Published On: Thu, Jan 17th, 2013

Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship has been gaining increasing relevance amongst economic agents in the last few years. It encourages economic growth, employment and technological and innovative capabilities of many countries. For this reason, entrepreneurship is of great interest to academics, business people and governments around the world (Baumol, 2009). Authors like Schumpeter distinguish between the Creative entrepreneur which undertakes business with innovative ideas, and the replicative entrepreneur whos innovation lies in a new way for pro existing solutions. Researchers like Kouriloff have also been focusing lately on the different type of entrepreneurs that can be observed. The opportunity entrepreneur, who uses his/her skill and knowledge to create a solution for a problem, versus the need-entrepreneur that creates a venture out of necessity to generate income, has generally lead the debate. In countries that have a large influx of immigrants researchers have also focused on the influence of cultural/ethnical/geographical factors and their influence on entrepreneurship. In addition we see that sometimes countries with large Diasporas, e.g. Lebanon, Israel, use these strategically to attract and intensify business ties. Scholars oppose on whether or not it is nature or nurture (Davidsson, 1995) which might be behind an individual’s entrepreneurial sence. My research proposes a middle field arguing that even though the entrepreneurial intent may be a natural instinct, nurturing of this instinct may enhance the performance of this attitude (Hessel Oosterbeek, 2010), and possibly ultimately venture creation and its success. Education and experience count as key elements in successful venture creation. In this respect nature can be treated also as experience, whereas training programs may be categorized nurture. It is common to provide this nurturing by means of training programs for employees or courses at government agencies (also includes education) aiming at increasing this “creative lobe” if we may. Both private and public efforts resort to the training of agents as a means to enhance their skills.

In entrepreneurship we find mostly that the same barriers affect all entrepreneurs in the same way. Generally speaking we all have to go through the same things when staring up a business, subjecting it to growth, and sub sequentially manage what we have created. It may well be that some specific groups experience different intensities of these factors, but ultimately it is about the approach these factors require to overcome. If we follow Sarasvathy and Venkataraman’s look on entrepreneurship, we see that this is something that can be codified and inflicted to some extent on individuals, i.e. a methodology. But then why do we perceive different backgrounds having better performance on the entrepreneurship flank? This has to do with Kouriloff’s theory mentioned earlier about opportunity entrepreneurs and necessity entrepreneurs. Some entrepreneurs fare better due to intrinsic motivations for success, and adopt an iterative approach towards dealing with barriers. These entrepreneurs keep trying until they succeed, as failure with have utmost catastrophic results for them and the families that depend on them. Other entrepreneurs already dispose of an adequate lifestyle and are less likely to engage into an iterative approach towards entrepreneurship. In other words they try a few times, whilst having choices to fall back on, and sometimes opt out of entrepreneurship. This does not mean that the latter group has more failure cases, or that the former group has more success cases. It generally means that different factors activate their intrinsic motivations, which lead to different approaches, and ultimately also their success.

In short: Entrepreneurship is undertaking a business with an element of novelty, and is closely related to, and associated with, innovation. In this series of weekly blogs we will explore the interesting world behind this wonderful buzz word concept.

Guido Rojer, Jr.

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