Lucas Presson

Lucas Presson is the assistant publisher of the Southeast Missourian.

Development through the prism of entrepreneurship

Do you have an entrepreneurial mindset? How about your employees? Take it a step further, maybe the most important question: Do your kids have an entrepreneurial mindset?

There’s a TED Talk by Bill Roche called “The Power of an Entrepreneurial Mindset.” In his presentation, Roche documents his experiment with challenging young people to start a business. It started with a group of 15-year-olds. The class was asked to come up with a business idea, and the only requirement was that they had to work with Roche for the experiment — though the students were in charge of their own project.

One young man, initially skeptical, eventually came on board as the last holdout and became one of the biggest champions of the project. He earned the highest profit and was the most engaged. Following the exercise, educators noted this student had previously not been the best student. He rarely turned in his homework and skipped classes. But this project somehow captured his imagination.

Roche said there are skills like creativity, critical thinking, problem solving and communication that are all important. But those are skills — not a mindset. He posited that this project helped the students become more flexible and adaptable, build confidence and move toward new opportunities. Growing, developing and improving were themes. And for some students, like the underachieving boy, it opened doors to areas of interest that captured his imagination.

“I’m not suggesting in any way that everybody needs to be an entrepreneur,” he said. “What I am saying is that young people today, regardless of whether they work for themselves and start a business or if they work for en employer, what they need is … an entrepreneurial mindset to be successful.”

Fast forward to this edition of B Magazine. It’s the development edition where we highlight new projects and the people behind them. Some of the individuals are seasoned entrepreneurs, using past experience — and a healthy dose of risk — to breath new life into underutilized buildings. Others focus on developing their community from an organizational role.

Economic development is largely a male dominated field, but four women in Southeast Missouri are making positive contributions to the economic landscape. Some are recruiting private industry to the area, while others also focus on government infrastructure developments that could lead to community economic benefits.

Development has many different looks connecting numerous dots, and there are numerous people in Southeast Missouri working on interesting projects. With time, due diligence and visionary leaders, the best projects should rise to the surface. And the entrepreneurial mindset plays a key role in the process.