uEntrepreneurs: The Learning Center for Entrepreneurs ™
  • FEATURED LESSON

    To Bootstrap or Not? That is the Question

    Financial EfficiencyYou are an entrepreneur faced with a troubling question: How do I get venture capital? Before you answer that question, consider another one that should be more important – should you bootstrap?

    In my new book Bootstrap to Billions: Proven Rules from Entrepreneurs who Built Great Businesses from Scratch, I have profiled 28 entrepreneurs who built great companies from scratch, including the world’s largest medical device company (Earl Bakken of Medtronic), the world’s largest consumer electronics retailer (Dick Schulze of Best Buy), and the world’s largest private healthcare management company (Richard Burke of UnitedHealth Group). The 522 lessons in the book answer five key questions that each entrepreneur should consider. These include how to find the right opportunity with your unique competitive advantage, how to implement a capital-efficient sales and operations strategy in order to do more with less, how to finance to create wealth and keep it, how to build a dedicated and effective organization even without the resources, and how to be a better leader than your competitors. This column is a partial answer to the finance question. (more…)

  • FEATURED PROFILE

    Robert Kierlin: Fastenal, Inc.

    In 1967, when Bob Kierlin started Fastenal in Winona (Minn.), it was the smallest of 10,000 fastener (such as nuts and bolts) businesses in the United States. By 1997, it had become the largest.

    The company became profitable by 1969, reached $100 million in annual sales by 1993 and $1 billion in sales by 2004. Kierlin was the chief executive from startup and still remains chairman.

    The only equity raised, prior to the initial public offering, was $22,000 at startup from Kierlin and three Winona friends, and an additional $9,000 a year later from a fifth investor who was a friend. From this start, Kierlin has built a company that has a market cap in excess of $5 billion. (more…)

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  • BOOKS BY DILEEP RAO

  • VENTURE DEVELOPMENT SPEAKER

    For over 33 years, Dileep Rao has worked with entrepreneurs, managers and leaders in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Dr. Rao has been acclaimed as a venture development teacher and speaker because he combines impeccable academic qualifications with his own successful experience in business growth and development -- offering practical knowledge with lasting value for success.

    Based on his experience and his study of some of the world's great entrepreneurs, he shows entrepreneurs, managers, professionals, financiers and area development officials how to build businesses by focusing on what truly matters and is sustainable in the long-term. (more…)

  • ABOUT DILEEP RAO

    A columnist on entrepreneurial finance, Dileep Rao is a nationally acclaimed practitioner, advisor, author and communicator on new business development, business growth and financing businesses and ventures. He combines real-world experience in financing more than 450 firms and managing five companies as the V.P. (now director) of one of the U.S.' largest development finance institutions with advising governments (including the U.S. government), Fortune 1000 companies and entrepreneurs in new business development and financing. (more…)
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