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Entrepreneurial Chemical Engineers

  • 1.  Entrepreneurial Chemical Engineers

    Posted 05-28-2019 21:13
    My fellow AIChE's, from the past and present.

    I am a Chemical Engineer graduated last year from JUST. I didn't choose Chemical Engineering, it chose me!
    This encouraged me to:
    - Establish the first AIChE Student Chapter to inspire other universities in my country. And two AIChE chapters in Jordan followed the lead, Three chapters as a result. Our Chapter is still making the impossible, possible.
    - Get my very good Grade (Top 10 among the batch), proved that the GPA and voluntary works can meet.
    - Develop a passion to build a strong community of JUST AIChE graduates!

    Got employed!

    And got fired three times in 6 months! Why? You would laugh as much as I laugh every night.
    Although, looking for a job is emotionally draining I'm still looking. but, started to think the other way!
    Maybe God doesn't want me to get employed! maybe God wants me to start my own company and make jobs for others!

    I'm a person who loves creating things... building more communities for the good. But such a decision in this country requires huge support to overcome the challenges and achieve more goals in a professional and efficient way.

    So, as my mind digging I'm writing this post hoping to find shared experiences and knowledge support.

    I would love to read your recommendations and suggestions for fresh graduates who can't sleep at night thinking of doing a startup to launch the rocket the highest possible!

    I do appreciate any support from the community I feel belonging to.

    Omar Abu-Snaineh
    Amman, Jordan

  • 2.  RE: Entrepreneurial Chemical Engineers

    2017 35 Under 35 Winner
    Posted 06-12-2019 08:34
    The startup bug can be very real.  Luckily, today, there are is so much content and books available to understand venture capital, business plans, and the process of making [and scaling] a company.

    I might recommend learning about a space and constantly talking to people/experts in that area to learn about their space and where there might be deficiencies.  By understanding the pains and problems of an area, you might be able to find a niche` solution.  But once you find the solution, creating the revenue model is also key.  How do you make money on this solution? Is it sustainable?  Good luck!

  • 3.  RE: Entrepreneurial Chemical Engineers

    Posted 06-18-2019 14:02
    I am interested in ways that the challenges of being on entrepreneur differ from country to county.

    Valerie Young
    Department Chair
    Ohio University
    Athens OH

  • 4.  RE: Entrepreneurial Chemical Engineers

    Posted 06-20-2019 16:15
    Hello Valerie,

    This is an inspiring topic – thank you! But before I get out my piece on this let me say…
    Omar, I can understand you laughing about being fired, what went wrong etc, and YES perhaps God is trying to tell you that there is a huge potential within you and perhaps you should indeed explore it. I have worked for a decade answering YES SIR! And often it is not an enjoyable YES SIR!

    To come back to give some input to Valerie.

    Challenges of being an entrepreneur can be very varied from country to country and from culture to culture.

    A huge part of my early career was spent in Cameroon in Central/West Africa and during that time I made several very unsuccessful attempts at entrepreneurship, which I finally gave UP.

    In the UK, however I have picked it up again and although it has its own challenges and it is at a very early stage, I will say so far so good.
    The factors influencing the differences in these two cases can be summarised as follows:
    - Corruption
    - Taxation laws,
    - Government policy towards small and medium size enterprises (SME),
    - Government policy to innovation,
    - Neo-colonisation,
    - Industrialisation,
    - Road infrastructure,
    Just to name a few.

    We could discuss each point at length (so I can bring out the ways the challenges affect being an entrepreneur), but I don't believe I have the strength to write lengthy pages.
    If we organise a webinar perhaps this topic will attain its true depth of analysis because it is an interesting one for me.

    Have a good evening everyone!
    Thanks again for bringing this up Valerie.


    Veronique Kayem SeniorEng
    Director/Senior Process Engineer
    Verata Solutions LTD

  • 5.  RE: Entrepreneurial Chemical Engineers

    Posted 08-05-2019 08:18
    Edited by Javeria Ahmed 08-05-2019 08:18
    Hello Veronique Kayem,
    Your comment was really inspiring. I am sure all ChemEs can seek inspiration from you including me. I also failed in my venture recently. I am hopeful for the future. The glitters of Entrepreneurship seem mesmerizing by the way it is covered in successful case studies of few individuals but it is rather challenging once you start steering it, You need to constantly struggle throughout your entrepreneurial journey to make it sustainable. The reason why my venture failed was that I lack sales/marketing skills but I am working on improving it and for that, I also joined a management organization and so far I am making progress. I believe giving up is an attitude rather than an option.

    Omar, starting a venture/start-up is easy but the main goal is to make it sustainable. So I would recommend doing extensive research on the businesses that you are interested and never invest a large sum. Start small (also called bootstrapping) and grow it over time. Your start-up will be your reflection, so make sure to leave your comfort zone before starting on the entrepreneurial journey.

    All the best Omar & Veronique for your present and future endeavors! Do let me know if you need any help.

    Kind Regards,

    Engr. Javeria Ahmed
    Business Development Executive
    Morgan Technologies


  • 6.  RE: Entrepreneurial Chemical Engineers

    Posted 08-27-2019 01:14
    Agree with most of the other replies.  Is started my own company 3+ years ago and found it, while not surprising, still a little difficult.  I had never been in your shoes--but I have come to learn a few things that MAY be leveraged to your situation.

    1). Most governments require any person or company offering engineering services to be licensed as a professionals engineer or equivalent.  To become a professional engineering in Canada and the USA, you must have 4-5 years experience under the charge of a professional engineer (some exceptions apply, but these usually include working 15+ years as well).
    2). Taxes and service taxes in certain countries do exist.  You must know these requirements, else you risk violating a law unknowingly.  "Ignorance of the law is no excuse for the law."
    3). Most companies that may hire you will require you have insurance--both general liability and professional liability.  This can cost in excess of $10,000 US for startup companies, and then get cheaper as you get past years 3 and 4 or your company operating without insurance claims.
    4). Having the properly licensed software (don't laugh, I know what it's like in that part of the world when it comes to software) is likely an expensive cost.

    And finally, probably the most important thing:
    98% or more of all my business over the last 3 years has been through companies or contacts of people that knew me from other past experiences.  Without that base of experience where you've done good jobs for people elsewhere--I have found it extremely difficult to win new work just by picking up a phone and saying "Let me know what we can do to help."  Earning money in this way is difficult--extremely difficult--without a system of people that know they can trust you to do the job that they are hiring you to do.

    I wish you the best in these future days, but if I had to speak a hard truth, I'd say you have a difficult road ahead, and it would be a true "God movement" if you succeed long term.  I trust in God, and say so on my website...and He has provided all our needs and even more.  I wish you the absolute best no matter which way you go.

    Eric Parvin PE
    Owner / Process Manager
    Highlands Ranch CO

  • 7.  RE: Entrepreneurial Chemical Engineers

    Posted 09-08-2019 07:55
    Hi Omar

    Nice vision, I think you should determine what the potential of you or your long term purpose. Basically, the industry/business differentiated into services company (dynamic) or company in usual (static). What you will be chose those types for the long term?

    And, try to identify the demand and the scope of your business, does your business have a demand? does your scope of services represent the demand?

    I give an example, my collegiate have a business with the core of chemical engineering, his start doing small business (middle/intermediate product) such as resin of paint, nano technology solution etc. its all the product not categorized as end-product. But, his think clever to create some opportunities with the concept of intermediate/middle product to supply to the business of end product.

    Muhammad Shidqi