A Micropreneurship Manifesto

First published in Jan 2008
Original Post

Gumball Capital engages students with micropreneurship for positive social impact. But what does that even mean? What are we talking about when we say micropreneurship

Short answer: It’s entrepreneurship on a micro-level

Longer answer: It’s the act of starting and completing small projects that are just outside your capacity - allowing you to meet new people, develop new skills, focus your energies on producing something useful, and growing as a person.

How does micropreneurship play a role in your life? When you buy a wireless routing kit, Google the instructions, and install it yourself, you have performed an act of micropreneurship. Same when you ask your roommate’s mom for her amazing apple pie recipe that you then follow to give to your girlfriend for Valentine’s day. Micropreneurship is more of a mindset than anything else. It is a way of thinking and behaving, a kind of attitude towards life.

Example - I am on the Stanford Men’s Gymnastics team and each year we get several new freshmen who have a lot to learn about being a scholar-athlete. I wondered how I could make this process smoother and easier. My micropreneurial mindset led me to create a booklet filled with advice from each member of the team.

  • I thought creatively about how to solve a problem (What is a feasible and effective way to help the freshmen?)
  • I got to reflect on things that would have helped me as a freshmen (listen and be respectful to our coach, don’t take too many units fall quarter)
  • I got an chance to hone skills I already possessed (design and layout skills)
  • I interacted with many people (my teammates and coaches)
  • I contacted some new people (asked a recent alum to write the introduction)
  • I learned something new (how fast and cheaply you can print booklets at CopyAmerica)
  • I produced something useful (A book for the freshman on adapting to life at Stanford)

So why should you engage in micropreneurship?
On a practical note, micropreneurship is a good way to explore interests, develop skills, meet new people, learn new things, and do something useful. It’s also likely that one your micropreneurial efforts could grow into something bigger and truly entrepreneurial. Micropreneurship allows you to sow a thousand seeds and see what blooms. And finally, each micropreneurial project you accomplish gives you a sense of satisfaction, confidence and karma that just can’t be found elsewhere.

How can I be a better micropreneur?
There are a few qualities that set serial micropreneurs apart from other people. By focusing on developing these qualities you improve your own ability to engage in micropreneurship.
  • Initiative - They are willing to try something and always ready to jump into action
  • Courage - They are willing to ignore fear, doubt, and social pressure to take the traditional route
  • Resourcefulness - They are able to find new ways to achieve a solution to a problem
  • Curiosity - Their curiosity leads them to learn all sorts of knowledge and develop the skills they need to complete their project.
  • Optimism - They are unfazed by lack of knowledge and initial failures
  • Extroversion - They enjoy learning about people, learning from people, and working with people, which is essential to completing many projects

At Gumball Capital, we believe that engaging students with micropreneurship for positive social impact is a worthy task. We want you to take your micropreneurship to a new level, by systematically seeking out challenges that are just out of your reach. We hope that when encounter challenges, instead of dropping your hands in hopelessness, ignoring the problem or getting someone else to do it, you systematically look for ways that you could rise to the occasion and use micropreneurial strategies to get the job done.

Discover your inner micropreneur.