Six Critical Skills Entrepreneurs Need to Succeed – Identifying the Opportunity

Shannon Beeman
October 11, 2011

Every day, changes that occur in the world generate new opportunities. Yet, not every opportunity is the basis for a successful business. Students need to understand their own capabilities ― skills, assets, network and passions ― and those of their team members in order to identify an opportunity
that can become the foundation of a new business which they can build.

It requires entrepreneurs to be aware of changes in occurring in the world—for example, that baby boomers are aging—and as a result, understanding if that change is going to create an opportunity.

To help students learn the skill of opportunity identification, one of the Institute’s most notable efforts are the joint business-engineering courses, including Entrepreneurial Business Fundamentals
for Engineers and Scientists and a new offering for undergraduates, Business Basics for Entrepreneurs.

Beyond the classroom,  phase one of the Institute’s Dare to Dream grant program, awards a $500 “venture shaping” grant to a student entrepreneur or team for the creation of a business construct that identifies the product (or service), the customers and the positioning of the venture in the marketplace. While the first round of the Michigan Business Challenge, a campus-wide business competition, reinforces the skill of opportunity identification by asking each participating team to articulate these core components of their targeted opportunity.

From there, it’s then about designing the business.