Peter J. Burns III carries serious clout as an entrepreneur. He starts successful new businesses at an astounding rate; he has begun over 150 pioneering startups over the last few decades. Burns uses his own extensive experience to help boost young entrepreneurs to success. Over the past several years, he has provided both formal and informal training to would-be entrepreneurs, opening doors and opportunities. His mission is to offer experience and support to young entrepreneurs who are not often given the opportunity and guidance they need to build their businesses.
Burns’ experience teaching entrepreneurship skills in a formal setting began at Arizona State University; he became active as an educator there almost 15 years ago. He explains that he first taught courses “as an Adjunct at the venerable Barrett Honors College at ASU.” Later, he expanded these efforts by “moving the whole Program over to Grand Canyon University,” where he “started the first accredited College of Entrepreneurship at GCU.”
His impressive teaching experience extends beyond the borders of the U.S. He fondly recalls his time as a “Visiting Entrepreneurship Educator at two top universities in Ethiopia several years ago.” Burns was impressed by “the sheer brilliance and earnest enthusiasm of these young men and women.” He explains that teaching overseas was “one of the most satisfying times in a four-decade-long career in entrepreneurship.”
A Practical Stance on Academics
After moving to California a few years ago, Burns describes how he “started no less than 5 new ventures and have actively sought the help of millennials as my interns in each new venture.”
According to Burns, millennials are an interesting group to inspire and “there are the ‘jewels’ in every batch” that he interviews. “I have gotten quite good at picking the winners and I am glad to place my bets on them,” he explains.
While providing mentorship to these millennials, as well as valuable internship positions, Peter J. Burns III noticed, with great concern, that many of these young entrepreneurs had accrued a lot of debt. Most of that debt was due to student loans. It troubled this philanthropist that both parents and millenials “fell for the falsehood that an expensive education ensured success in the business world.” Most young entrepreneurs he has coached tend to be in about $50,000 worth of debt. “I have even met young people with $100,000 hanging over their heads as they enter the ‘real world,’” Burns reports.
As Peter J. Burns III points out, “Employers really don’t care where you went to school…all the prospective employer wants to know is can you do the job offered, efficiently and for the benefit of his or her business.” As the cost of education continues to rise, the number of young people who employ themselves simultaneously increases. Therefore, interviewers’ opinions of these self-employed millennials really become rather irrelevant. Burns admires the truly hard-working “self-starters” who avoid “spiraling into student loan debt.”
Providing a Foundation
Except in rare cases, such as the college programs created by Burns, entrepreneurial skills do not tend to be addressed informal learning settings. In order to help millennials acquire experience, Peter J. Burns III continues to offer these individuals mentorship, business funding opportunities, and internships. “My door is open to the would-be success stories out there, and I will give them a shot,” he says, welcomingly. However, he reminds entrepreneurial hopefuls of the adage, “Of whom much is given, much is required.”
Through the efforts of Peter J. Burns III, countless individuals have received inspiration, advice, and encouragement to follow their dreams. If you would like to learn more about this serial startup entrepreneur or reach out to him, visit his site: www.peterjburnsiii.com.