Entrepreneurship is the process of setting up a new business venture. It includes sourcing finance, creating new jobs, acquiring resources including premises and buying equipment and materials.
What is an Entrepreneur?
An entrepreneur is a person who creates a new business. Entrepreneurs are not afraid to take risks — they usually risk their own money and other assets to start their venture.
Most entrepreneurs are innovators — they come up with new ideas, initiatives, services, products etc. Successful entrepreneurs create value in their local economy by providing jobs and investment opportunities.
Why is Entrepreneurship Important?
Entrepreneurship and the Economy
Entrepreneurship is a vital part of a country’s economy. This is because entrepreneurs start new businesses which usually start out as SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises). In many countries, SMEs account for a large chunk of national turnover and employ many people.
Entrepreneurship and the Community
Entrepreneurs often invest in community projects, not-for-profit organisations and charities (think of Bill Gates). Their approach to these projects often reflects their own hands-on approach to building their business.
Entrepreneurship and Innovation
An entrepreneur does not follow a traditional career path but instead carves out their own course.
Very often an entrepreneur is a problem-solver. Where the rest of the world sees a problem, entrepreneurs see an opportunity. Entrepreneurs take action to bring their ideas to life.
The Top 7 Characteristics of an Entrepreneur
Entrepreneurs need a variety of skills and characteristics to be successful. The seven most important entrepreneurial skills are:
- Passion and drive — they know what they want and how to get it.
- Decision making — they do the research, make a decision and stand by their decision.
- Motivation — they stay positive and do the right things to keep moving forward.
- Confidence — they believe in their own ability, skills and experience.
- Resilience — running a business is not easy — entrepreneurs never give up.
- Business savvy — in the early stages an entrepreneur works in marketing, sales, finance, HR, operations… an entrepreneur must be prepared to roll up their sleeves and get stuck in!
- Clarity and vision — entrepreneurs see their business up and running and doing well before they have even started trading.
Is Entrepreneurship For Everyone?
Entrepreneurship is not for everyone. It involves making a long-term commitment with many obstacles along the way. It also involves taking risks and working very long hours, so the early stages are tough… but the rewards are fantastic!
Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America. He was a writer, printer, politician, inventor, scientist, postmaster and diplomat. Against the odds, he started his own newspaper, made his own metal type, ink and paper (because they were in short supply) and worked his way up from relative poverty to be a successful businessman and leading statesman.
Anne Boden started Starling Bank in the UK in 2014. Her aim was to make it easier and smoother to source business banking facilities as well as travel money and lending facilities. By 2020 Starling Bank had 1.25 million customers.
J. D. Rockefeller
John D. Rockefeller was probably the most successful entrepreneur and richest American of all time. He made his name and money through oil refining and founded Standard Oil, at one point controlling 90% of all US oil! He founded a number of universities and donated vast sums to various charities.
Bill Gates is one of the most famous entrepreneurs of modern times. He co-founded Microsoft and has been named as the richest man in the world at various points in his career. Gates is a major figure in the world of IT and personal computing. Like many entrepreneurs, Gates is known for his philanthropy and has given almost $30 billion to various charities.
Lord Sugar is a UK media personality, author and founder of Amstrad, a consumer electronics company. Sugar was knighted in 2000 and created a life peer in 2009 because of his work for charity. He has donated huge sums to a number of charities including Great Ormond Street Hospital. He hosts the reality show ‘The Apprentice’.