Entrepreneurship and the Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship can be defined as an economic function in which an entrepreneur acts independently to carry out commercial activities for the purpose of earning a profit, gaining personal satisfaction, and receiving economic benefits.1 Entrepreneurship is a state of being in which effective utilization of resources leads to the creation of new businesses.2

It can be termed as a commercial activity in which a major focus is given to the identification, assessment, and exploitation of opportunities. Entrepreneurship is a social process in which an individual or a group of individuals, identify opportunities and reshape ideas into viable businesses, which have an impact on society and the economy.3 It includes creating and distributing value by converting ideas into usable products and services, through factors of production such as raw materials, labour, capital, technology, land, and entrepreneurship skills. Entrepreneurship is based on the pursuit of opportunity beyond resources controlled where “Pursuit” implies a relentless focus, “Opportunity” implies an offering that is novel in one or more ways and “Beyond resources controlled” implies that entrepreneurs must work around resource constraints when starting and growing a business.4

Entrepreneurs make efficient use of market opportunities to create something new, to provide products and services to consumers, and to “earn a living” against it. An entrepreneur is an individual that is responsible for organizing the means of production, in order to add value, while managing the risks of a business.5

A major task of an entrepreneur is to identify business opportunities and capitalize on them, with the principal purpose of earning profit and achieving business growth.6 Entrepreneurs are largely driven by their vision, level of motivation and risk tolerance. An entrepreneurs vision guides the direction in which they steer their business. Their level of motivation influences if they are able to remain committed and work diligently towards achieving their goals. Their level of risk tolerance informs how they approach the growth and scalability of their business.

1 Carlsson, Braunerhjelm, McKelvey, Olofsson, Persson and Ylinenpaa, (2013), 2 Gries and Naude (2011), 3 Berglund and Holmgren (2013), 4 Eisenmann (2013), 5 Kuratko and Hodgetts (2007), 6 Scarborough (2013)

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