You are on page 1of 7

Entrepreneurship Entrepreneurship, the heart of any market economy and the driving force to economic development is attracting special

public interest. It is defined as the ability to create and build something creative act. Essentially entrepreneurship involves a whole range of aptitudes like innovativeness; capacity to take risks and forecast prospects of an enterprise; and to be proactive. Definition: Entrepreneur An entrepreneur is usually defined as an individual who is instrumental in the conception and the implementation of an enterprise. (The term is derived from the French word entreprendre - to undertake.). In this process the entrepreneur fulfills a number of functions which can be summarized as the managing-coordinating, innovation, and risk-taking functions. The entrepreneur, who wants to try entrepreneurship can be

anyone who wants to exercise the deep, dark canyons of uncertainty and ambiguity; and who wants to walk the breathtaking high lands of success (Timmons 1977: 32). The latter two functions in particular characterize the behavior of entrepreneurs. Innovation implies doing things that are out of the ordinary by finding new opportunities. The risking-taking function draws on the entrepreneur's ability to deal with uncertainty and ambiguity; it concerns his or her willingness to take economic and psychological risks. Sharma and Chrisman (1999:12) identified two clusters of thought on the meaning of entrepreneurship. One group focused on the characteristics

of entrepreneurship e.g. innovation, growth, uniqueness while other group focused on the outcomes of entrepreneurship e.g. the creation of values. Although the efforts to create purposeful focused change in an enterprises economic potential derives the practice of systematic innovation which forms the very foundation of entrepreneurship, there is more to entrepreneurship than systematic innovation, e.g. strategy (Drucker 1998:145). Entrepreneurship defines an entrepreneurial venture as one that constantly seeks growth, innovation and has strategic objectives. Filion (1997:1) is of the opinion that the confusion surrounding the definition of entrepreneur was perhaps not as great as thought because similarities in the perception of the entrepreneur emerge within each discipline, e.g. economists associated entrepreneurs with innovation, whereas behaviorists concentrated on the creative and intuitive

characteristics of entrepreneurs. Outcalt (2000:1) concludes that to varying degree three traits have been included in the definition of entrepreneurship: Uncertainty and risk Complimentary management competence, and Creative opportunism The value of entrepreneurship is currently recognized through concepts like creativity, innovation and opportunity development in a dynamic environment. As a result it is also formally accepted that entrepreneurial activity, is the key to innovation, increased productivity and more effective competition in the market environment (Antonites 2003:49).

Various Perspectives on Entrepreneurship The term entrepreneurship has historically referred to the efforts of an individual who takes risks in creating business enterprise. More recently entrepreneurship has been conceptualized as a process that can occur in organizations of all types and sizes. Kaufmann and Dant (1998:5) in a landmark study categorized the definition of entrepreneurship as having to do with the following perspectives: Traits Processes Behavioral, or Activities

Personality Traits Perspective: In this perspective, the entrepreneur is assumed to be a particular personality type. The point of much entrepreneurship research has been to enumerate a set of characteristics describing the entity known as the entrepreneur. Examples of concepts investigated, are fundamental change, innovative, flexible, dynamic risk taking, creative, alertness, need for achievement, ambition (Kaufmann and Dant 1998:6). An entrepreneur is an individual who undertakes uncertain investments and possesses an unusually low level of uncertainty aversion. (Kaufmann and Dant 1998:7).

Entrepreneurial attitudes and behavior also includes openness to new information and people, motivation, making independent and self-directed decision, the ability to see opportunities in rapidly changing and uncertain environment, persistence, the motivation to achieve, technical know-how, personal integrity, taking ownership and being accountable, the capacity to manage and organize as well as specific categories of cultural characteristics. (Johnson 2001:137). Process Perspective: Two broad dimensions of the entrepreneurial process are as under: Opportunity recognition and information search, and Resource acquisition and business strategies

Definitions (Kaufmann and Dant 1998:9) using the process perspective are as under: Entrepreneurship is the creation of a new enterprise Entrepreneurship is the creation of new organizations Entrepreneurs introduce new combinations of the factors of production that, when combined with credit, break into the state equilibrium of the circular flow of economic life and raise it to a new level Entrepreneurship is the process of extracting profits from new, unique and valuable combinations of resources in an uncertain and ambiguous environment. The integration of the key dimensions of the entrepreneurship process has resulted in an inter-actionist perspective, providing a framework for examining the ways in which an entrepreneurs personal attributes interact

with other variables to ultimately affect the organizations actions and performance. (Kickul and Gundry 2002:87) Behavioral Perspective: Shapiro (1983:85) defined an entrepreneurial activity as an activity with the objective to change the system, by increasing the productivity of the system, decreasing the cost of part of the system, producing accrual of personal wealth and/or producing an increase of social values. He included the following assessment measures: The magnitude of the attempted change The success of the attempt The cost of the attempt, and The risk of the attempt

Gartner (1985:699) listed the following six common behaviors of entrepreneurs: Locating a business opportunity Accumulating resources Marketing products and services Producing the product Building an organization, and Responding to the environment (government and society). An entrepreneurs personal characteristics The individuals personal environment The relevant business environment The specific business idea, and

The decision to behave entrepreneurially is influenced by:

The goals of the entrepreneur (Naffziger, Horsnby & Kurarko 1994:32)

In the behavioral perspective, the model of Covin-Slevin (1991:16) integrates important constructs and focuses on the nature of entrepreneurial behavior, the locus of entrepreneurship and the link between entrepreneurial posture and firm performance. Activities Perspective: Definitions emphasizing the activities perspective (Kaufmann & Dant 1998:9) are as under: Entrepreneurship is the purposeful activity to initiate, maintain and develop a profit-oriented business An entrepreneur performs one or more of the following activities: o connect different markets o meets/overcomes market deficiencies o create and manages time-binding implicit or explicit contractual arrangements and inputtransforming organizational structures, and o supplies inputs/resources lacking in the

marketplace Entrepreneurs perceive profit opportunities and initiate actions to fill currently unsatisfied needs or to do more efficiently what is already being done Entrepreneurs are residual claimants with operational control of the organization.


Timmons, Jeffry A., New Venture creation. 2nd. Ed. 1977 IRWIN, Homewood Illinois 60430.