Entrepreneurship: What does it REALLY mean?

Introduction:

In a world where ideas drive economies, it is no wonder that innovation and entrepreneurship are often seen as inseparable bedfellows. The governments around the world are starting to realize that in order to sustain progress and improve a country’s economy, the people have to be encouraged and trained to think out-of-the-box and be constantly developing innovative products and services. The once feasible ways of doing business are no longer guarantees for future economic success!

In response to this inevitable change, some governments are rethinking the way the young are educated by infusing creative thinking and innovation in their nation’s educational curriculum. In the same vein, they are putting much emphasis on the need to train future entrepreneurs through infusing entrepreneurship components within the educational system, especially at the tertiary level.

Some countries have taken this initiative to a higher level by introducing entrepreneurship education at elementary schools and encouraging them to be future entrepreneurs when they are of age. In a series of survey funded by Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, it was found that nearly seven out of 10 youths (aged 14-19) were interested in becoming entrepreneurs.

Being an entrepreneur is now the choice of the new generation as compared to the preferred career choices of yesteryears such as being a doctor, lawyer or a fighter pilot. In a recent visit to the bustling city of Shanghai in China, an informal survey was carried out among Chinese youths by the author. The results of the survey showed that being an entrepreneur, especially in the field of computer and e-commerce, is perceived as a ‘cool’ career and is an aspiration for many Chinese youths Prior to the ‘opening up’ of modern China, being an entrepreneur was perceived as the outcome of one’s inability to hold a good government job and those who dared to venture, were often scorned at by their peers. Times have indeed changed.

With this change in mindset and the relative knowledge that entrepreneurs bring forth increased job creations, the awareness and academic studies of entrepreneurship have also heightened. In many tertiary institutes, many courses of entrepreneurship and innovation are being developed and offered to cater to the increasing demand. The term “entrepreneurship” has also evolved with numerous variations. The proliferation of jargons such as netpreneur, biotechpreneur, technopreneur and multipreneur are coined to keep up with the ever-changing times and business conditions that surround us.

In view of these changes, it is important that the definition of entrepreneurship be refined or redefined to enable its application in this 21st century. To put it succinctly, “Good science has to begin with good definitions (Bygrave & Hofer, 1991, p13).” Without the proper definition, it will be laborious for policymakers to develop successful programs to inculcate entrepreneurial qualities in their people and organizations within their country.

The paper will provide a summary of the definitions of entrepreneurship provided by scholars in this subject area. The author will also expand on one of the definitions by Joseph Schumpeter to create a better understanding of the definition of the term “entrepreneurship” as applied in today’s business world.

Entrepreneurship through the Years:

It was discovered that the term ‘entrepreneurship’ could be found from the French verb ‘entreprende’ in the twelfth century though the meaning may not be that applicable today. This meaning of the word then was to do something without any link to economic profits, which is the antithesis of what entrepreneurship is all about today. It was only in the early 1700′s, when French economist, Richard Cantillon, described an entrepreneur as one who bears risks by buying at certain prices and selling at uncertain prices (Barreto, 1989, Casson 1982) which is probably closer to the term as applied today.

In the 1776 thought-provoking book ‘The Wealth of Nations’, Adam Smith explained clearly that it was not the benevolence of the baker but self-interest that motivated him to provide bread. From Smith’s standpoint, entrepreneurs were the economic agents who transformed demand into supply for profits.

In 1848, the famous economist John Stuart Mill described entrepreneurship as the founding of a private enterprise. This encompassed the risk takers, the decision makers, and the individuals who desire wealth by managing limited resources to create new business ventures.

One of the definitions that the author feels best exemplifies entrepreneurship was coined by Joseph Schumpeter (1934). He stated that the entrepreneur is one who applies “innovation” within the context of the business to satisfy unfulfilled market demand (Liebenstein, 1995). In elaboration, he saw an entrepreneur as an innovator who implements change within markets through the carrying out of new combinations. The carrying out of new combinations can take several forms:

The introduction of a new good or standard of quality;

  • The introduction of a novel method of production;
  • The opening of a new market;
  • The acquisition of a new source of new materials supply; and
  • The carrying out of the new organization in any industry.

