Category Archives: Entrepreneurship

ICSB Testimony Before U. S. Congress on Entrepreneurship

Based on 2022 testimonies to U. S Congress by ICSB, International Council for Small Business, we have selected two ICSB testimonies by prominent U. S. entrepreneurship professors, Dr. Michael Morris of Notre Dame University’s Keough School of Global Affairs speaking first on poverty entrepreneurship and…

…Dr. Alex DeNoble, Professor in the College of Business at San Diego State University (SDSU) and Executive Director of SDSU’s Lavin Entrepreneurship Center speaks next on the importance of developing an entrepreneurial mindset in the next generation.

Speaking before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, ICSB spoke of the top trends in entrepreneurship for 2022, emphasizing MSMEs and Humane Entrepreneurship as a focus during the COVID recovery period.  MSMEs are Micro-Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises that provide 2/3 of all formal jobs in developing countries and 80% in low-income countries. Humane entrepreneurship can be found in companies whose management embodies equity, empowerment, and enablement for their employees.  A culture of such values helps generate innovation, appropriate risk-taking, and decisive actions producing quality jobs and company wealth.

Resilience was the most popular theme for 2021, and, while the past 12 months have challenged all in the business world, ICSB still believes that MSMEs and humane entrepreneurship provide the best framework for recovery. MSMEs are the most flexible, and the most in touch with their local communities. This allows them to extend the principles of frugal innovation further and expands the possibility of what the recovery can look like.

Entrepreneurs seek to build small businesses that match their lifestyles and passions. The pandemic has opened a new era of opportunity for entrepreneurs. The consequent slowdown afforded many aspiring entrepreneurs the chance to pause and reflect on their careers. Witnessing a world open to new ideas, opportunities, and change, they have made a brave recent decision and catapulted into entrepreneurship. ICSB recommends exploring this new adventure and being strategically prepared for it.

Courtesy of Ayman El Tarabishy, CEO ICSB

Demo Day at MIT


MIT delta v is an initiative across all of MIT’s schools and colleges: the School of Engineering; the School of Science; the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences; the School of Architecture and Planning; the MIT Sloan School of Management; and the Schwarzman College of Computing. The accelerator is overseen by the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship and is the capstone educational opportunity for MIT student entrepreneurs as it prepares them to hit escape velocity and launch into the real world.  Martin Trust is rated the second-best undergraduate program in the U. S. behind Babson College and ahead of UC Berkeley (editor’s alma mater).  We thought it useful to show videos of Delta V’s winning pitches to readers.

“Welcome students, alumni, and community members to MIT delta v Demo Day 2022! This year’s accelerator was our first to be run out of the Trust Center since 2019 and it was great to have the teams back in person working to build their ventures. Today, they get to share the results of all their hard work.  Demo Day is our favorite day of the year. You will be blown away by what our student teams have done to create new ventures that will make the world better. Demo Day is the culmination of a year-long journey to become an MIT-quality innovation-driven entrepreneur. We couldn’t be prouder to show them off on the stage at Kresge – and inspire you, our audience. In fact, the majority of our cohort comes from people in the audience who say, “I want to and can do that!” 


Bill Aulet is the Managing Director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship and the Ethernet Inventors Professor of the Practice at the MIT Sloan School of Management.  Bill is changing the way entrepreneurship is understood, taught, and practiced around the world.  He is an award-winning educator and author whose current work is built off the foundation of his 25-year business career, first at IBM, and then as a three-time serial entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurship & Motivation, Part 2

The motivation of students is important to all teachers at every level.  We worry over students who appear disengaged, attend sporadically, or whose cell phones seem busy with social media rather than note-taking.  The ideal classroom contains students who are motivated to learn, attend classes, participate during class, and make an effort to prepare.  Consequently, understanding student motivation and designing classes to improve desire can make a big difference in learning and performance.

In an earlier blog below, we described motivation theory.  There is a fundamental human need for autonomy and self-determination that can be tapped to motivate.  The more we give students a sense of control by providing choices the better students are motivated.  Comparing intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation we made the case that intrinsic is the best type because students value activities more than external rewards (grades).  Students can be motivated by the pleasure of learning and by setting their own educational path.  Teaching entrepreneurship has taught facilitators that intrinsic, experiential-type learning promotes understanding, develops creativity, and increases involvement.  Self-discovery while engaged in a project can by itself impart knowledge, and students want to learn more.  If the instructor can stimulate curiosity, offer choices and provide challenges in an activity, students are motivated to engage.

