Entrepreneurship · Startup

Can I build a successful startup with no prior work experience?

Isaac Jumba Entrepreneur and Startup founder

February 10th, 2017

With no previous work experience, can someone build a successful startup?

Ritesh Kumar Rai Technology will keep surprising you.

Last updated on February 13th, 2017

Yes you can, I am running a successful startup and i don't have work experience.

Plus point is, i now what i am doing, and i have turned my skill to my startup business.

Ran Fuchs Senior executive passionate about new tech.

Last updated on February 15th, 2017

It has been done by many, from Bill Gates to Zuckerberg. Only you can answer if YOU can do it. Starting any business, among the first things you need to determine is what skills you have and what you do not, and how you are going to compensate for the areas in which you do not have the skills. This is the same whether or not you have an experience. The main difference is that when you do not have experience you often don't know what you do not know. Consulting with an experience mentor, whether or not a formal part of your startup, can go along way.

Wally Barr Business Owner at Undrnu Management

February 12th, 2017

Sure! If your idea solves a problem. Might want to find an advisor or mentor to at least warn you of some of the problems you may face.

Daryl Gibson

February 13th, 2017

Hi Issac,

The question is not whether you can do it or not, but what will it cost and how long will it take. That's because the journey to commercialize a concept is inherently filled with risk and failure. Most people attempting it will not manage the risk properly and end up failing.

Commercializing ideas isnot a fly by the seat of your pants type of experience that everyone seems to make it out to be. The key to success is to manage the risk and we do this by following a process that makes ideas earn every bit of money, time and energy you invest into them.

After witnessing so much failure and the same mistakes repeated over and over again, we created a simple step by step process to walk you from concept to fully commercialized idea. It's an online platform called Idea Essentials. It allows you to manage all of the information created while developing your idea, control who accesses it, enables collaboration, makes resources available exactly when needed,and even teaches you as it goes.

Check it out at www.ideaessentials.com

Best of luck and please let me know if you have any questions.


Daryl Gibson, Founder

Innovative X

Efuet Andrew Atem

February 10th, 2017

Isaac, put it simply, yes "you can build a startup with no prior work experience."

Do you know of Steve Jobs founder of #Apple? what about Mark Zuckerbeng founder of #Facebook or Larry Page co-founder of #Google?, talk less of Bill Gates, founder of #Microsoft. I could go on and on. All of these companies are today worth billions of dollars. But what common denominator do they have? their founders were all school dropouts, with no work experience whatever.

Now you might argue that they are based in the US, sure in Africa there are a couple of examples. A school dropout, my classmate by the way in Polytechnic Yaoundé created a company, the last time I checked, he had raised more than 300kUSD. You can check for yourself, he is called Nteff Alain, #Giftedmom is the company. Another graduate from the same school, with no work experience created the #Cardiopad, a unique medical equipment in the world for cardiologist, he has raised more than 400kUSD, the last time I checked, he is Arthur Zang, you can check too.

So yes, no matter where you are, you can create a company with no experience, I will add that even with little or no education.

My advise : Find a mentor.

Best of luck and thanks for asking.

Ken Anderson Director, Entrepreneurial and Small Business Development, Delaware Economic Development Office

February 10th, 2017

Yes. What you need is a viable product and/or service, persistence, resources if possible, and the reality that this will be the hardest thing you have every done.

Efuet Andrew Atem

February 10th, 2017

Do you know about Quora?

So many of these topics are treated there, don't hesitate to check please.

What is the best advice for a young, first-time startup CEO?

You will get great answer to most of your questions.

Lots of courage

Alan Yong

Last updated on February 13th, 2017

You may find what I just posted on LinkedIn helpful:


Itching to start your company? It pays to be prepared before you place your bets.

Starting a company is relative easy but the odds of succeeding and remaining in business for more than 10 years is less than 20%. Alan Yong, the author of “Improve Your Odds – The Four Pillars of Business Success”, strongly urges entrepreneurs to be well-prepared and business-wise before risking their investment.

The last few years have been challenging for small business owners, especially start-ups - largely due to mounting regulations and the increasing cost of doing business. An unfavorable business environment discourages new business formations. At the same time, already-struggling business owners are more likely to close their doors. In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that the total number of new business startups and business closures per year -- the birth and death rates of American companies -- have crossed for the first time since the measurement began. Based on the most recent report, 400,000 new businesses are being born annually nationwide, while 470,000 per year are dying.

