What is an Entrepreneurial Network ?
My entrepreneurial network is a group composed of individuals whom I know, and who either already engage in various fields of entrepreneurship or have an interest in entrepreneurship and wish to embark on such a journey.
The precision regarding knowing these individuals is crucial. Someone with whom you are going to partner for several years should be someone you know to some extent, someone you have already met, and not a virtual acquaintance.
This is one of the reasons why I discourage finding a business partner solely on the internet. You don’t know them. How can you agree to grant them a share of the capital of this business that might be worth a fortune tomorrow?
I’ve noticed that few people truly realize the state of their entrepreneurial network. Firstly, they don’t have a clear understanding of this concept; they’ve never given it a specific name. I often hear people say, “you need to have a network.” But I like to emphasize that it’s not just about having a network; it’s about having an “entrepreneurial” network.
For instance, your father may be part of your network, but does he belong to your “entrepreneurial” network? Personally, I am fortunate to have parents who are both entrepreneurs. I’ve had the opportunity to meet several business leaders through my parents and discuss entrepreneurship with them. Therefore, they are part of my entrepreneurial network. In fact, I met one of my business associates in a soap manufacturing company I launched through my father.
I’ll share more about this story later in the book.
For others, parents may be part of their network in the general sense, but they may not be part of their entrepreneurial network because they have no interest in entrepreneurship. Hence, I insist on the importance of making a clear distinction between merely having a network and having an entrepreneurial network.
Once this distinction is clear in your mind, it is essential to realize that you need to have an entrepreneurial network. Failing to recognize this may result in missing out on opportunities. A person who wants to embark on entrepreneurship but doesn’t prioritize building and managing their entrepreneurial network is likely to face significant challenges.
If the definition of an entrepreneurial network is clear in your mind, I will now explain more concretely how to identify specific individuals as part of your entrepreneurial network.
This text is an excerpt from the book “Finding the Right Associate“, written by Alain Patrice Ngaleu.