Entrepreneurial Failure and Economic Development

For the past five years we have seen a trend, from the economic development aspect, in which entrepreneurs share the highlights or stories of their business failing.

It is helpful for inspiring entrepreneurs to hear and understand that most successful entrepreneurs today have faced many failures or obstacles on their journey to success.

Entrepreneurship educational training programs have really expanded in the last several decades. It is important to know that most entrepreneurs today are successful because of lessons they have learned or speed bumps they have to experienced.

Aspiring entrepreneurs, economic developers, and entrepreneurial educators have been focusing on how to overcome the obstacles and encouragement for entrepreneurs with failing businesses.

There are lots of reasons why a business or an endeavor could take a wrong turn. Perhaps the challenge is the leader, or bad timing, the wrong team, the wrong marketing efforts. Some of the educators in the entrepreneurship space say that it is usually people, process, or products that cause something to go or not go.

There are lots of methodologies on why something goes wrong. The key from our perspective, in working with entrepreneurs is to focus not on what caused the business to fail, but what can be learned from that in order to keep moving.

One of the things we have heard from many entrepreneurs is having a mentor or network of other entrepreneurs, whether one-on-one or in a round table setting. These relationships have been key for entrepreneurs who have kept going after they have failed.


We see our blogs as opportunities for dialogue. Please share your thoughts as comments.

  1. What are you doing to create a circle of influencers like yourself, in which you can have discussions about your business?

  2. What are you doing day-to-day to keep an eye on your business, working “on” it rather than “in” it?

  3. What tools have you utilized beyond network that keeps you going?


Faris Alami is Founder and CEO of International Strategic Management, Inc. (ISM). He works internationally, presenting Exploring Entrepreneurship Workshops and other entrepreneurial ecosystem — related ventures.

Faris Alami