Though the term ‘innovation’ has different meanings to different people, several writers tended to see “innovation” in the form of entrepreneurship as one not of incremental change but quantum change in the new business start-ups and the goods/services that they provide (egs, Bygrave, 1995; Bygrave & Hofer, 1991).

In the view of Drucker (1985), he perceived entrepreneurship as the creation of a new organization, regardless of its ability to sustain itself, let alone make a profit. The notion of an individual who starts a new business venture would be sufficient for him/her to be labeled as an entrepreneur. It is this characteristic that distinguishes entrepreneurship from the routine management tasks of allocating resources in an already established business organization. Though the definition tends to be somewhat simplistic in nature, it firmly attaches the nature of entrepreneurial action with risk-taking and the bearing of uncertainty by the individual (Swoboda, 1983)

In a Delphi study, Gartner (1990) found eight themes expressed by the participants that constitute the nature of entrepreneurship. They were the entrepreneur, innovation, organization creation, creating value, profit or non-profit, growth, uniqueness, and the owner-manager. The themes could be seen as a derivative and expansion of Schumpter’s earlier concept.

Expanding on Schumpeter’s Definition:

After digesting the numerous definitions of entrepreneurship, one would tend to see a strong link between these two terms: entrepreneurship and innovation. In retrospect, most of the definitions tended to be, to some extent, a re-work and expansion of Schumpeter’s definition of entrepreneurship (which is that of innovation being applied in a business context).

As defining the term of ‘innovation’ is highly debatable and would merit a paper on its own, the author has thus, for convenience, summarised the definition of innovation. Innovation can be perceived simply as the transformation of creative ideas into useful applications by combining resources in new or unusual ways to provide value to society for or improved products, technology, or services.

In the author’s opinion, the difficulties of defining “innovation” could be the reason for the quandary one finds in attempting to arrive at a clear-cut definition of the term ” Entrepreneurship”.

Take for example, if someone starts another run-of-the-mill hot dog stand in the streets of New York, will he termed as an entrepreneur? According to Drucker’s definition, he will be seen as one. However, if the above definition by Schumpeter was used as a guideline, the answer is probably ‘NO’.

Why? The core of the matter lies in what is so innovative about setting up another hot-dog stand which are in abundance in New York. On the contrary, if he is the first one to start a stand selling hot-dogs with Oriental Sweet and Sour sauce topping; he could be termed as an entrepreneur (even based on Schumpeter’s requirement) as he has done what others have not done before. In the context of entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation are key points in the whole scheme of things.

In this manner, by adding “innovative” features to a product or services and setting up a business based on these additional features to compete in the existing market, new entrants may be able to gain this competitive advantage over existing market players.

In the case of the hot-dog seller, it may be argued that his addition of Oriental Sweet and Sour sauce toppings may be seen as nondescript. This runs in contrary to some scholars’ definition of entrepreneurship as requiring quantum changes in the products/ services to be justified as being entrepreneurial (Bygrave, 1985; Bygrave & Hofer, 1991).

Consistent with creating new products for sale, someone who starts a business by providing a totally new way of serving his customers/ clients is considered to be entrepreneurial too. Though, it is often argued that there are no real new products or services in a case where one does not look to the past products and services for ideas for improvements. Thus, the notion of incremental improvements should be accepted as being innovative too.

Innovation in the business sense may not necessarily involve, in the physical sense, the introduction of a new product or service. It can be in the form of what is commonly known as creative imitations. For example, if an individual starts selling a product that is already common in his area or country, he will not be seen as being entrepreneurial. However, if he is the first to sell the same product in a virgin locale or to an untouched market segment, he will be seen as an entrepreneur in his own rights.

