Testimonials from Georgia librarians:
Margaret Eves, branch manager with Cobb County Public Library System: I found the online course and the book to be very inspiring. It presents the entrepreneurial mindset as a way to seek and pursue successful solutions in any organization, not just for business. I believe patrons and the community would find the videos of the entrepreneurs and concepts taught to be helpful not only for starting a business, but as a way to approach job hunting, working within an organization, or volunteering in their community.
Nisha Hamid, public services librarian, Bartow County Public Library: The Entrepreneurial Mindset Training Course is an educational tool that patrons can use free of charge. It can be very useful in times like today because of how the economy is changing. Patrons have to think and create opportunities for themselves, and this training offers insights on how to start your own business with little to nothing. Since my community is low income, patrons can benefit from gaining knowledge through the program and apply it in a real-life business environment.
Amanda Chambers, Flint River Regional Library System: ELI is a great resource for aspiring entrepreneurs and established business owners alike because it is an orientation to a new way of thinking about success. The stories of the featured entrepreneurs are accessible and full of practical wisdom. I recommend this course to anyone in my community who is looking for inspiration and guidance to take the next step in their career.
Jennifer Taylor-Pack, Live Oak Public Libraries: I would be happy to facilitate this course for library users with the knowledge gained! The entrepreneurial spirit is eager to be brought out during these trying times.
Amanda Densmore, Fulton County Library System: “The Entrepreneurial Mindset Training helps participants think like an entrepreneur. It goes beyond learning things like creating a business plan and budgeting, to what it takes to push yourself into the life of an entrepreneur. The ELI training adds a valuable tool to any hopeful entrepreneurial toolkit.”
Gary McNeely Director, Kinchafoonee Regional Library System:
If entrepreneurship interests you, skip the MBA from Stanford and take the 10-week online Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative course through Georgia Public Library Service. In my opinion, entrepreneurship is above all else a mindset, and this class will teach you that mindset. Each module of the 10-week course introduces a key entrepreneurial concept which is then expounded on by successful, real life entrepreneurs who offer their own insights and wisdom on each of the topics.
In addition to the mechanics of entrepreneurship, personal development and understanding one’s own character is heavily emphasized in the course.
The most important lesson I learned from the class is that most successful entrepreneurs focus primarily on solving other people’s problems instead of creating products or processes they think are important, yet unproven, then trying to market them based on their gut feelings.
Understanding this key difference creates a more fertile environment for entrepreneurial thought and led to the solution of a problem our library system faced due to the current viral pandemic.
When we began discussing reopening to the public, we realized that lining our circulation desks with Plexiglas safety shields was not practical. Stanchion systems, like those in banks or airports, seemed like a solution to encourage patrons to form a line behind the single Plexiglass shield installed at each circulation desk. Unfortunately, most commercially produced stanchion systems were not available in online stores due to high demand as a result of the pandemic.
We solved the problem by making our own stanchions from readily available materials from Home Depot. I built 24 of them in two days then distributed them to our six locations. Creating a low cost solution in a matter of days to solve a dilemma was empowering!
The ELI course materials are well organized and it’s all learnable. For me the real challenge was analyzing my own psychological makeup and recognizing some pitfalls that could limit my success as an entrepreneur. I took the course, learned a new skill set and learned quite a bit about myself too. I recommend this class to our staff and all of our patrons because it introduces an interesting new way of looking at the world from a problem solving perspective.
After completing the course people will use these skills in different ways: some will pursue entrepreneurship to create value for themselves, others for more altruistic reasons. Either way it’s a positive thing.