An entrepreneur club is a gathering of like-minded people who are interested in small business development. The club can have other characteristics, such as being associated with a school as well as an ago or gender restriction. These types of clubs become popular when there is an economic downturn and government stimulus programs focus on small business development. They also provide unique opportunities, especially when advancements in technology or productivity open up new areas for business expansion.
One of the primary purposes of an entrepreneur club for adults is to generate networking opportunities for members who likely already own their own small businesses. Business development is often dependent on relationships and the business owner’s ability to identify and entice new engagements. A youth entrepreneur club might focus on education, since its members would likely be teens or college students who have yet to open their own businesses.
Other types of activities that can be part of an entrepreneur club agenda are training, technical assistance, and special events. The club will typically have a slate of officers who are elected to develop an enrichment program for the members. Members can be assessed dues to pay for resources in support of programming. These sorts of clubs run very much like an interest group or association.
Clubs are typically formed in connection with a host organization. For example, a college or university will likely have its own entrepreneur club, and the clubs of different schools might be networked as an association. Chambers of commerce in some areas have sponsored clubs for people who are looking to start a business and current members who own small businesses. National and international specialty groups with an interest in particular types of entrepreneurship will also create chapters in different locations.
An entrepreneur club can also serve as an incubator for budding business owners and provide support until the business can go out on its own. These types of clubs provide backend services, such as shared office space, telephone service, Internet access, and receptionist services, for a low fee. An incubator-style club will likely also focus on start-up financing and teach members how to secure loans and go after venture capital. Occasionally, an entrepreneur club that offers incubation services in a hot industry, such as Internet technology, will be funded by a government agency.
Clubs that promote entrepreneurship can be organized to do anything that concerns a group of potential or existing small business owners. The club can be independent or part of a niche-based entrepreneurship network. It can focus on education and training or provide substantive services, such as incubation, mentorship, and funds matching. There are thousands of these clubs all over the world, and they likely cover everything that could be of interest to the entrepreneur.