entrepreneurship, organized by the National Association of Entrepreneurship in Romania.

Famous foreign and Romanian speakers shared their own success stories in business with the audience gathered at the Law Faculty in the Capital city, talked about what is inspiring entrepreneurs, what is motivating them to move on and what an initiative needs to be successful. The Romania Journal was among the media partners of the event.

Cristina Chiriac: No macroeconomic conditions to support local entrepreneurs

Cristina Chiriac, the president of the National Association of Entrepreneurship, began her speech by referring to the U.S. presidential election outcome, pleading for equal opportunities for men and women. “24 hours are enough for the world to change. In 24 hours we could have had a woman as president of the United States, the first US female president, but today we have a man as president. That means that world is no ready to change. No matter how much we’ve evolved, there still are difference between men and women, and our role is to decrease these differences,” Cristina Chiriac stated.crisitna-chiriac

She complained that the Romanian entrepreneurs don’t benefit of macroeconomic policies to support them and that’s why most of their businesses die in the first three years of activity.

Why should we believe in entrepreneurship? In a country that passed from a centralized economy to an open market only 26 years ago it’s very hard to build something, especially that there are no macroeconomic conditions to endorse entrepreneurs.

You know why the entrepreneurs’ activities die in the first three years? For it’s very hard to support yourself (…) If we want a strong Romanian economy, the only solution is the entrepreneurship,” Cristina Chiriac said.

The president of the National Association of Entrepreneurship revealed that the conference is mostly dedicated to the women’s entrepreneurship. “We have some inspirational stories. We didn’t bring entrepreneurs who have 1,000, 5,000 or 10,000 employees, but we brought entrepreneurs to tell you that they’ve made it, starting from an idea, with lots of courage and passion.”

Chiriac further informed that her association also aims at proving the future entrepreneurs with professional training. “The association is an NGO, financed by nobody. It’s an NGO promoting valuable people, supporting valuable entrepreneurs, which makes partnerships with the Romanian universities for it understands the importance of having well trained entrepreneurs.”

The host of the event, the TEDx speaker Perry Timms, advised the audience, particularly women, to think yellow, like one of the colors of the Romanian tricolor, to suggest the sunshine and the optimism, while pleading for equal gender opportunities.

Penny Haslam: Perfection or excellence?

Photo credit: Romania Journal

Photo credit: Romania Journal

Penny Haslam, a business and motivational keynote speaker who draws on her twenty years’ experience interviewing businessmen and women on national television and radio, as a BBC senior business journalist, delivered the first speech of the conference, introducing the PIE of the job appraisal: performance, image and exposure, for anyone who wants to raise his/her career profile. “Before getting promoted, you need to promote yourself,” Penny Haslam says, adding that usually entrepreneurs do not have large budgets for advertising or too much time, but a potential position as an expert in a certain field is definitely “attracting attention to your business”.

Performance is how you manage to achieve tasks, image is not about how you are looking, but rather about how others perceive you, while exposure is letting others know about the previous two, with Penny revealing that 15 years ago it was harder to have this exposure, while now there are so many tools at hand: social media or networking.

The former BBC business journalist says performance doesn’t need to be perfect, sharing one of her “embarrassing personal examples” when she started up a business and how she spent three months to write one e-mail.

If you spend all your time working on perfecting your performance, you’ll be wasting your time (…) I am in business because I am excellent not because I am perfect. So, don’t look for performance perfection, just be happy with your performance excellence,” Penny stated.

As for image, the British speaker advised entrepreneurs to focus on identity, on how the identity connects to the customers and on those small particularities that can differentiate you from other competitors. “When you are in business, your are the best brand ambassador for your business,” she says.

Exposure is the biggest slice of Penny’s PIE (counting for 50%). She believes that you must make yourself heard as much as possible and, on top of it, you must get your expert idea released on as many social as media as possible, for, be it blogging, vlogging, Facebook or traditional media such as TV, radio or print, or networking at events, somebody interested in your expertize will eventually hear you and join your enterprise. “Get the right exposure for your business. These days we make our own media. We blog about it. Your opinion counts and when you can express your opinion in a way that helps drive people interested in your business, that’s good for business and helps raise your profile, your status.”

More to come…

About Alina Grigoras Butu