There are many factors that impact the end results. The favorable business environment articulated by the Trump administration – with reduced taxes and regulations and more emphasis on growth and pro-business policies - will significantly advance the chances of success. That’s why so many entrepreneurs are even now reviving their dreams of launching their business. If the country is about to return to those pro-business policies, this could be the beginning of a new golden age for business start-ups.

However, while a more favorable business environment would increase the chances of success for start-ups, there are many other factors that could further improve your odds of succeeding. It took a lot for the New England Patriots to pull off a “miraculous” win in the 2017 Super Bowl but it would not have happened without a winning mindset and the proper level of preparation. You need to be similarly prepared with the right mindset before investing in your new business.

Sustained success in business is not the result of good fortune. Arnold H. Glasow probably said it best when he said, “Success is simple. Do what’s right, the right way, at the right time.” That seems obvious, but it really does take just the right person with the right kind of vision and leadership to inspire a team committed to winning against all odds.

You are at your best when you are doing things in areas where you have the maximum amount of knowledge and passion. “Doing what’s right” requires great knowledge of the situation, so that you can make the best choices among available options. To consistently do things “the right way” entails great discipline, judgement, and a skill-set that encompasses wide-ranging areas. Executing “at the right time” requires strategic positioning and long-term commitment to maintaining the capability to take advantage of opportunities as they appear.

By now you may get the sense that success in business does not happen by chance. It takes great knowledge, wide ranging skill-sets, brilliant strategic positioning, and much more.

Unfortunately, most startups go into business without the right preparation, and end up resorting to expensive trials and errors. It is significantly cheaper to learn all you can about succeeding in business by utilizing the abundance of reading materials, videos, different forums, and other resources that are available today. If you are fortunate enough to find a great mentor who has gone through the ups and downs but succeeded in the end, be the best student you can be. There is no better education than learning from someone who has been there and done it.

Often, business is about solving problems in need of viable solutions in a highly competitive world. Being an expert or the most knowledgeable among your competitors is a great start. At a minimum, you must have the mindset of being equal to your competitors with a commitment to be the best. Exploit your strengths with great knowledge and skills acquired through much learning and understanding. Study and learn from the success and failures, strengths and weaknesses of your competitors before your first investment.

Don’t count on your “once in a life time” great idea alone. If you are that good, you probably could come up with an even better idea the following day. The true value is dependent on how well you can translate and articulate your great idea into a clear vision that has the power to inspire others to participate as partners, investors, employees, and customers.

There are significant advantages to limiting yourself to only getting involved in things which you are truly passionate about. There will be good days and challenging ones. It helps if you love what you are doing so that you can quickly bounce back after a bad day and continue your journey without regrets or doubts but with relentless confidence that you are on the right path to success. It is the incremental steps you take towards the right direction that will lead you to your ultimate success.

“Improve Your Odds – The Four Pillars of Business Success” is a timeless guide to succeeding in business covering wide ranging business issues. For more information visit: https://fourpillarsofbusinesssuccess.com/

Steve Owens

February 10th, 2017

If you think you can, or not, you are correct.

Clay Nichols Helping other startups grow after launching 2 successful startups.

Last updated on February 15th, 2017

Let's take a quick step back and outline the process:

1. Understand the problem and what the solution is worth.

2. Solve the problem to the satisfaction of whoever will pay for it.

(This gets tricky with something where the person benefiting is different than who pays for it. With Facebook, users benefit but advertisers pay. So you have to meet the needs of both of them. But meeting user needs first got them eyeballs, which they then sold to advertisers.

3. Build a business around #2.

It would be ideal to know enough about business to know if revenue will support the business. But I'd argue that if you can solve #1 and 2 and have a rough idea of whether the market will pay well for your solution, you can learn (or better, hire someone) to do the business portion. It would be ideal to start off assuming you'll need to hire a business person. If you plan for that expense and find later that you want to do the business part yourself, then you've built in a paycheck for yourself. And if not, you're covered.

Understanding the PROBLEM, the customer's willingness to pay to solve that problem is far more important than previous experience. However, a startup, by definition, is uncertain to succeed. I.e., if you opened a Pizza restaurant, there are lots of examples of what it takes to succeed (pricing, # of customers within X miles) and you KNOW there is a demand for that product.

The biggest problems I've seen startups have it not lack of experience, but overconfidence in thinking they understand what the customer will pay for. Humility will compensate for lack of work experience.