Throughout the journey of a startup, a founder dons many hats. It is commonly acknowledged that entrepreneurship is one of the toughest yet most rewarding career paths. A successful entrepreneurial journey is marked by many a setback and failures. Despite this, startup founders must stay strong and believe in themselves. So, what are the crucial skills and qualities a successful entrepreneur must possess? Let’s take a look at these factors that play a major role in entrepreneurship development and growth.

1) Self-discipline

When you launch a startup venture, you are your own boss. There’s no one looking over your shoulder or holding you accountable for the work you do. Self-discipline, then, becomes a fundamental quality for successfully starting a business. Imbibing self-discipline involves honoring the commitments made to partners, vendors, clients, customers and even your employees.

2) Integrity

It’s important to be perfectly honest in every aspect of your work. When it comes to establishing successful businesses, it boils down to trust. Whether or not you make it big as an entrepreneur depends on how many people are willing to work with and for you, give you money, lend you credit, buy your products and services, and even help you through a crisis. In short, your business is going to be based on your word, and you want to make sure your word holds value.

3) Persistence

From investors to customers, you will probably hear a resounding ‘no’ multiple times as a startup founder. Don’t lose heart – it’s all part of the entrepreneurial journey. You need passion, determination and grit to persist in the face of rejections, adversity and even ridicule. And that is what sets apart a successful entrepreneur from others.

4) Risk-taking ability

They say entrepreneurship is often a ‘high risk, high reward’ game. Starting a company requires an ample appetite for risk as uncertainty is a huge variable in successful entrepreneurship. Even the best business or startup ideas may not work out due to various obstacles.

5) Business planning

An entrepreneur should be equipped to oversee various departments of a startup and be able to multi-task, delegate and make business decisions. Apart from technical skills, he/she needs to be great at strategy, brainstorming, goal-setting, project execution and management. Simply put, a founder is like the captain of the ship, and without adequate business planning skills, the ship lacks direction and is doomed to sink.

6) Leadership

A startup founder is someone the entire organization looks up to. It’s important to get everything from leadership style to communication to conflict resolution right. An ideal entrepreneur leads by example, is decisive, empathetic, promotes a culture of open feedback, and motivates the team.

These entrepreneurial skills and abilities are not innate and can be honed and developed over time. With the right kind of practical exposure and mentorship, anybody can exhibit the skills and ideas needed to start a business or company.

If you are a young professional or a student aspiring to start your own business, Wadhwani Foundation’s National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN) offers a pro bono, experiential and immersive entrepreneurship course that provides the necessary skills and knowledge to be a successful entrepreneur and launch your company. The ‘Activate’ and ‘Ignite’ courses feature 1:1 mentoring sessions, masterclasses by marquee entrepreneurs and industry experts, practical assignments, activities and pitches, and more.

The WEN IGNITE Program collaborates with educational institutes to mainstream entrepreneurship education at their campus by enabling its students in the later years of their graduate/post-graduate programs, recent graduates, and/or alumni to build upon their business ideas from scratch and convert them into potential Real Ventures. WEN also trains and supports the faculty, facilitates exposure to mentors and experts, and provides word-class entrepreneurship content. All this at NO COST to the institutes and students.

Interested Institutes can apply here:  https://entrepreneur.wfglobal.org/institute-application/


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If you have a validated idea, then you can apply to the NEN IGNITE program

Are you looking to fine-tune strategy, organization & performance to get seed capital? You can apply to the WE Liftoff program

If you have a well-developed MVP, a small team and demonstrated customer traction, then check-out your full eligibility for the WE VFT program here

rocket ship

If you have a validated idea, then you can apply to the NEN IGNITE program


Are you looking to fine-tune strategy, organization & performance to get seed capital? You can apply to the WE Liftoff program.

Here is what we mean by a Validated Idea:

  • You have identified a ‘customer type’ that you are dealing with.
  • You have identified a problem that is critical for the that customer type
  • You have validated this problem with a ‘sizable’ set of customers so you know that it is a ‘real problem’
  • Your research and customer discussions shows that There is a large enough number of customers that are looking for a solution to this particular problem, and the venture can be financially viable and feasible
  • There are no apparent existing solutions or good enough solutions that are serving your customer type at this time for the problem
  • May have started working on a website/facebook/Instagram page to get customer reactions
  • May have worked on a prototype solution already
  • May have early traction with some customers