An entrepreneur is the only master on board and must have entrepreneurial skills which include creativity, a spirit of initiative, the ability to solve problems and mobilise resources as well as financial, commercial and technical skills. Entrepreneurs must update their knowledge continuously through training.
As a novice entrepreneur, you should make up any missing skills before or while you’re setting up your project. Later, when your nose is to the grindstone, you probably won’t have any time for training.
Basic management skills
The goal here isn’t to describe the skills legally required to exercise a given business activity. However, running a business does require basic management skills. This website explains who has to provide the knowledge and how.
If you don’t meet the required conditions, one solution consists in taking a specific training course covering the legal curriculum. Bruxelles Formation (FR) provides a list of training courses which meet this criterion. Follow this link, select “Management and administration” then the sub-field “Company creation”. Some support organisations like Microstart and Iles also provide training on basic management skills (in french) on a regular basis.
Even if you have this knowledge on paper, your initial training might be from years ago and its focus may no longer match your current management needs. In this case, you should be proactive and take one of the training courses listed above.
You've mastered the basic management skills programme, but your goals are such that additional training in areas including financial management, human resources management, sales strategy and others would be helpful...In this case you can take a look at the entrepreneurship training provided by ICHEC-PME or Solvay Entrepreneurs’ Création & Croissance programme.
A number of support organisations, chambers of commerce, vocational training centres and sector and small business organisations provide short workshops on a range of topics. The workshops are usually free or inexpensive. The Espace Formation PME’s (EFP) special Passeport Réussite programme (FR) will help you develop your skills and strengthen your entrepreneurial abilities via modules à la carte.
You will find many practical workshops under the Events section of this website. They are also included in the bimonthly newsletter from 1819.
If you don’t have much time to travel to a training centre or to take classes on a set schedule, you can take classes online. Many websites provide entrepreneurship MOOCs, and YouTube has videos, webinars and podcasts which can be a real source of inspiration. Accelerators and private organisations offer free online programmes, such as a start-up school, entrepreneurship training, etc.
Training: help from the region
Regardless if you want to perfect your management skills or develop more specific expertise (in languages, IT, sales techniques, or other), the Brussels-Capital Region provides financial aid of 40 to 70% which you may be eligible for. However, since this aid is not specifically for company founders, you will only be able to apply when you have a company number (unless they benefit from a premium for wanna-be entrepreneurs).
If you are a jobseeker residing in the Brussels Capital Region and you intend to become full-time self-employed, you can apply for free language training (French, Dutch or English) via Actiris’ Chèque-Langues Matching programme.
As you know, continuous improvement is a requirement for entrepreneurs, and it must be a constant concern. However, skills aren't only acquired via training and management books. Networking and exchanging experiences with peers via participation in business plan contests, after-work gatherings and other events is always enriching. In other words, every occasion is good to learn and become a better entrepreneur!