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Is entrepreneurship worth the risk?

Virtual open day for Postgraduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship

5th March 2013, CfEL, Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge

How do you know your idea is worth staking your house on? A risk worth taking is the theme of the panel discussion in a special open day being held by the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (CfEL) at Cambridge Judge Business School. Budding entrepreneurs from across the world are being encouraged to share their views in an interactive discussion that is being streamed live online from 11:00-13:00 (GMT).

Research by CfEL has shown that entrepreneurs have a different risk profile to gamblers or business managers according to Dr Shailendra (Shai) Vyakarnam, Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning:

Unlike gamblers, who have a ‘hot impulse’ where they keep betting convinced next time will be the big win; entrepreneurs have a ‘walk away’ point. They are prepared to support their ideas with their savings but they also know when to stop. However, in contrast to business managers, they don’t need a full inventory in order to make the decision to invest.

Helping entrepreneurs to decide what is a tolerable level of loss – for them and their business proposition – is an important element of our teaching. Taking a risk is essential to create a new business and Cambridge has been described as a ‘low risk place to take high risks’.

What we have here is an ecosystem of serial entrepreneurs, innovators, university spin-outs, researchers, all with a living knowledge of what works and what doesn’t. This melting pot of experience is made accessible through the Postgraduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship (PGDE)”

Peer-to-peer learning is an important element of the course. There is a residential session at the start to help bonding and a high degree of interaction with mentors and peers within the virtual learning environment. The open day has been designed as a taster to simulate this experience. Participants will have the opportunity to interact with the entrepreneur panellists, programme team, tutors and mentors and hear the views of others with a passion for entrepreneurship.