Take Muhammad Yunus, for example. Yunus became an entrepreneur when he started a micro-loan program for the poor villagers in a rural part of Bangladesh named Grameen, with only US$26. The loan was divided among 42 villagers to assist them to buy small items such as combs, scissors, needles and other necessities to start their own home businesses. In the past 22 years, Grameen Bank has grown with over $2 billion loans granted. It has now become a model for several micro-loan facilities.

>From the following example, Yunus created banking and lending facilities in Grameen specifically for the poor villagers. Banking and lending money activities are not new but Yunus was the first to provide such facilities in a rural part of Bangladesh and that is definitely innovation and risk-bearing on his part as a social entrepreneur. In short, innovation need not arise mainly from a new product or service but it could be an old product or service finding a new market for penetration.

An individual could be termed as an entrepreneur if he or she sells a product or service using new systems and/ or mediums of marketing, distribution or production methods as a basis for a new business venture. A good example will be Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, the successful Web-based bookstore. He was one of the first to sell books on a large scale using an online store and also patented the one-click system for online buying. Though selling books is not an innovation in itself, Jeff Bezos was innovative in the use of the Internet then as a viable marketing and sales channel for selling books.

Another example from the field of e-commerce is Stuart Skorman, the founder of Reel.com [http://Reel.com]. Reel.com [http://Reel.com] is essentially one of the first cyber movie store with a very large inventory of over a 100 000 videos. Though setting a movie store was revolutionary then, Reel.com [http://Reel.com] main distinction was being known as the first online store to expand by opening an offline store. The founder felt that by doing so, the online store could be an advertisement for the offline store and vice versa, thus strengthening this click and mortar business venture- an example of creativity and innovation applied in a profitable business context.

Conclusion:

This paper has started as an attempt to redefine the term of entrepreneurship but ended up ‘updating’ the wheel, based on the definition as proposed by Schumpeter. The paper expanded on this influential work by giving examples to illustrate what innovation in entrepreneurship was and hope that along the way, new insights were unearthed in the study of defining entrepreneurship.

In summary, the author hopes that this paper would further encourage the infusion of creative thinking and innovation within the educational system to nurture future entrepreneurs with a competitive edge. In the author’s view, the characteristics and capabilities to set up a new business venture based on doing things that have not done before should be encouraged. Innovation needs to be the cornerstone of entrepreneurship as opposed to the mere setting up of another new enterprise without implementing changes or adding features of improvements to the products and services provided and/ or its business processes.

Internet Marketing – The Honest Truth

Lies! I tell You. If you really think that you can make money without doing any work you need to just quit right now. Do not waste any more of your time or energy, because you need to realize that if you want to compete with everyone else out there who's earning money online you've got to put in at least enough effort to keep up.

Maybe you've just got to find that nice little niche to dominate, maybe you've got to create a product so good that you have JV partners lining up to build your customer list. There are a ton of ways for you to achieve success online but do not fool yourself, it's going to take some work.

It's going to take some effort to promote anything, and sometimes trial and error to get it to work. You can not expect too much or you will want to give up. It's best to just set a small goal for yourself as far as promotion goes. Like you're going to write 1-5 articles a day, everyday, and submit them.

If you're not a writer outsource the work, but whatever you do just be consistent. Promote one thing until you see results, there are a ton of things you can do with articles and rss feeds to build links to your articles. Just like I've added the feeds of the many places I've published articles to my blog.

If you're not sure where to start it can be good to pick up a guide. However information overload is a common problem for people trying to start out in Internet Marketing. It's really easy to fill your head with information instead of your website. This is the wrong move! Sure you've got to learn some things, but it's not that much. It's all about putting whatever content you have gotten out there and seeing what kind of results you can get. The worst thing that happens is you fail, and learn.

Life goes on, some things do not work out as you might have hoped. You need to be able to take defeat and move on with it as a lesson of what not to do. If you fail at least try and learn something from the experience.

Consistent effort will pay off, just set yourself a reasonable goal and stick to it! You'll see profits in no time! Enjoy Your Success!

