According to the Kaufmann Foundation, in 2015 the average age of a first-time North American Entrepreneur was 44 years[1].  The October 2016 Start ‘Em Up report by the Canada West Foundation reports that “the younger the Entrepreneur, the more likely they will demonstrate a tendency and willingness in risk-taking through investing in new and emerging technologies, entering new markets, developing new material … and forming strategic alliances.”[2]

Further research by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and European Commission (OECD) shows businesses with founders in their 20’s had employment growth rates almost double that of those founded by people over 40[3].

Entrepreneurship is a potential career path for students who love to solve problems and want to make a difference in the world. Just the kind of students that Alberta’s post-secondary institutions tend to attract.

Unfortunately for many of students who aspire to be Entrepreneurs, a fear of making mistakes, being labelled a failure or negatively impacting future career options becomes a barrier, and they say to themselves “maybe later.”

In some cases ‘maybe later’ ends up meaning when I’m 44, and for much more, it ends up meaning “never”.

In 1969, the now famous psychologist Albert Bandura used a technique he later called “guided mastery” to help people overcome their snake phobia. His guided mastery techniques can be used to create self-efficacy – “the belief in one’s capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to manage prospective situations.”[4]

We desire to help as many aspiring student Entrepreneurs as possible take the first step towards Entrepreneurship by using guided mastery to help them come up with and launch their very first StartUp.

The objective of 150 StartUps is to guide aspiring student Entrepreneurs, so they develop an Entrepreneurial mindset, while they use the toolsets, and build the skillsets needed to master the four C’s of Entrepreneurship: Curiosity, Competence, Confidence & Connections.