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Like an animal in the zoo they have been studied at length by economists, anthropologists, management academics, psychologists, sociologists, historians, finance experts and organisational scholars. Who are these creatures? Why do these persistent people never know when to give up? What drives them to take risks that ordinary folk find overwhelming? Where do they get that energy? How do they create value from nothing and most importantly what are the characteristics that define them as an entrepreneur. As practicing entrepreneurs, lecturers and authors of entrepreneurial books and material, Dr. Neil Flanagan and myself have developed our own view on the A to Z characteristics of an entrepreneur .
The characteristics of an entrepreneur are identified in high energy creative people, who are self-confident, have high levels of self-esteem and are futuristic in their outlook as they seek to incessantly solve problems, take risks and learn from failures (theirs and others). They thrive on change and have a natural predisposition to showing initiative and willingly accept personal responsibility for projects. They harness all available resources within their scope in order to achieve success on their own terms.
Characteristics of an Entrepreneur Successful entrepreneurs learn to control and discipline their gift and by combining this with a business education (both formal and from the µschool of hard knocks¶) together with a perseverance and an enjoyment of hard work driven by a righteous passion, they eventually craft their success in spite of the many preceding disappointments and set backs. Many people have tried unsuccessfully to categorise the entrepreneur, with the Webster's dictionary describing them as µone who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise¶. This is a typical researchers description, written without the privileged insight into the mind and spirit of what makes an entrepreneur tick. As entrepreneurs, educators and authors, we have made an attempt in this Knol to identify the A to Z of what sets entrepreneurs apart from their other commercially engaged contemporaries. Now the entrepreneurial skill-set would afford success in many fields of human endeavor, however, the entrepreneur is drawn to the world of business and commerce. We believe that this is because their great desire for independence, their love of a competitive environment, the business world¶s reward for objectivity over subjectivity and the fact that excelling at this core societal realm makes the greatest use of their talent.
work activities. political. Furthermore. They may spend time working in an industry or firm to gain the necessary contacts and market intellegence before the launch of their own venture. Entrepreneurs are people that have a great tolerance for ambiguity .not just the commitment to see it through but to see it through with everything onthe-line. engaged learning and market intelligence gathering. it marks a time when entrepreneurs becomes quite invigorated. Like the war metaphor they mirror. environmental. Entrepreneurs have a natural understanding and appreciation of Beachhead Strategies. Entrepreneurs have both the conceptual skill to quickly sum up the changing big picture by identifing relationships and patterns in complex situations.but the commitment to do and then see it through . it becomes inevitable. is the difference between if and when. the commitment to getting up and starting all over again if fate so decrees. alliances and trusted brands to establish a market acceptance before striking out on their own. commitment for the entrepreneur stems from their belief that they are doing something worthwhile. take advantage of and action specific solutions to the emerging problem and need.Ambiguity is the ³doubt about meaning: a situation in which something can be understood in more than one way and it is not clear which meaning is intended´. the commitment to never giving up on the dream.  Ambiguity usually occurs at times of significant societal. as well as the ability to identify. author of the book ³The Student Success Manifesto´ ± ³The difference between an interest and a commitment. Not just the commitment to do . Entrepreneurs and generals alike know that the main game is too heavily guarded and fortified for a full frontal attack so they each secure a space in some easily acquired ground and then use that position to eventually strike out for the intended target. According to Michael Simmons. When we truly commit ourselves to success. Entrepreneurial endeavour will never happen without it. whilst periods of change are quite stressful for the vast majority of people. their past experience with its already highly developed coping strategies. So. Commitment is the founding drive of the entrepreneur. This is because entrepreneurs know that change always brings with it new opportunities and as Albert Einstein observed ³In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity´ . Now. Entrepreneurs may launch with µme-too¶ products just to establish market acceptance and then leverage their new found position to release the high-margin innovative upgrade or addon. not just for themselves and their associates but for the 'greater good'. technological or organisational change. Beachhead strategies are the strategies that an entrepreneur uses to gain market penetration and customer acceptance for their products. seeking to find their own unique place in an evolving and changing environment. It is this commitment that sees them continue in the face of disappointment and set backs. Entrepreneurs position themselves via alliance building. beachhead strategies aim to secure a foothold as a prerequisite to the main game. just to build momentium and demand for their product. they may gives lots away for free. The commitment tap root for the entrepreneur is the deep desire to live a life of significance. economic. Entrepreneurs do not work from the turbulent outside-in but rather from the focused inside-out. They may partner with established networks.´ . the entrepreneur has no fear of change because they bring to every new period of ambiguity. It is a commitment to the long term. when others declare it as 'all too hard'. at the very epicentre of the change and look out through the rolling mist for an emerging opportunity and need for which they are uniquely resourced to bring a solution.
