Entrepreneurship is a word that has chaotic definitions. There is no single definition that can be called right or wrong. However, it is one of the biggest subjects in the world. Everybody dreams of starting their own business and gaining financial freedom. Today, teaching and learning entrepreneurial skills have become a mandatory part of school education. The world is looking for a way to equip the upcoming generation with self-reliance skills, which makes entrepreneurship an essential part of modern life.
Who is an entrepreneur? How do you define one, and how do are they different from anyone else? It is hard to study entrepreneurs before knowing who they are first. Among other things, understanding who an entrepreneur is will enable us to count them offer them loans, and calculate how much they contribute to the world economy. Several questions can help us lay the background of defining an entrepreneur.
Consider the following:
- Is it a must that one begins a business from scratch to be counted as an entrepreneur?
- What about someone who bought an existing business? Or someone who took over a family business? Can we call them entrepreneurs too?
- Many people are running small businesses, but they don’t need to hire employee, is such a person an entrepreneur?
- What if they bought a franchise to follow a well-establish formula for operations?
- Can you call and entrepreneur someone because of what they do or how they think?
- Is someone entrepreneurs, even if they don’t own their own business?
- What about those working in more giant corporations, are such entrepreneurs too?
It is also essential to understand the concept of entrepreneurship. Learning concepts begins to understand the term.
Gartner (1990) lists 90 qualities that featured in the definition of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship, as stated by different experts in the field. Here are a few that we can relate to in this article.
- Innovation. Does innovation has everything to do with entrepreneurship? If an activity is not innovative, can it be entrepreneurial?
- Activities. What kind of activities can make one entrepreneur?
- Creating a new business. Many business owners inherited or bought what they have now. And others started from scratch. It is vital to establish whether or not both are entrepreneurs.
- Someone starting a new venture within an established business. If you are working for an organization and bring in an idea that benefits the organization or takes it to another level, are you an entrepreneur?
- What about not-for-profit organizations? Is such a venture entrepreneurial?
Garner (1990) continued his study by asking entrepreneurs and other experts to help group the 90 experts into the theme to help him in concluding the concept. He made his summery in a few topics, including:
- The entrepreneur. This theme is based on the fact that entrepreneurship involves people with unique abilities. These characteristics include risk-taking, locus of control, autonomy, perseverance, commitment, vision, and creativity. Close to half of the participants thought these attributes were not significant. So, does entrepreneurship only involve entrepreneurs?
- The theme of innovation suggests that innovation is not limited to new ventures. It is about doing something new. It can be a new idea, product, service, the market of technology. So does entrepreneurship involved innovation.
- Other themes include the organization of creation, creating value, profit or non-profit, growth, uniqueness, and the owner-manager.
Base on these themes and ideas, an entrepreneur can be described as “a person who builds a new business, overlooking risk and uncertainty to gain profit and growth by finding new opportunities and putting together required resources to learn from them.
Entrepreneurship can be explained as a field that seeks knowledge to create something new ( for instance a product/service, a new market, a new production, raw materials and new ways of organization current technologies), as created or found by a specific person, who may use various approaches to develop or exploit them, creating an impact on others. In summary, entrepreneurship is the process of pursuing opportunities and ideas without considering the available resources.
The function of entrepreneurship may be as old as the industry of barter and exchange. It was not, however, considered with the modern importance until the economic markets became an interest of society. Many experts have seen entrepreneurs as pivotal subject in the world. But still, the economic theory has not yet fully recognized the importance of an entrepreneur. History records that those who sort to overlook risks to gain economic power, close to how the society associates with it today, we military leaders, royalty, or merchants. During the 18th century, the entrepreneur was called an adventurer, a projector, and an undertaker. This was not always a good thing.
The term entrepreneur was introduced to the work by a thought Irish economist Richard Cantillon (1680-1734). He saw an entrepreneur as a specialist in taking risks, buying and reselling other worker’s outputs. He differentiated entrepreneurs from other economic groups. Landowners were financially independent, while employees don’t take part in decision-making. Looking at farmers as the most prominent entrepreneurs, Cantillon was the first to come up with the closest definition of entrepreneurship.
Cantillon’s thought was echoed by Adolph Reidel 1809-1872), from the German School of thought, who extended it, stating that entrepreneurs take on risks on behalf of earners. They gain their rewards from their ability to foresee uncertainty. This definition has been the basis of the modern definition of entrepreneurship. Carson and Knight (2005), stated that entrepreneurs reward themselves with the profits that come from their ventures.
Entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs is a subject that can be studied for a long time. There are so many concepts that may or may not make sense to some people. It is definite; however, the entrepreneurs have been praying a vital role in the development and civilization of humanity. Today, they are running the world. Much of the world economy is dependent on what they do. They motivate others to take on challenges and risks to make the world a better place. It is a vital subject of human economic development.
Apr 08, 2020