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Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship has traditionally been defined as the process of designing, launching and running a new business, which typically begins as a small business, such as a startup company, offering a product, process or service for sale or hire. The people who create these businesses are called 'entrepreneurs'. It has been defined as the "...capacity and willingness to develop, organize, and manage a business venture along with any of its risks in order to make a profit". While definitions of entrepreneurship typically focus on the launching and running of businesses, due to the high risks involved in launching a start-up, a significant proportion of businesses have to close, due to "...lack of funding, bad business decisions, an economic crisis – or a combination of all of these" or due to lack of market demand. In the 2000s, the definition of "entrepreneurship" expanded to explain how and why some individuals (or teams) identify opportunities, evaluate them as viable, and then decide to exploit them, whereas others do not, and, in turn, how entrepreneurs use these opportunities to develop new products or services, launch new firms or even new industries and create wealth. Recent advances stress the fundamentally uncertain nature of the entrepreneurial process, because although opportunities exist their existence cannot be discovered or identified prior to their actualization into profits. What appears as a real opportunity ex ante might actually be a non-opportunity or one that cannot be actualized by entrepreneurs lacking the necessary business skills, financial or social capital.

Traditionally, an entrepreneur has been defined as "a person who starts, organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk". "Rather than working as an employee, an entrepreneur runs a small business and assumes all the risk and reward of a given business venture, idea, or good or service offered for sale. The entrepreneur is commonly seen as a business leader and innovator of new ideas and business processes." Entrepreneurs tend to be good at perceiving new business opportunities and they often exhibit positive biases in their perception (i.e., a bias towards finding new possibilities and seeing unmet market needs) and a pro-risk-taking attitude that makes them more likely to exploit the opportunity.

An entrepreneur is typically in control of a commercial undertaking, directing the factors of production – the human, financial and material resources – that are required to exploit a business opportunity. They act as the manager and oversee the launch and growth of an enterprise. Entrepreneurship is the process by which an individual (or team) identifies a business opportunity and acquires and deploys the necessary resources required for its exploitation. The exploitation of entrepreneurial opportunities may include actions such as developing a business plan, hiring the human resources, acquiring financial and material resources, providing leadership, and being responsible for the venture's success or failure. Economist Joseph Schumpeter (1883–1950) stated that the role of the entrepreneur in the economy is "creative destruction" – launching innovations that simultaneously destroy old industries while ushering in new industries and approaches. For Schumpeter, the changes and "dynamic disequilibrium brought on by the innovating entrepreneur ... the ‘norm’ of a healthy economy."

"Entrepreneurial spirit is characterized by innovation and risk-taking." While entrepreneurship is often associated with new, small, for-profit start-ups, entrepreneurial behavior can be seen in small-, medium- and large-sized firms, new and established firms and in for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, including voluntary sector groups, charitable organizations and government. For example, in the 2000s, the field of social entrepreneurship has been identified, in which entrepreneurs combine business activities with humanitarian, environmental or community goals.

Entrepreneurship typically operates within an entrepreneurship ecosystem which often includes government programs and services that promote entrepreneurship and support entrepreneurs and start-ups; non-governmental organizations such as small business associations and organizations that offer advice and mentoring to entrepreneurs (e.g., through entrepreneurship centers or websites); small business advocacy organizations that lobby the government for increased support for entrepreneurship programs and more small business-friendly laws and regulations; entrepreneurship resources and facilities (e.g., business incubators and seed accelerators); entrepreneurship education and training programs offered by schools, colleges and universities; and financing (e.g., bank loans, venture capital financing, angel investing, and government and private foundation grants). The strongest entrepreneurship ecosystems are those found in top entrepreneurship hubs such as Silicon Valley, New York City, Boston, Singapore, and other such locations where there are clusters of leading high-tech firms, top research universities, and venture capitalists. In the 2010s, entrepreneurship can be studied in college or university as part of the disciplines of management or business administration.

Entrepreneurial behaviours

The entrepreneur is commonly seen as an innovator — a designer of new ideas and business processes. Management skills and strong team building abilities are often perceived as essential leadership attributes for successful entrepreneurs. Political economist Robert Reich considers leadership, management ability, and team-building to be essential qualities of an entrepreneur.

Uncertainty Perception and Risk-taking

Theorists Frank Knight and Peter Drucker defined entrepreneurship in terms of risk-taking. The entrepreneur is willing to put his or her career and financial security on the line and take risks in the name of an idea, spending time as well as capital on an uncertain venture. However, entrepreneurs often do not believe that they have taken an enormous amount of risks because they do not perceive the level of uncertainty to be as high as other people do. Knight classified three types of uncertainty:

  • Risk, which is measurable statistically (such as the probability of drawing a red color ball from a jar containing 5 red balls and 5 white balls)
  • Ambiguity, which is hard to measure statistically (such as the probability of drawing a red ball from a jar containing 5 red balls but an unknown number of white balls)
  • True uncertainty or Knightian uncertainty, which is impossible to estimate or predict statistically (such as the probability of drawing a red ball from a jar whose contents are entirely unknown)

Entrepreneurship is often associated with true uncertainty, particularly when it involves the creation of a novel good or service, for a market that did not previously exist, rather than when a venture creates an incremental improvement to an existing product or service. A 2014 study at ETH Zürich found that compared with typical managers, entrepreneurs showed higher decision-making efficiency, and a stronger activation in regions of frontopolar cortex (FPC) previously associated with explorative choice.

Strategies

Strategies that entrepreneurs may use include:

  • Innovation of new products, services or processes
  • Continuous process improvement (CPI)
  • Exploration
  • Use of technology
  • Use of business intelligence
  • Using a frugal approach
  • Development of future products and services
  • Optimized talent management

Designing individual/opportunity nexus

According to Shane and Venkataraman, entrepreneurship comprises both "enterprising individuals" and "entrepreneurial opportunities", and researchers should study the nature of the individuals who identify opportunities when others do not, the opportunities themselves and the nexus between individuals and opportunities. On the other hand, Reynolds et al. argue that individuals are motivated to engage in entrepreneurial endeavors driven mainly by necessity or opportunity, that is, individuals pursue entrepreneurship primarily owing to survival needs, or because, they identify business opportunities that satisfy their need for achievement. For example, higher economic inequality tends to increase entrepreneurship rates at the individual level. However, most of it is often based on necessity rather than opportunity.

Opportunity perception and biases

The ability of entrepreneurs to innovate relates to innate traits, including extroversion and a proclivity for risk-taking.According to Joseph Schumpeter, the capabilities of innovating, introducing new technologies, increasing efficiency and productivity, or generating new products or services, are characteristic qualities of entrepreneurs. Also, many scholars maintain that entrepreneurship is a matter of genes, and that it is not everyone who can be an entrepreneur. Some people may be able to use "an innate ability" or quasi-statistical sense to gauge public opinion and market demand for new products or services. Entrepreneurs tend to have the ability to see unmet market needs and underserved markets. While some entrepreneurs assume they can sense and figure out what others are thinking, the mass media plays a crucial role in shaping views and demand. Ramoglou argues that entrepreneurs are not that distinctive and that it is essentially poor conceptualizations of "non-entrepreneurs" that maintain laudatory portraits of "entrepreneurs" as exceptional innovators or leaders Entrepreneurs are often overconfident, exhibit illusion of control, when they are opening/expanding business or new products/services.

Source : Wikipedia
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