Published: June 4, 2020

Entrepreneurial Resources for Businesses and Recent Graduates Navigating the COVID-19 Crisis

The global pandemic has turned life and business as we know it upside-down. Within just a few short months, the prosperity of the longest economic recovery was destroyed, leaving a volatile job market and a devastated business landscape. Times of crisis, however, also provide opportunities for big ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship.

The Deming Center for Entrepreneurship is helping provide valuable resources to assist recent graduates, entrepreneurs and businesses during COVID-19, including sharing information, serving as mentors and connecting with communities across Colorado.

Podcast designed for business survival during the pandemic

The Creative Distillation podcast is an entrepreneurship podcast co-hosted by the Deming Center’s Jeff York and Brad Werner. Originally designed to distill business research into applied practice, York and Werner pivoted the podcast content quickly to supporting organizations and recent graduates during these uncertain times.

The latest episode, “Creative Distillation Takes Over Boulder Tech Podcast w/Erick Mueller, Exec. Dir., CU Deming Center,” was captured at this year’s Boulder Start-Up Week. York and Werner were joined by Deming’s Executive Director Erick Mueller and entrepreneur and producer of the Boulder Tech podcast Joel Davis. At the center of their discussion: actionable insights for individuals and organizations working to keep their businesses going during the COVID era.

Part of the conversation focused on how industries, ranging from arts and entertainment and fitness ventures to global brands like Nike®, are adjusting their business model to the current climate and finding new opportunities that arise out of crisis. On a local level, the group shared a story of students pivoting their business plans as the country entered coronavirus lockdown, and their perseverance resulting in seed funding for the launch of new business ventures that help solve problems created by the pandemic. Mueller also discussed Deming’s COventure Forward program that is supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses across Colorado through mentorship and engagement.

Where can a business or individual start when overwhelmed?

Dialogue and discussion is one approach that may help individuals and organizations successfully navigate their response to COVID-19. Communicating with customers, vendors and internal teams to identify problems that can be turned into opportunities is an important and positive activity businesses can practice.

He advises entrepreneurs to think about who they have connections with and how they can help them. “It boils down to people and who your current clients are,” says York.

Building on the idea of using dialogue to find opportunity, Werner suggests, “Entrepreneurship is commonly associated with risk. [Yet] there is no risk in helping someone. Ask the question: How can your business help someone? Then look to see if you can scale this idea.”

Webinars dedicated to business survival during COVID-19

Since the pandemic began, Werner and York have interviewed multiple entrepreneurship researchers about entrepreneurial approaches to COVID-19, focusing on actionable, research-backed solutions. They recently delivered a webinar entitled “Entrepreneurial Approaches to COVID-19: Plan, Pivot, and Persist” to the CU Boulder and local business communities, which presents a framework and examples for entrepreneurs to plan, pivot, and persist during, and beyond, the pandemic.

Addition information and resources for entrepreneurs

Visit the COventure Forward page.

Follow the Creative Distillation entrepreneurship podcast.

Listen to the recent webinar via podcast on small business survival.

Subscribe to the Deming Pulse newsletter.



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