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3 Things Women Entrepreneurs Should Know

Three important things that women entrepreneurs should know

Baybars Altuntas 

What lessons from your own experience can you share with fervent but fledgling women entrepreneurs?

First of all, they should understand the difference between ‘wannapreneurship’ and entrepreneurship. They need to be aware that ‘wannapreneurship’ comes before entrepreneurship, but it means nothing without taking a step towards the entrepreneurship stage.

Secondly, they should also differentiate invention and innovation. With an invention that isn’t marketable or doesn’t sell, they will never have money to deposit into their bank account — they will have only patents to hang on the walls of their office to prove their intelligence. If, on the other hand, they can sell their invention, they have become not merely inventors but also innovators, and this can lead to the entrepreneurial stage and healthier bank accounts.

Thirdly, I would like to draw attention to the important difference between raising investors and raising investments. In many cases, entrepreneurs and start-ups try to raise investment funds when in fact what they really need to do is find an investor who will provide know-how, mentorship and networking.

Fourthly, fervent fledgling Women Entrepreneurs should pay attention to getting investments from the right teams, and by the same token, investors need to be sure they are making investments in the right teams. Securing money from an angel investor team can carry your project all the way to Silicon Valley, whereas getting money from an individual investor might carry you only as far as the next street.

Last but certainly not least is a specific skill that needs to be developed: how to convert idle capacity in the economy to cash to generate finance for their potential businesses.



What are the essential skills that a successful woman entrepreneur must be armed with? 


1. Able to actually see opportunities, not just look at them. So smart eyes are very important for an entrepreneur.

2. Keen and discriminating listeners, to differentiate between legitimate and irrelevant criticism. Entrepreneurs will hear many comments, both positive and negative, as they start out in their businesses. Smart ears are therefore critical for the entrepreneur.

3. Able to sniff out money before setting up their business. In this respect, entrepreneurs need smart noses.

Can you explain in broad terms the essence of your unique system that you call ‘The map to success: Your rise to entrepreneurship’, and tell us the conditions for this system to work successfully?  

In this system, I lay out the key details of each step of the entrepreneurship journey. I have categorised all the steps that an entrepreneur will take, from beginning to end. I refer to those steps as ‘the rising map of successful entrepreneurship’, and I have given hundreds of speeches on this topic all over the world. This map, which I produced for world-class entrepreneurs, is also used in the workshops and training programmes of various universities. The essence of my system is a different way of doing business that is known as the Altuntas Applied Theory: CICIC© — Converting Idle Capacity Into Cash©, which has been examined by numerous academicians and featured in internationally refereed professional journals in management; academic researchers refer to it as the Altuntas Formula. I am delighted to be not just a role model for entrepreneurs but also a source of inspiration for academicians to study and discover unique and beneficial methods for entrepreneurs. I aim to show entrepreneurs and start-ups a different way of doing business in case their funds are insufficient to implement their business ideas. This different way of doing business is dependent on developing a mind-set which will allow entrepreneurs to perceive the idle capacity of their network. They (and you) will not need money to start a business in applying the CICIC techniques.

In my opinion, the journey to entrepreneurship resembles the four seasons of the year. The first season is the level of ‘wannapreneurship’. The second season is the stage of starting a business. This stage has three important sub-steps: innovation, entrepreneurship, and marketing and sales. The third season is the growth stage, which comprises branding, institutionalisation, and franchising. Lastly, the fourth season is the maturity stage: leadership and angel investment. In the absence of a business angel network, I encourage entrepreneurs to become, in effect, their own business angel by applying the CICIC technique. What they have to do is apply the CICIC technique to initiate the business and then follow the rising map of successful entrepreneurship. The combination of these unique systems is called the Altuntas Principle of Doing Business From Scratch.




Why do people keep reading your bestseller Off the Bus, Into a Supercar?

