When you dream of being an entrepreneur, are you immediately brought back to reality because you live in a developing country?
If so, it’s time to get past that limitation. The following advice will show you how to overcome this challenge and start moving toward your goal.
Understand That Challenges Are Often Opportunities
This might sound like the type of run-of-the-mill advice you often see in dime-a-dozen self-help books, but it’s worth rethinking what you currently view as the “challenges” of being an entrepreneur in a developing country.
Psychologically, reframing challenges as opportunities can prove to be a powerful way of improving yourself.
However, there are also very pragmatic reasons to take on this view.
If you decide to target customers in developed countries, you may find a lot more of them because your production costs are lower than that of native competitors. This difference in the exchange rate is what is commonly known as “arbitrage,” and it is something many businesses in developed countries rely on heavily.
There’s also the fact that you may be in another time zone, so you can get work done and back to them while they’re sleeping.
Don’t forget, too, that your country may still have challenges that more developed ones have already conquered. That not only means you have opportunities entrepreneurs in those countries don’t, but also that there’s a blueprint out there you can leverage (i.e. look at what other people have done to solve the same problems).
Take Full Advantage of the World Wide Web
The Internet is another thing that comes with too many benefits to list. However, it’s probably fair to say that nothing has evened the playing field more for entrepreneurs from developing countries than the fact that you can begin finding customers right away through sites like:
If nothing else, those are great sites for research. You can literally see what people from around the world are willing to pay you to do.
Not interested in providing a service? If you have your heart set on building a product to sell, check out:
Again, these sites won’t just give you an international platform to show off your invention, they’re also tremendous sources for market research.
Consider Beginning with a Skill People in Developed Countries Need
Just like entrepreneurs from other parts of the world, you may have been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug but aren’t quite sure what to do with it.
That’s just fine. You have plenty of time to figure it out.
One idea, though, would be to look at what people in other countries need. Again, this goes back to arbitrage.
Obviously, you already read English, so you’re well on your way. However, if you’re not great at speaking/typing it, start making that a priority.
Some examples include:
- Graphic Design
- SEO Research Using Software
- Link Building
- Data Entering
These skills might not launch you into the entrepreneurial stratosphere, but they will do two very important things.
First, they’ll bring in extra funds, something every entrepreneur could use more of. You can also earn them while keeping your full-time job.
Second, it will help you build other necessary skills that will come in handy as you evolve as an entrepreneur. These include things like:
- Building Rapport
No matter what your end goal is in terms of products or services, you’ll need a strong grasp on these essential traits to make it as an entrepreneur.
Crowdfunding Can Give You Unprecedented Access to Capital
The other thing that second list of sites above has in common is that they’re all designed for crowdfunding.
If you’re not familiar with the term, crowdfunding refers to a user-friendly form of finding investors through the Internet. It’s literally changing the way investing works.
You’ll want to find out about crowdfunding laws in your country before attempting to go down this route, though.
Like anything else, you’ll also need to learn how crowdfunding works. You might have a great idea, but if you don’t understand best practices, it probably won’t bring in the investments you need.
While it will take a little more work, you can even use crowdfunding to raise capital for a company you want to start.
Again, crowdfunding is no silver bullet. You’ll still need to put in lots of work. That being said, the World Bank believes crowdfunding investments in developing countries will be worth $96 billion a year by 2025.
Look for Networking Opportunities
We’ve touched on the importance of learning certain skills a few times in this post so far, but we want to pay special attention to networking.
In short, networking builds your professional circle of connections.
Why is this important?
There are a number of reasons networking is essential. As an entrepreneur in a developing country, though, it could be your ticket to success.
First of all, the more successful people you can establish a connection with, the easier of a time you’ll have finding work early on and, if necessary, investors in the future.
Second, no matter where you’re from, there is someone in your country – probably more than one – who has achieved a level of success you can emulate.
Your goal should be to work for them. Nothing is going to refine your entrepreneurial skills like being up close and personal with a mentor day-in and day-out.
Now, that’s not going to be easy. You may need to start by working with or for someone who’s lower on the entrepreneurial ladder. Fine – take that opportunity and keep networking.
You may never work for the person you originally intended, but these professional relationships will still have huge payoffs.
Keep in mind that networking is something you can do while still implementing the other tips we mentioned above.
Don’t let living in a developing country stop your dreams of being an entrepreneur. Reframe the challenges ahead of you and apply the advice above. It’s still going to take a lot of work, but by reading this article, you’re already well on your way.