Earlier this summer, serial entrepreneur Peter J. Burns III was selected by Forbes Magazine to be one of its columnists on the Forbes Business Council, a prestigious honor befitting an entrepreneur who has started, or helped start, more than 150 companies over the last four decades.
photo credit: peterjburnsiii.com
Earlier this month, Burns published his first column for the iconic business publication, tackling an issue that is near and dear to his heart – the challenge that millennial entrepreneurs, especially women, face when trying to start their own business. (https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2021/08/11/its-time-to-recognize-the-potential-of-female-entrepreneurs/?sh=28f5d2443e7c)
The topic is important to Burns, who is the father of two daughters and has four granddaughters.
“It’s terrible how the financial community has treated female entrepreneurs through the years,” said Burns. “Countless studies that I highlighted in my column have shown blatant discrimination, which is unacceptable. Furthermore, other studies have shown that women are actually more successful than men – when given the chance.”
Burns has not only identified the problem, but he is also doing all he can to remedy it, starting a company called Millennial Queenmaker (MQ), which provides funding, mentoring, and placement to female millennials.
He recently announced the appointment of Megan Moen as President of MQ. “Who better to connect with these young women, than one of their own,” said Burns. Moen, 26, left Corporate America last year to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams with Burns’ help. Burns quickly realized she had the necessary skills to lead MQ.
While MQ is a passion for Burns, he has others as well, many of them philanthropic, which he will highlight in future columns.
“I’m honored that Forbes has given me this platform to share the experience and insights I have accrued as a serial entrepreneur,” said Burns. “Its an important opportunity, one that I don’t take lightly.”
Burns’ Successful Path as a Serial Entrepreneur
Peter J. Burns III is a serial entrepreneur, who has demonstrated time and time again that he has a keen eye for creating innovative businesses and partnerships.
Based today in Del Mar, California, Burns grew up in a well-established New England family in New Canaan, Connecticut. He was briefly educated at the United States Military Academy Preparatory School at West Point, the University of Virginia (UVa), and finally the Harvard Business School’s Owners and Presidents Management Program. While his two younger brothers went on to have successful business careers, Burns chose the life of an entrepreneur.
Burns adds that his “official” career as an entrepreneur started as a result of his enrollment in an Entrepreneurship course at UVa’s venerable McIntire School of Commerce. His business plan for that course was importing mopeds (motorized bikes) to the US from Europe and renting them to tourists at US resorts. “I executed my business plan on Nantucket after my class was over, made a small fortune and never looked back,” said Burns.
Burns started hundreds of businesses over the next two decades. He then moved to Arizona in the early 2000s and became a pro bono adjunct faculty member at the highly respected Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University. In 2006, he took his teaching practice across town to Grand Canyon University and its entrepreneur-like founder Brent Richardson, where the two men would launch the nation’s first College of Entrepreneurship at GCU.
“The spark behind the college was ignited only a month ago by Peter Burns, a self-made millionaire who is teaching entrepreneur education classes at Arizona State University’s Barrett Honors College,” according to the Phoenix Business Journal. “Burns met with GCU Chief Executive Brent Richardson after, Burns says, ASU and its business school weren’t interested in forming a program specifically targeting entrepreneurs.”
In recognition of his work, Burns was honored by the Arizona chapter of the Future Business Leaders of America its Businessperson of the Year in 2007.
Shortly thereafter, he started Club Entrepreneur as a way to bring entrepreneurs together in an “open-source entrepreneurship” platform. The Phoenix chapter attracted 10,000 members.
In 2016, Burns moved to the West Coast and started Burns Funding as a way to help entrepreneurs secure hard-to-get funding for their businesses.
Burns is the father of two daughters and four granddaughters, which he credits as an influence for his latest or most provocative venture – Millennial Queenmaker.