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Entrepreneurship retains its appeal

Published: Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 09:06

Cantu said he has "absolutely" seen more people coming in for help in the wake of the recession.

"They're kind of desperate," he said. "They're either unemployed or they need to do something, so they need a lot of help."

Cantu and dozens of other mentors give them advice and steer them toward help in areas such as marketing or financing.

Restaurants are the most popular startup idea that Cantu sees. He tells them to expect to make mistakes, especially with new products, but to make sure they're "small mistakes."

"I tell them to go slow, to concentrate in Austin," he said. "Don't try to do the whole world."

And while the tough economic times might have forced some people into entrepreneurship, economists such as Hockenyos said that can ultimately be a positive.

"First of all, entrepreneurship, by definition, has to be tied in some ways either to looking at an existing market, finding a niche and filling it, or innovation. So inevitably, it creates a dynamism in a local economy that's a positive thing," he said.

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