that translate into specifically defined objectives that inform the strategies and then determine the tactics. These successful entrepreneurs are single minded with a eye-constantly-on-the-prize. in spite of the many distractions. Their concentration at times can boarder on obsession as they stick with their passion. they primarily offer solutions for their immediate surrounding market but they have an eye for how that could translate into the global sphere. Many entrepreneurs hold to the same view as was expressed by Winston Churchill . and get the job done. the power generated by focus. No longer happy to be tagged the SME (Small to Medium Enterprise) these start ups are better tagged GOS (Global Opportunity Startup). Sarasvath an associate professor of the University of Virginia and is explained in her article ³What makes entrepreneurs entrepreneurial´. They recognize the power of the internet to deliver a global outcome for their enterprise and so shape their model to include it in their thinking and µblue sky¶ possibilities. and that all my past life had been but a preparation for this hour and this trial. They define the mantra for their venture and in spite of the many morphs. For many entrepreneurs this is simply because they refuse to be sick." It is not their business that makes entrepreneurs a champion. Effectual reasoning Business schools and corporate enterprises the world over teach the process of managerial or strategic decision making as the basis for all business development. changes and set-backs they manage to keep everyone focused on the main game. They narrow their living to a few core commitments protecting those at all costs but forgo the fringe and peripheral engagements that can clutter the lives of those less focused and obsessed. capabilities and unfair advantage within the entrepreneur's control and then selects an emerging opportunities that these capabilities make them uniquely placed to exploit. This peculiarly µeffectual¶ entrepreneurial thinking has been researched by Saras D. the wartime Prime Minister of Great Britain. who said "I felt as if I were walking with destiny. This basis for decision making is actually at the antithesis of the entrepreneurial one. Kevin Hall talks about this further in his knol Why is it important for an Entrepreneur to go Global? Good health is a remarkable aspect of entrepreneurial life. Yes. to craft their destiny and if needs be. They are not easily distracted. life is not just a process of accumulating physical assets nor just the indulgence of physical pleasure nor even the cyclical life of comfort and leisure ± NO! It is making a difference. mostly because they can t afford to be. that takes stock of the strategic resources. they rarely quit and with blinkers on they stay focused on the task at hand until it is done.The entrepreneurial spirit is interlocked with a sence of destiny. The entrepreneur finds no benefit in this concept as their sick-leave entitled corporate counterpart may find. We believe that good health for the entrepreneur is derived from their positive and creative mind set. Sure. Focus Entrepreneurs know better than most. it is living a life of significance. their problem . they start small but their ambition is to change the world ± literally. This process starts with clearly defined goals. For the entrepreneur. to make sacrifices in the short term for a greater long term gain. it is embarking on a never ending journey to be the best that they can be and being the greatest influence for 'good' that they can. They know how to focus their own lives as well as the lives of others onto the targeted outcome and so penetrate barriers by the concentrated attack on a single point. They are driven to take control of their future. Global True entrepreneurs today are identified by their global vision. they chose the champion¶s life from an early age and so developed their character until it eventually becomes self evident.
