It’s heartening to hear that entrepreneurship is alive and well in America despite the dismal economy. A new business organization is growing in the heart of the American Midwest where it seems that bootstraps are still in fashion! The International Bootstrapping Association held its inaugural meeting in Columbus, Ohio this week. Its goal is to give budding entrepreneurs, known as bootstrappers, a leg up, help them get started, and teach them to survive on self-funding while the economy fights its way back to full recovery.  

“A bootstrapping entrepreneur has to solve problems with creativity and perseverance because they can’t buy the answer,” association co-founder Bill Troy told Margaret Harding of The Columbus Dispatch in an article that appeared on April 10, 2009. “They have to come up with some creative solution that doesn’t cost money.”

Most entrepreneurs don’t have the luxury of investment funding, particularly in the current economy. To keep American entrepreneurship alive, successful Ohio entrepreneurs have pooled their talent and resources to create a self-help organization by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. The organization provides an opportunity for would-be entrepreneurs to learn from the start-up experiences of their already successful, experienced counterparts. The group hopes to create a model that could spark similar chapters nationwide.

The first meeting debuted with a panel discussion followed by work groups. “We really focus on experience, not advice,” Troy, president and founder of Troy Research, told the Dispatch. The group takes a real-life approach to problem solving during its discussions. “It’s what people have really tried and done in the situation, not people telling you what you should do,” Troy explained.

Concerned about the pitfalls of investor-driven business, as all too clearly elucidated by recent events, the Ohio group aims to give entrepreneurs the tools to survive on their own. Troy believes that to survive U.S. entrepreneurship needs to return to the perseverance and scrappiness that defined its early pioneers.

As innovators in the field of ergonomically-designed, battery-powered material handling equipment, DJ Products understands the challenges faced by today’s budding entrepreneurs and salutes the launch of the International Bootstrapping Association.