What is Entrepreneurship?

Hammad Siddiqui

My friend – Hammad Siddiqui from Pakistan, always keeps the pressure on me for writing a new blog. Almost every other day I receive an email from him announcing his new blog and in between the lines I can see his smirking face asking me, “if I can do it why can’t you”.  I am a regular reader (and admirer) of his blogs. A few days ago, he sent me his video on ‘What is Entrepreneurship?’ and asked me to share it with you.  I watch the video with interest and agree that entrepreneurs turn crazy ideas into profit making, they build networks to make money, and they have an ability to look at things from a new perspective because they have an on- going quest. I would like to add following important perspectives from practical and theoretical realms:

  • The first thing which distinguishes an entrepreneur from others is taking an initiative. According to Nolan Bushnell, (founder of ATARI and Chuck E. Cheese) “The critical ingredient is …doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now…The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer”. Or in Robert Baron’s words, “it occurs whenever, wherever and however individuals take concrete action to convert their ideas and dreams about “something better” into reality – not only by opening up new businesses but an entrepreneur can be a teacher, who develops a new approach of teaching, which is better than the present techniques; an entrepreneur can be a doctor, who develops effective ways of identifying the patients and of intervening to reduce the magnitude of their endless problems. Therefore, entrepreneurship is the application of human creativity, ingenuity, knowledge, skills, and energy for developing something new and better.
  • Another element for being an entrepreneur, according to Professor Howard Stevenson (HBS) is the ability to “pursue the opportunity beyond the resources currently controlled”. An entrepreneur, look for the opportunities and act upon them, with confidence, resilience, conscientiousness, openness, and emotional stability and on his journey generates as well as mobilises (financial, human and social) resources.
  • Yes, entrepreneurship is based on creativity and innovation, but as legendry Steve Jobs once said, “Creative things have to sell to get acknowledged as such”. An entrepreneur is the one who has acumen to sell ones ideas, innovation, product and/or services to the right audience.
  • Entrepreneurship is the ability to cope up with the highs and lows, especially failures. It is “rising from the ashes” and to try once again. According to Robert Baron, it involves their ability to manage their own emotions, to recognise others’ emotions accurately, and to use them effectively to advance important activities and goals.
  • And last but not the least entrepreneurship is based on the perspective of effectuation, according to Professor Saras Sarasvathy. Entrepreneurs do not focus on predicting the future but, rather, put their efforts on creating it – by using the resources they have at their disposal.

I have traveled and taught in many countries around the world. I have found that the concept of entrepreneurship is independent to caste, creed, colour, country or culture. Entrepreneurs work on a unique philosophy and their culture, location or environment does not make any difference in the way they operate. Entrepreneurship happens – whenever, whereever and however, an individual takes concrete action to convert one’s ideas and dreams about “something better” into reality.

 

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