Programs & Events
U.S. Entrepreneur in Sabah: "Disruptive THinking" is Key for Business Success
U.S. entrepreneur Dr. Harry Harris, President of HealthCare California, and former academician, said “disruptive thinking” was essential for entrepreneurial success when he addressed a seminar on April 27 entitled, “Opportunities and Challenges of Entrepreneurship Ecosystem in Developing Countries” at UiTM’s (Mara University of Technology) campus in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, on the island of Borneo. Speaking to a select business class comprising 25 faculty members and students, Dr. Harris first spoke about the characteristics of the entrepreneur (that he is creative, energized, diligent, dynamic, innovative) highlighting the fact that the successful entrepreneur engages in “disruptive thinking” or thinking outside the box and leads his company towards excellence and “greatness” by birthing fresh ideas, improving systems, taking advantage of enabling technology and seeking new ways of conducting business. He shared his personal experience both in and out of government, indicating how the entrepreneurial spirit can and should reside in both spheres of influence. Dr. Harris then discussed how the SBA (Small Business Administration) supports start-ups with seed financing, and training, limited to a specific period and beyond which these establishments have to thrive on their own without depending on continued support.
Dr. Harris then spoke the same afternoon to about 100 business and commerce students and teachers from high schools, government officials, and some business men and women at the Lincoln Corner in the Sabah State Library (in Penampang, Sabah) at a seminar entitled, “Key Ingredients for Entrepreneurial Success: Vision, Priorities and Communication.” Beginning with questions to the audience of what they believed were characteristics of a good entrepreneur, Dr. Harris engaged them in a discussion on “disruptive thinking,” pointing out that this is how innovation and creativity germinates and becomes the bedrock of successful business enterprises. He also informed the large number of high school students present that the entrepreneurial spirit may be realized even among them, and he challenged them to work hard, to get a good education, and then to contribute to society whether they worked later in government or in industry, and to always seek the “entrepreneurial way” of bringing fresh and innovative ideas to the job.
The audience at both venues asked Dr Harris numerous questions about managing businesses and related topics: how to motivate students to work in challenging environments of private enterprise instead of seeking comfort zone government jobs, how to generate confidence building among small business owners, how to overcome the fear of financial risk and business competition, the promise of online businesses, franchising, et cetera.
Concluding his response to questions on business, risk, and confidence building, Dr. Harris quoted President Obama - whom he noted thinks like an entrepreneur and looks far ahead - and emphasized to the audience that “the future belongs to those who want to build, not destroy.”