Entrepreneurs: Bootstrap or Incubate Your Idea in a Downturn

Last Updated Nov 20, 2008 1:33 PM EST

Entrepreneur and author Jon Gillespie-Brown suggests that entrepreneurs may want to hold onto their day job if they need a bit of time to incubate their ideas.

In a video interview for the UK's Enterprise Week, Gillespie-Brown says the prospects for start-ups in cleantech, biotech and IT remain strong in Silicon Valley, but financing may prove tougher to raise over coming months. Those who can 'boostrap' or self-fund their fledgling enterprises will be in a good position in the current economy.

Research by the Kauffman Foundation demonstrates that nearly 75 per cent of start-up capital derives from an equal contribution from the owner and a bank or credit card debt. So the tough credit markets will make it tougher on even promising tech start-ups, which tend to be more favourably looked upon as investment prospects.

The silver lining is for bigger businesses, or at least those that can still afford to nurture some of these entrepreneurial ideas or channel wannabe entrepreneurs' energy to innovate within their current roles.

Nevertheless, Gillespie-Brown's advice to potential business start-ups remains the same: if you've got the idea and the passion, just do it.

Here's the interview in full. Don't be offended by the frequent book plugs -- proceeds, after all, go to the Grameen Foundation, so it's all for a good cause.