As the son of a teacher and a retired army officer, I would never in my wildest dreams have thought that the company I started without a penny to my name would become a multi-mullion-dollar business. Or that the president of the United States of America — in the land of entrepreneurs, would invite me to the White House to talk about entrepreneurship, or that the Turkish prime minister, leader of the 16th largest economy in the world, would hand me a letter to deliver in person to President Obama.

I couldn’t have imagined that I would one day be on CNN International commenting on President Obama’s Washington summit or that I would be one of the 110 Dragons from 22 countries on the most important entrepreneurship TV show in the world, Dragons’ Den (Shark Tank in the US). I had no money, no one to help me or back me up in the beginning, but all those things really happened. I wholeheartedly believe that our beautiful world is one where dreams are capable of becoming reality so long as we work towards the realisation of those dreams. I wish for everyone to be able to look at the world in the same optimistic way as I do, to see the bigger picture in the same frame. If the son of a teacher and army officer can achieve huge success, then I am sure that you can too, but probably much more easily. In the final analysis, I am saying that if I did it my way, so can you! And the to-do list in my book is an excellent reason for people to keep reading my book.

What was your key message to the delegates of the Global Woman Entrepreneurship Forum last year?

While addressing thousands of university students all over the world for a number of years this is what I learned: almost all university students mistakenly believe that a person must have a family member, a friend in an influential position or a strong network, or that you must be rich in order to be successful as an entrepreneur. I had nobody who was in a position to exert influence on my behalf, nor did I have family fortune or a network. So my message is, do not think like university students.

Would you have believed these things possible if you saw them in your dreams?

I would say again that I had no friends or family backing me up, no money, and no network at the time. I could have easily just resigned myself to my situation with a “the heck with this world” attitude. But I did not. I believe wholeheartedly that our beautiful world was created to convert everyone’s dreams into reality. As long as you dream and continue dreaming.



Can you tell us your steps in the entrepreneurship journey?

I am here to give you the key details of each step of the entrepreneurship journey. I have noted down what l did in each step by giving examples from my life story and l want you to write down what you have done in each step so that you can determine the level of your entrepreneurship. As a matter of fact, I want you to write your own entrepreneurship story. I did it! You can do it too! I have grouped all the steps from beginning to end that an entrepreneur will take during his or her entrepreneurship journey. l refer to those steps as the rising map of successful entrepreneurship and l have given hundreds of speeches all over the world on this topic. This map that l produced for world-class entrepreneurs is also used in workshops, and in training programmes of many universities.

My way of doing business can be summarised as Converting Idle Capacity Into Cash™, which has been examined by many academicians and featured in internationally refereed professional journals in management; it is referred to as the Altuntas Principle by academic researchers. I am very happy to be not just a real role model for entrepreneurs but also a source of inspiration for academicians to study and discover unique and beneficial methods for entrepreneurs. I am here for the readers and followers of the Global Woman Entrepreneurship Forum because I would like everyone from 7 to 77 to look at the world from my perspective, to see what I see in it. At the Forum on 1st November I will explain with all frankness how I did this. I hope that you realise that you are no different from me in many ways. If I was able to do it, so can you and probably a lot better and easier than I did!

I will tell you how I managed to accomplish so much in a short time. I will explain to you what you need to do to become a successful entrepreneur and build your own business. I hope my advice will shed a light on the subject that will help you find success in building your business. By the way, I would be pleased to hear from women entrepreneurs from all over the World. I’d like to answer their questions about making money, setting up new businesses, becoming their own bosses, creating new jobs, and even becoming millionaires. I’ll conclude my remarks with a favourite quote from Henry Ford that I believe captures the importance of mindset in becoming successful: ‘If you are saying that you can do it, I totally agree with you! If you are saying you can not do it, I totally agree with you.’


You can send your questions to my e-mail, visit my blog at

Follow me on Twitter and find me on Facebook. Get in touch with me to start creating new jobs as soon as possible.

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