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Entrepreneurship; it remains a profession which you do not learn at school. Fortunately, there is such a thing as the internet, with thousands of stories about adventurers who were successful or who have actually failed. Like how a family business develops into a global market leader, what drives an entrepreneur and what are the main pitfalls.

There is an endless supply of answers to these questions available on the YouTube video platform. What is striking, is that the road to success is seldom a straightforward jorney. A journey with all kinds of twists and turns – that starts in an attic room, meets the right people, goes completely off the rails, undergoes ruthless bankruptcies and astronomical successes. As a matter of fact, entrepreneurs are just like real people, and here are five channels which show that.

1. Business Casual

With some channels, their name directly reveals their content. Business Casual is an excellent example of this: the videos contain stories about companies in a very accessible way and with fascinating moving graphics. Not only are the companies and corporations central to these, but so are the people behind them. These are usually very interesting stories that would not look out of place as a Netflix series.

How did Donald Trump get his fortune? What is the history of Dutch-British Unilever? And how did the former underdog Netflix outwit the once-mighty movie mogul Blockbuster? These are just a few of the dozens of stories presented by Business Casual. And that in less than 10 minutes per video. Instructive, accessible and surprisingly profound.

Number of subscribers: 612.000 –Active since: spring 2016 – New videos: one per week (Saturday)  

2. Startup stories

Even the most successful entrepreneur once started small. The journey to success (or not) is perhaps even more exciting than the endpoint. On the Indian channel Startup Stories,  the main focus are the stories behind entrepreneurs and founders. How did they build up their empire, and did they become a success story? All kinds of things pass the revue during each journey: innovative ideas, stubborn pioneers, ambitious goals, high risks and almost prophetic visions of the future.

Startup Stories focuses on both individuals and companies. Do you want to know how Amazon, Google and Facebook have evolved? Startup Stories explains this in less than ten minutes. Work ethic, inspiration, philosophy of life and passion of the people behind these companies are also highlighted. “Never give up. Make a difference. Never lose hope.” Admittedly, these statements could also appear in any ad campaign, yet they are from Elon Musk, Ratan Tata and Steve Jobs respectively. Surely they would know, wouldn’t they?

Number of subscribers: 302.000 – Active since: spring 2016– New videos: intermittent

3. Silicon Valley Girl

When you think of Silicon Valley, you think of a male-dominated world. Yet more and more women are opting for an adventurous entrepreneurial career, in fact: in the United States last year, 58% of start-ups were from women. Marina Mogilko, 28 years old, also chose this adventure and talks about her life as an entrepreneur on her YouTube channel. How to build a business empire and how to apply your own personal branding to it.

In contrast to the previous two, Mogilko opts for a vlog-like form of presentation. She explains precisely how to become the best version of yourself, how to become an entrepreneur on a small budget and how to get millions of followers on Instagram or YouTube. And very un-European: she is extremely open about her income and shares this pride with the whole world. Quite American, although in that respect, no less inspiring.

Number of subscribers: 238.000 – Active since: spring 2018 – New videos: weekly

4. TEDx Talks

TEDx Talks is perhaps the most well-known platform when you want to listen to passionate stories from ambitious people. TedX Talks cover essentially anything and everything. TEDx is an international community which organizes events across the globe. Local ideas are shared with the whole world. And speakers can come from every corner of society -working mothers, former drug addicts, established billionaires or passionate inventors – they all tell you how they see the world in less than 20 minutes.

A Ted Talk may not last longer than 18 minutes and is usually held by a speaker without any interaction nor a panel being present. The platform focuses on the impact of ideas, ideas that can change lives and ultimately change the world. TEDx is a neutral platform without a political agenda or an ideological movement. Which is especially nice nowadays when opinions make up the front pages over and over again.

Number of subscribers: 19.300.000– Active since: summer 2009 – New videos: several videos daily

5. Hubspot

Sounds a bit like a Dutch stew (hutspot), but is really something completely different. What Hubspot does, is solve or explain specific issues in business terms as concretely and as quickly as possible. Business tools such as AI, IT and marketing play a particularly prominent role in all of this. A good idea for a company is obviously great, but if you don’t know how to present it, you won’t get very far.

How do you achieve the best possible customer experience? How can you use artificial intelligence to help you grow your start up? And which platforms are most useful for you to be able to get in touch with customers or investors? Answers to these kinds of questions and much more are given at Hubspot. The makers have taken full schedules into account, as an average video only takes three minutes.


Fancy more smart YouTube videos and a fan of innovation? Check out last week’s overview in which Innovation Origins paid tribute to channels on modern technology.