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Education
Jun 17, 2019

Entrepreneurs Tap into Generous Advice

Sponsored Content provided by Heather McWhorter - Director, UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The Cape Fear region has a new way to give and get business advice – by tapping into a pool of ‘givers’.
 
Adam Grant, renowned author, organizational psychologist, and Wharton professor, delivers a powerful message in his bestseller, Give and Take. His research proved: Those who ask for—and more importantly, give—help, are stronger for it and, ultimately, more satisfied and successful.
 
His next step was developing a concrete, scalable way to support the spirit of giving.
 
Introducing…Givitas, a knowledge-sharing platform that offers a simple path to give and get help. The technology is based on Grant’s findings, and the work of Wayne and Cheryl Baker, creators of the Reciprocity Ring, a program that encourages collaboration.
 
“I met the Bakers in 2005 and we set up a Reciprocity Ring at the Ann Arbor IT Zone to spur collaboration among our tech ventures,” says Diane Durance, Director of the UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, “I’ve been a fan of their work ever since – and I’m excited to launch Givitas in our entrepreneurial ecosystem.” Starting with a group of 36 mentors, the CIE is jump-starting the network this month and will be opening it up to everyone later this summer.    
 
Here’s why it works:

  1. Givitas is purpose-built to reduce the stigma of asking for help and make it easy to be a giver.
  2. Givitas leverages social science that proves connected, generous groups outperform others in satisfaction, efficiency, and overall business performance.
  3. You don’t have to know who to ask, and the responsibility of generosity is spread across the community with no undue burden on a few givers. Everyone has equal access to mentors and experts.
Here’s what Grant tells us in Give and Take:
 
The principle of reciprocity isn’t governed by self-interest. In all groups, there are people that act as takers, givers or matchers. Takers are interested in self-advancement, always assessing what others can offer them. Givers prefer to give more than they get and pay more attention to what others might need from them. Matchers try to create an equitable balance between giving and taking. Matchers often consider fairness; when they provide help to others, they expect reciprocity.

The best leaders are givers. Givers focus on what others need from them and endeavour to be generous with their time, knowledge, energy, skills, and ideas. Givers have the ability to create a safe climate where everyone can contribute. This type of environment encourages people to learn and innovate. 

Communities with a giving mentality excel. A strong community of givers will have access to a free flow of information, knowledge, expertise and connection. When groups have more givers, members contribute more and needs and objectives are met more quickly.

The goal at the CIE is to help entrepreneurs and advisors by providing equal access to the collective intelligence, knowledge, experience, and expertise in our region. Givitas will grow our entrepreneurial community and improve business success.
 
Contact the CIE at [email protected] to learn more and to ‘give’ it a try.

Diane Durance, MPA, is director of UNC Wilmington's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE). The CIE is a resource for the start-up and early-stage business community to help diversify the local economy with innovative solutions. For more information, visit www.uncw.edu/cie.  

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