19-33). Get-rich-quick is not in the entrepreneur¶s vocabulary. This is often an area that they lose out to other commercially engaged players whose truth is subjectively determined by the greatest personal monetary gain. Herb Kelleher. from their objective standpoint. For him. the means by which they exploit change as an opportunity for a different business or different service . fortune and fulfilment. They are honest and straightforward in their dealings and expect others to do likewise. Entrepreneurs have an objective approach which while empathising with people¶s needs are more concerned with the performance and accomplishment. Drucker in his book "Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Practice and Principles" describes innovation as what entrepreneurs do. Whilst this is not always part of the µidealist¶ gift of entrepreneurship. A surprising fact for many.solving obsession and living the life of doing what they love + loving what they do that keeps them so. Not only is good health a benefit of the entrepreneurial life. they don¶t trust another¶s decisions too heavily skewed by political or subjective bias. Entrepreneurs are separated from creative dreamers on this point. changing the value and satisfaction obtained from resources by the customer" (p. They possess an almost naïve belief that funds are the resources that naturally follow an opportunity whose time has come and where a balanced and experienced team has been gathered to exploit it. They lead because. They lead because in times of great change they are . Still. The what¶s real. A very interesting aspect of the entrepreneurial mind-set is that having no money is not perceived by them as a barrier to 'making it happen'. He says that he plays the passionate advocate who applies ³sound judgement to focus on the truly important issues. The management theoretician Peter F. the entrepreneur who started Southwest Airlines. anger and jealousy because they are too obsessed with pursuing their own fun. Whilst possessing the perceptive vision that can foresee future societal paradigm shifts they can equally explain the µwhat comes next¶ in making it so. but that¶s how it works. entrepreneurs learn the best aspects of business acumen from their commercial counterparts but apply it to their ventures without the need to sell their soul to the µmoney over all¶ mantra. but it is also a necessity. They constantly scan their environment for new trends and are keen to spot a potential new venture opportunity. innovation involves. and other follow because they see their own needs being fulfilled in the entrepreneurial direction and outcomes. Research  carried out in 2006 inidcates that entrepreneurs are objectively more healthy than others... They give no mind to the carcinogens of envy. They lead because others follow. the¶ keeping it real¶ soon becomes a cornerstone skill of successful entrepreneurial engagements. This mind set can challenge on points of reality without turning negative or destroying motivation. and delivering the type of positive yet challenging scepticism needed to fully explore ideas´ *LEADERSHIP We think it is truer to say that entrepreneurs do not chose to be leaders but that leadership chooses them. innovation represents "the specific tool of entrepreneurs. identifies this keep it real approach in entrepreneurs with what he calls  ³a pleasant sense of scepticism´. They lead because they are prepared to take responsibility in an effort to get the job done. Entrepreneurs know how to add value by making a product better and getting a target market to demonstrate their appreciation of it by parting with their money. workable solutions. An entrepreneur¶s core competency is to find new ways to solve problems and to come up with clever. *Innovation sets the entrepreneur apart from all of their other commercially engaged contemporaries. bright and highly flexible in their thinking. Entrepreneurs are obsessed with the µtruth¶. inquisitive. because successful entrepreneurs are often called upon to work long hours for extended periods of time. Entrepreneurs know how to µmake it real¶. They are naturally curious.
The standard production function used. Sure. entrepreneurs say no to hundreds of great opportunities because they only have eyes for theirs. Anita Roddick. excellent people skills. and the privilege from care. One of the central challenges in improving economic development is to increase the standards of living for individuals and growth of the economy as a whole. but these are µjust¶ contingencies. futuristic mindset. If there is a problem ± they solve it. At the very core of entrepreneurial leadership is problem solving and decision making. and the level of technological knowledge (i. Leadership for the entrepreneur is not about status but about function. it is probably one of the most important targets for development policies. Traditionally the economic output of a country is seen as a function of capital and labour inputs. As Tom Caprel  points out in his article ³The Gold.e. productivity).the ones still moving forward. the entrepreneur makes for a naturalborn leader  . and probably the best measure to mak e cross-national (Barro 1991. conflicts and wars might interrupt this function (Sala -i-Martin 1997). Armed with a generalist approach. Even though economic growth in itself is a rather narrow target. their natural comprehensive awareness affords them a view of the total situation and the possibilities wrapped up in every option but it does not mean they action every opportunity they see. founder of the global retail chain The Body Shop. For me it isn't that solely mythical definition . dreams and bank accounts « they fail as entrepreneurs because they are enticed by bright shiny objects and seduced by the next new dot bomb and become too distracted by UFOs (Unidentified Flying Opportunities)´ NATIONAL DEVELOPMMENT Entrepreneurship and ec onomic development Development is a broad concept entailing the raising of human capabilities (Sen 1999). power of wealth. Any definition of success should be personal because it's so transitory. shows that economic output (Y) is a function of the sum of labour and capital inputs." Opportunistic Entrepreneurs are opportunistic. They are not motivated by external acknowledgement but by achieving their own internal measures of success and achievement. will find it devoid of gold but full of broken hearts. In fact the synonym for the word ´opportunist´  is actually entrepreneur. a penchant for action over words and operating often in high variance industries. It's about shaping my own destiny. They live in a future that others wish to be guided to. « Entrepreneurs have this real belief that their lives are about services and leadership. Sala -i-Martin 1997) and historical (Maddison 2001) analyses of the development of economies. The Opportunist and The Entrepreneur´. allure. It is also one of the measures that is most easy to access for analysts. Imbibing a healthy self esteem. says  "I want to define success by redefining it. But an important fact to make clear is that they are not opportunistic about any or every opportunity ± just theirs. If there is a decision to be made ± they make it. In fact. Of course. they have little need for status. still possessing the energy to work tirelessly to solve the confronting problems. This means that economic .glamour. those sad creative dreamers that do chase ³every pot at the end of the rainbow. combined with technical change (So low 1957).
