[Originally posted on Medium by Doriot founder, Gerry Hays.]

 

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” 

– Nelson Mandela

I’m so heartened to see the global numbers are finally plateauing for Covid-19. The entire world has come together for the purpose of saving millions of lives (and positively affecting future generations). Now, it’s as important as ever to stay vigilant on the path to recovery.

Entrepreneurship is Our Path to Economic Recovery

What this isn’t the time for is  to fall back and resume the life we once knew. From an economic point of view, we are still in a very dire situation. In the US alone, more than 23 million people have filed for unemployment at a rate of nearly 15 percent – higher than the Great Recession (10 percent), but not yet as high as the Great Depression (25 percent). Some say it’s going to take years for our economy to rebuild. As with every recovery since the Great Depression, the only way out of the proverbial ditch is through small business creation. To put it bluntly: entrepreneurship. In fact, the Entrepreneurial Economy will bounce back faster than any other sector in the economy and fortunes will be made in the process. 

There are two big ways to profit from the emerging Entrepreneurial Economy. The first is to launch a company, raise money, and start building. The second is to invest in startups, and the entrepreneurs who are building these exciting companies. Right now, only the wealthy and connected are investing in startups (less than 1% of population). It doesn’t have to be this way.

What if we empowered millions of non-millionaires to find and fund the next Amazon, AirBNB, or Facebook without breaking the bank?

What if we did it in a way that brought risk of total loss down to zero while achieving 12–15% annualized returns over a 10-year period?

How much more wealth and optimism would we create for people? How many more talented entrepreneurs would get a start in communities outside of the typical West and East coast startup hubs? This is something I’ve preached to my entrepreneurial finance students at the IU Kelley School of Business. I’m proud to say that many have taken action and are succeeding in the world as both entrepreneurs and investors.

My goal is to expose as many young people – from high schoolers to college students to young professionals – to the opportunities in Entrepreneurial Economy as possible. I’ve impacted the lives of thousands of college students over the course of my 17-year career as a professor. But, I realized that I could educate and empower even more people to participate in the Entrepreneurial Economy by making knowledge accessible outside of the world of academia. So, I decided to write a book about how founding and funding startups works.

The Story of The First-Time Founder’s Equity Bible

In 2013, I collaborated with Ashton Chaffee, a talented protege, to author The First-Time Founder’s Equity Bible (available now for free on Doriot.com). Our goal was to take the complex subject of startup investing and make it dead simple for anyone to understand how the game works. And, in a quick 90 pages, that’s exactly what we’ve done. Follow a startup story from start to finish that illustrates the concepts being taught in an easy-to-understand, memorable way. I’m a firm believer that educated minds are those able to see and take advantage of opportunities. And, the Entrepreneurial Economy is a massive opportunity!

The 5-star-rated book is available on Amazon for $19.99. We’ve sold thousands of copies since 2013. Online learning was already on the rise, and as people shift their sights to online education to advance their skills during this downturn, the time feels right to gift the book in hopes of bringing millions more into the Entrepreneurial Economy. My hope is that people can realize that you don’t have to be an entrepreneur to be a part of the Entrepreneurial Economy. We will not all be (or need to be) startup founders, but we can all be startup investors who win without investing millions, thousands, or even hundreds of dollars. We can dream big and start small. I founded Doriot to educate and empower the next wave of entrepreneurs and investors, and we’re starting by making startup investing simple and accessible to all.

A few years back, an experienced player in the startup world told me, “Nobody should be starting a company or investing in a company without first reading this book.” I personally stand by that statement.