Actualizing the dream of working from home is a monumental achievement for those who abandon the corporate cubicle to launch a business of their own. However, showing up to work from the kitchen table leaves new entrepreneurs with no real access to investors and no real networking opportunities for true global expansion.
That's why a new trend is emerging with innovative entrepreneurship hubs being developed in exotic island locations, and even on yachts and African safaris. These paradise-packaged hubs are designed as a finance and networking ecosystem where things happen faster for startups and meeting mentors and investors is easier. All while attractively combining work with paradise pleasure for both investors and entrepreneurs.
"Many people, especially entrepreneurs, live their lives in a very compartmentalized way by putting all their energy into their work-life first, and then putting whatever energy they have left into pleasurable, quality of life experiences," said Roger James Hamilton, founder of Vision Villa Resort, an Entrepreneur Resort facility in Bali, Indonesia. "However, thought leaders and innovators are now telling entrepreneurs that they can have the best of both worlds by helping them to align their lifestyle dreams with their business goals. Now entrepreneurs can build a more creative and productive life and still enjoy building a business and experiencing the world as part of their journey along the way."
Richard Branson started the concept of resort-based business incubators with Necker Island, allowing startup founders to come to his island to enjoy water sports and luxurious leisure experiences. He coupled these activities with leadership training and mentoring for growing their businesses. Now other moguls are multiplying and expanding upon this island concept with about 11 additional resort locations scheduled to launch for entrepreneurs this year.
"What makes the resort experience so attractive (besides the exquisite beachfront views and the 5-Star amenities of course), is the fact that each location provides an ecosystem for growth and development that most entrepreneurs could never realize working from their local coffee shop," said Hamilton.
This ecosystem includes experts who provide ongoing mentorship and training, access to investors from around the world, and collaborative work space. You'll find creative thinkers from every part of the globe, and the latest internet, business, and technology solutions. The resort model also offers access to connections and contacts that can take startup products and services far beyond the U.S. borders for international expansion and development.
Business owners who have moved their offices to these island hubs have launched everything from tech startups to social impact initiatives that are delivering green energy solutions and/or a cleaner environment for the people living in the island communities. In addition, many of the startups have gained more access to investors, allowing them to raise capital for their businesses more effectively.
"Just think about it, wealthy investors are already spending time in these exotic locations and many of them are looking for the next big thing to invest in. It simply makes sense to create an environment that makes it easy for them to connect with healthy businesses looking for capital," Hamilton added.
While the island work-life approach is in its early stages, it's an exciting option for entrepreneurs who want to mix business with pleasure and social impact. Are you ready to swap out the business casual look for flip flops, a swim suit, and sunscreen? The time is now!