Rodrik 2007. Even if entrepreneurs cannot appropriate all these gains for themselves. while institutions are a fundamental cause of economic development (Acemoglu et al.g. employing new technology. In traditional models of economic growth investme nt in capital. searching for new markets) and expanding capacity. New models of economic growth see these investments as a necessary complement to entrepreneurship/innovation. the development process in less advanced countries is largely about structural change (Nelson and Pack 1999. Other authors have argued that entrepreneurship will only unlock economic development if a proper institutional setting is in place (Baumol 1990. Spurring entrepreneurs to invest in their home economy is said to be one of the most important aspects of stimulating growth in poor countries (Rodrik 2007: 44 ±50). Entrepreneurs experiment with new combinations of which the outcomes are uncertain. Powell 2008. In developing countries the large firms are missing. which complement each other in changing the economy (Nooteboom 1994. labour. and entrepreneurship are the proximate causes of economic development. Recent studies emphasize entrepreneursh ip as a driver of economic development and some authors include entrepreneurship as a fourth production factor in the macroeconomic production function (Audretsch and Keilbach 2004). 1 Examples of this are the entrepreneurs that figured out that Bangladesh was good in the production of T -shirts. Entrepreneurship is the factor that creates wealth by combining existing production factors in new ways. Gries and Naudé 2008). technology. It might be said that the production factors capital. and Taiwan in bicycles and display technologies. India in softwar e services. 2004). out of the many products that already exist. and cannot be maintained in the absence of innovation. Hausmann and Rodrik 2003). but in order to make progress. and in transition countries there are large organizations but these are largely in a process of restructu ring and dismantling. innovation and structural change take place through the combined efforts of small (independent inventors) and large innovative (organiz ed R&D) firms. even m ore so than capital market constraints (Johnson et al. A process in which an economy finds out ² selfdiscovers² what it can be good at. An essential formal institution for welfare enhancing entrepreneurship is property rights. Colombia in cut flowers. Boettke and Coyne 2003). Investing refers here to innovation (e. In advanced capitalist economies. Next to productivity growth an d technological change in established sectors. 2000). The role of entrepreneurs in developing countries does not equal innovation and R&D commonly understood in advanced economies. The se investments trigger the combination of capital investment and technological change. Their role is to discover that a certain good. can be produced at home at low cost (Rodrik 2007: 105. One could even argue that high rates of investment in human and physical capital are themselves stimulated by effective innovation. but not as a sufficient explanation for economic growth in its own right (Nelson and Pack 1999). their discoveries generate large social gains for their economies. producing new products. Insecure property rights have been an important constraint on the investments by entrepreneurs in transition countries. This institutional setting comprises informal as wel l as formal institutions (North 1990).growth²the growth of economic output ²is a function of the growth of labour and capital inputs and technological progress. already wellestablished in world markets. A specific example regarding property rights is the fact that until 1988 private firms with more than seven workers were not even allowed to operate legally in China (Dorn 2008: 301). many new variations have to be tried in order to find out which ones will improve (economic) life (Rosenberg and Birdzell 1986). Baumol 2002). labour and technology is sufficient to realize economic growth. This .
