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Young entrepreneurs: 4 ways to find your first business idea

Some consider entrepreneurship an inherent quality, some are born with it. If you‘ve just realised you are an entrepreneur at heart, here are four ways to find your first big business idea. 
by Louis Nel for BusinessTrade.org
1. Keep it in the family.
Use all those family reunions to your advantage. Families are usually your first natural network of contacts; dedicate time to find out what your parents and family members do for a living, what industries they operate in. Are any of them entrepreneurs? Working family members represent an archive of unique experiences which can serve to guide you on your first entrepreneurial endeavours. You might find that one of your family members runs a business in an industry that you are interested in, like the antique market or finance industry. This may represent a golden opportunity for you to access first-hand experience and knowledge about an industry you are interested in, without having to incur any costs to your time or money.
Family members usually know you better than the average employer and you may have a better chance to secure an internship at their company or business than you would at an unfamiliar employer. Getting live market exposure is an invaluable way to get to know the consumer you would like to serve. This knowledge can help you develop that innovative idea that will help your entrepreneurial dreams take off.
2. Friends can inspire.
Get to know how your friends spend their time and what their ambitions are. Share with them your own dreams for the future. Many great ideas were created by two people making a concerted effort, like Paul Allen and Bill Gates or Wilbur and Orville Wright. Your friends can be a useful platform to bounce ideas from. They can help you identify a consumer need and assist you in brain-storming a solution that could satisfy that need.
3. Ivory towers hold opportunity.
Many tertiary institutions also run research hubs, where students identify problems in selected industries and do research to generate an archive of possible solutions or generate more insight into the origins of the selected problem. As an entrepreneur, this represents an opportunity for you to gain access to measurable results generated from a study of real-life market problems, and from this research create a realistic business idea. This way, you can help keep a great idea from getting stuck in the pages of an academic journal and not in the hands of eager consumers.
4. Self-study brings rewards.
Never underestimate your brain’s potential for learning and acquiring knowledge. Even when you’re sleeping your brain is assessing and storing information. Keep your brain busy by reading up on new market trends, visiting entrepreneurial advice website and subscribing to business magazines. You can also learn from current and past entrepreneurs by studying their biographies for their personal secrets to success. One day you could wake up  with a great business idea in your head.
Cultivate the entrepreneur within you by opening yourself to new contacts and new ideas. Spread your idea net as wide as you can. Soon you may be on your way to becoming the next big entrepreneurial success.

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