Cheap Web Design: Choose It And Buy Your Peace of Mind

You had been wondering and getting apprehensive each time you realized you had very little or no experience with web design. It is the cheap web designers who can solve your problem. Taking help of internet to trace such designers can be very beneficial, a word of caution for you though- make proper enquiries and satisfy to the authenticity of their existence. Wherever you feel doubts or confusions, you should ask for few past references of satisfied customers. This way it will help you clear all doubts directly from their earlier customers.

Selecting the service providers will make sure that you get your designing needs fulfilled at reduced cost. Finding such designers would not be difficult with a massive competition all around where each service provider is well- known to charge their customers a very low price in return for services rendered by them. This way you can be sure of return to your investment.

Once you have selected cheap website design and seen it up and running, attracting good traffic, you should pay head to taking measures that can increase traffic flow towards your website. It is in this reference that link building and banner ads are very effective. Besides these two options, there is a third option, which is considered to be a sure shot way to find more business for your web. This would involve coming up with a good site. This will facilitate you in providing with greater details about your products and services.

It is advisable to include some of actual information that will make it more productive and meaningful for visitors to your site that is the result of selection of cheap website design. Having this will make the website more interesting and useful where visitors may even take print outs of the information that is contained in it. Having backdated and stale information is a strict ‘no no’. Keeping the information latest and current is seen by many experts as a prudent move that will ensure visitors can corroborate required information from other available means at their disposal. It will also leave a positive impact on their minds where they will feel satisfied and assured that your website is a genuine one.

A Guide To Great Sleep, Natural Aid Options And Helpful Gadgets

Are you looking to get a great sleep. Natural aid products can help you finally get the rest you need for the entire night? The good news is that when you use remedies to sleep, natural aid products will not give you the side effects that you can get from prescription sleeping pills. In fact, you can get very ill from the side effects of sleeping pills if you are not careful.

The fact is that you do not have to put anything in your body if you do not want to nowadays. There are plenty of remedies that are natural. Sleep aid gadgets do not have any side effects and fall into the natural aids and remedies category and there are many products on the market that can help you get the rest you need.

To Wear During Sleep: Natural Aid Options

There are a number of products to wear that help sleep. Natural aid gadgets that you wear can come in the form of masks that block out both light and all sounds. Look for one that has a thin comfortable elastic strap that won’t slip around. It should also completely muffle the ears and eyes without feeling too heavy. They should be light weight, breathable, durable and flexible. Ones that fit to your head with a Velcro strap are the best.

If someone’s snoring is keeping you up suggest they wear a chin strap or “snore clips” which are anti-snoring devices that clip on the nose.

Music To Induce Sleep: Natural Aid Options

There are all kinds of gadgets on the market that play music or tones intended to put you to sleep. There are white noise machines that play ocean surf, rain or bubbling brook sounds that can help you fall asleep. You can also get other forms of sound products to help sleep. Natural aid can come in the form of a clock that has a function called gradual sunset. Gradual sunset is a light on the clock that gets dimmer and dimmer signifying it is time for you to fall asleep.

Of course there are many subliminal CDs and also music of recorded affirmations and nature sounds that are widely available and that are used by millions to get to sleep every night. You can get self-hypnosis CDs that can help you mesmerize yourself into a state of bliss.

Bio Feedback for Insomnia

Nowadays you can get small hand-held computers that can help treat insomnia by recording your sleep patterns and helping you develop a regular sleep pattern. These types of devices set your bedtime and prompt you to get out of bed if you are not sleeping. It then automatically adjusts your bed time for you so that you get a good night’s sleep.

Using biofeedback devices is only effective if you remember to turn the devices on in the first place. They are usually the size of a small cell phone and a bit expensive at $100 each.

If you are having difficulty getting adequate sleep, natural aid can be a really successful option. If you have any questions or queries then you should always consult your doctor before using one. This is especially true if you are feeling uncomfortable about using a remedy to sleep, natural aid or herbal supplement..