To be a successful entrepreneur there are a few things you can’t do without: courage, passion, a great idea, tenacity, a personality that handles risk well, the ability to work incredibly hard and a host of other attributes needed for lasting success.
Last Thursday at Buckwalter Place was the grand opening of the Don Ryan Center for Innovation in Bluffton. It’s a game changer for the Lowcountry that will serve as a successful launching pad for a number of innovative technology start-up companies. It’s a true public/private partnership that’s going to mean great things for our region and provide promising entrepreneurs the tools and support they need to be successful. It’s a collaborative effort between the Town of Bluffton, Clemson University, and CareCore National, the company founded by the late Don Ryan who was an integral force in launching the partnership. Don’s son Kevin Ryan of CareCore National is extremely involved in the center as are a number of other businesses that most start-ups only dream of having as a part of their support team.
Entrepreneurs serve as an example not only for others in business but for our children as well. Seventy-eight percent of students with an entrepreneurial family member say they’d like to launch their own business. With risk also comes reward. On average, entrepreneurs earn at least 25% more than the general population.
Entrepreneurship is something to be celebrated which is exactly what your chamber will be doing next Wednesday during Small Business Week when we will announce the winner of the chamber’s Small Business of the Year Award.
It’s a daunting endeavor to run your own small business, but most entrepreneurs wouldn’t have it any other way. Over 27 million small businesses in this country account for 60-80 percent of all new jobs. Your chamber works each day to support the Lowcountry business community and we’re excited to honor those businesses who have not only survived, but thrived in a challenging economy and come out on top.
I’m pleased that so many of you have already made your reservations for the Small Business of the Year luncheon and other events scheduled throughout the week. If you haven’t already done so, click here to reserve your spot.
Don Ryan was an entrepreneur in the truest sense of the word and would be proud of what’s happening in the center aptly named in his honor. Each and every day in Bluffton, on Hilton Head Island and throughout the region, businesses are moving forward and supporting our economy and our quality of life. We’re proud to play a role in the success of our business community.