We emphasized the importance of motivation to the entrepreneurial process and made the case using evidenced-based facts, anyone can build a successful startup so long as there is overwhelming desire. Being motivated to perform one’s best and persist in the face of obstacles makes entrepreneurs successful.  Motivation is described as a desire to do something with your personal life, work or any pursuit.  Babe Ruth said, “it’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.”  How then can we help others achieve their goals, realize their desires or reach their objectives?  Humans, being complex beings, have made motivation both a science and an art.  Different people are motivated by different things.  Purpose can be a great motivator.  When someone makes progress and sees a project to fruition, they were invariably highly motivated.

Because knowing what motivates other people and the desire to influence other people, it’s important to know how a person acts upon their needs.  American psychologist Abraham Maslow in a 1943 paper, Theory of Human Motivation, related needs to stages of human growth per his famous triangle below:

These needs are split between deficiency and growth.  Maslow explained humans intrinsically (inherently) take part in this motivational behavior.  Each stage must be satisfied for motivation to rise through the pyramid. The goal of the hierarchy is to attain the highest level of self-actualization at the top, a stage of self-transcendence, the most inclusive level of human consciousness.  Psychologist Steven Reiss argues that there are core motives based on values.  Knowing how we and others prioritize these motives can explain why we do the things we do. Some of these motives are:

  1. Curiosity – The desire for knowledge and experience.
  2. Acceptance – The desire for inclusion.
  3. Order – The desire for organization.
  4. Physical activity – The desire for the exercise of muscles.
  5. Honor – The desire to be loyal to one’s parents and heritage.
  6. Power – The desire to influence others.
  7. Independence – The desire for self-reliance.
  8. Social contact – The desire for companionship.

If we want to motivate other people, we must learn what motivates them.  

Here’s a list of how to use these values to motivate someone:

  1. Use specific, not generic, motivational words -say the person’s name and tailor words to suit the situation.
  2. Use “I” instead of “you” phrasing -“you’ puts them on the defensive while “I” offers encouragement and support.
  3. Motivate with positivity, not negativity -negative approaches do not work.
  4. Prioritize their activities over results -focus your motivational efforts on the “climb” rather than the “summit”.
  5. Identify smaller goals in the big picture -it’s easier to see success when goals are smaller.
  6. Praise for working hard -motivate future achievements by rewarding current efforts.
  7. Encourage them to reward themselves -self-praise is a great motivator.
  8. Don’t go overboard with commitments -prioritize quality motivational words, not quantity.

Educational consultant Axelrod says there are a variety of reasons why someone may not be motivated in which case he recommends talking to them, asking about their personal life and reasons for not being interested.  He advises always encouraging people, being helpful and supportive, changing their perspective, and breaking goals into manageable changes.  If an instructor can arouse the student’s curiosity, present the right kind of challenge, and offer choices to enhance control, they have excelled at intrinsic motivation.  This method is not to say extrinsic motivation cannot improve the mix.  Extrinsic rewards at the beginning of a course are productive while the student gains mastery of the subject.  Earning a good grade can also foster an increased interest in the material.  Rewards are more beneficial when they involve feedback that helps students improve by providing specific actions.

Another form of motivation is the expectancy value where students direct effort towards activities they value and for which they have an expectancy of success.  Instructors do best when they motivate using both methods -student expectancy for success along with the value in the outcome.  Entrepreneurship projects are more successful worked in teams.  While a successful startup venture can be quite valuable, the expectancy of success is greater with diverse teammates bringing complementary skills to the table.  A good motivator points out the benefits to be realized by accomplishing the task or goal, and his or her enthusiasm and passion can be contagious.  Appeal to student autonomy with experiential exercises, build fun and variety into the curriculum, lavish praise on students, bring excitement to the course, call students by name and show a personal interest, and tell stories to make a point.  Both students and faculty will be richly rewarded by enjoyment, understanding, and self-actualization.