means that small firms will be the prime movers in the process of structural change in developing and transition economies. So far we know that rural America as compared to the mainstream population is economically poor. less dynamic economically and experiencing depopulation. These are the social entrepreneurs working in non -profit enterprises such as social justice organizations. It is to be noticed that most of the entrepreneur development policies are tailored to meet the needs of the urban America. their actions are not likely to have an effect on the restructuring and diversification of the poor economies (Rodrik 2007). Most new businesses in low income countries are start ed out of necessity. In contrast to rich countries. most of them end up in finding ordinary and management jobs. entrepreneurship in low income countries is mainly driven by necessity (Bosma et al. micro enterprises and business associations. older. where entrepreneurship is most often opportunity driven. Since. if the government can provide an incentive for these young people to stay i n their communities and help them in setting up entrepreneur projects from their own family owned businesses. that can be exploited. This is reflected in the finding that in poor countries self -employed are less happy than employees. The se centers can than provide a network between the isolated rural America and bridge the gap that hinders the communications between these communities. Entrepreneurs in low income countries most often start a business because they have no other way of earning a living. Keeping in mind the resources that a first world country has and the kind of rural resources that countries like America boost. The most overlooked aspect of the rural America. 2 Most entrepreneurs in these economies do not start a firm because they desire independence or because they want to increase their income as compared to being an employee. isolated from the main markets. These entrepreneurs are not likely to be involved in a process of self -discovery. there are already many entrepreneurs in the rural areas who just need support to pacify their thirst for the welfa re of the public. in contrast to high income countries. adequate funding and support can provide a thriving entrepreneur atmosphere in these communities. which are the dominant motives in rich countries. is the process of depopulation. TYPES OF ENTREPRENUERSHIP RURAL ENTREPRENUERSHIP Rural entrepreneurship has an important role to play in the development of US economy. According to a recent study by the Rural Policy Research Institute. Taking into account the fact that nearly 80 percent of the American population calls rural America it?s home. Such policies will have to be changed by establishing such centers which exclusively deal with the rural communities and provide consulting and research facilities. Many of the young enthusiastic people turn towards the cities in order to fulfill their desire to become successful. Most of the businesses in rural America are family owned thus providing a firm entrepreneurial base which can be exploited by the establishment of the rural entrepreneur centers. while the reverse is true in high incom e countries (Blanchflower and Oswald 1998. more isolated geographically. such a program can bring about an . 2008). Graham 2005). the rural America cannot provide the growth opportunity for these young entrepreneurs to succeed. We expect that the level of growth -oriented entrepreneurship in a country is a more relevant driver of economic growth than the mostly used indicators of entrepreneurship like the selfemployment and new firm formation. culturally imbedded in traditions.
A recent example will be of the US based GE wind energy company tha t for the very first time installed large wind turbines in India to produce electricity for the futuristically designed small high -tech cities. A successful entrepreneurship requires a good estimate of the depletion of the capital stage by stage. The first of these is the technology driven entrepreneurship that brings a new product on the market or an improved version of the older product. An example of such type will be the deliverance of programs through satellite channels where customers have the ability to choose between Prog rammes. PROBLEMS OF RURAL ENTREPRENUERSHIP A drive to develop Rural Entreprene urship will always face stiff resistance from some of the key factors.nga. In this type of entrepreneurship the product is moved from one place to another place where the new product hasn?t been introduced.joe. http://216. There is a need to train the local population in the use of computers and other technical process that retrieves information through technology. It is a well known fact that unlike other projects. entrepreneurship requires capital in hand.104/search?q=cache:7R1XzY_BPtsJ:www.pdf+rural+entrepreneurship&hl=en&ie=UTF -8 http://www. geography and sociology. Still. Also. The government will have to convince these local administrations that the new entrepreneurial spirit will only help their businesses as well as the local community. Another major factor is the use of information technology.239. who will see n ew projects as an attrition of resources that are devoted to their clients. known is the fact that most businesses fail in their firs t two years.org/joe/1991fall/a6. Awareness on the financial aspects will be important and the rural entrepreneur centers will have a major role to play in structuring the capital management of any proposed venture. One of the major drawbacks of the success of a rural entrepreneur is that very few of the entrepreneurs have a good objective view of the financial conditions of their businesses. The best examples of this type of e ntrepreneurship will be the services of Midwest Airlines that is the first airline in US that .html TYPES OF ENTREPRENUERSHIP Experts have also tried to define entrepreneurship on the basis of technology.51. Technologies such as pay per view are an improved version of the older TV programs.org/cda/files/MAC KE1. local workers and field staff. This entrepreneurship is far more common in third world countries. Most entrepreneurship projects cannot succeed without the direct support of the agricultural organizations. The government will have to implement strategies that will either motivate the people with enough managerial experience to work in the rural projects or it will have to allocate further resources to train the existing population. An example of such entrepreneurship will be the use of wind power by large wind turbines. another type of technology is geographically oriented.unmatched success in rural communities. the effectiveness of the rural entrepreneurship projects will always remain in doubt. Without proper com puter training. Managerial experience is the second most important factor th at will affect the operations of middle and large projects. Sociological entrepreneurship uses a new concept of selling an old product.
provides a higher standard of service in the sky by charging a little more than the other airlines. real food serve d in china (cookeries) and more leg space. Midwest customers pay the extra price because they want that extra luxury touch that is provided for a minimal overcharge. . Passengers in economy class get leather seats.
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