Entrepreneur-in-residence (EIR) programs allow business owners, CEOs, and other leaders to work directly with businesses, investors, and nonprofits to provide expertise and earn money between jobs. Whether they’re paid a salary, given funding for their businesses, or a combination of both, these programs can be a great way for leaders to continue their careers between leadership roles.
In addition to the financial benefits, serving as an EIR can provide a boost to a professional’s career in a wide variety of ways whether they plan to start a new business or take a leadership role with a company. Here are a few of the less talked-about benefits of participating in an EIR program.
Recharge Between Jobs
Entrepreneurs can serve as EIRs while building their own businesses or holding salaried positions as CEOs of corporations. However, some find the biggest benefit comes from these programs when they’re in between leadership roles. Whether this means ending a position with a company or selling one business before starting another, a brief tenure with a corporation or organization can be a great way to cleanse the palate and prevent burnout. Professionals will work with new people and experience new situations that will energize them for the next role they assume.
Make Valuable Connections
Perhaps the biggest benefit from an EIR program is the access it gives participants to other leaders. Each organization has its own network of clients, colleagues, and business partners and by working with them, entrepreneurs have a connection they wouldn’t have otherwise had. In addition to interacting with them in meetings and at events, they also have a common connection that can be brought up in the future when they encounter them in the course of doing business. For EIRs who are part of a venture capital firm, the process gives them unique insight into the way funding works, which can help them as they lead businesses throughout their careers.
Realizing the benefits, they’re getting from EIRs, programs usually make an extra effort to provide as much value as possible to participants. Programs like the EIR at BCG DV Torque connect leaders with the extensive Boston Consulting Group network, as well as the many startups within the DV Torque lab. The end result is often an experience that inspires entrepreneurs as they come up with great ideas for products and services. Even leaders who have spent years at the helm of Fortune 500 companies can reenergize their careers by working alongside innovative startup founders.
Add an Impressive Bio Credit
Entrepreneurs work hard to build an impressive list of credentials, displaying them proudly on LinkedIn, on their company bios, and in professional materials submitted to investors or clients. A stint as an EIR gives professionals an impressive credential, which adds credibility as they take their next career step.
This is especially true for entrepreneurs who have spent the past few years growing a business that didn’t work out. A stint as an EIR could be the perfect credential to list as the most recent work experience for entrepreneurs trying to avoid the awkward, “Why did your last business fail?” question.
Be Part of Something Great
Soon after joining an EIR, professionals often learn that the best part of being part of one of these programs is the help they give to small business owners, investors, or business leaders. As they see their advice put to use and watch businesses grow and thrive, EIRs feel the satisfaction that comes from contributing to something new and fresh. When they help venture capitalists, they have the gratification of knowing that the help they give could lead to a business getting backing and an investor’s portfolio growing in a positive way.
Entrepreneur-in-residence programs help organizations learn and grow. But as beneficial as they are to businesses, entrepreneurs stand to gain from them, as well. With the right program, entrepreneurs can gain valuable connections, education, and inspiration that will help them throughout their careers.