Characteristics of an Entrepreneur in Business or Socio-Economic Development

“The key ingredient is to get off your butt, and do something. It’s easy. There are many people with ideas. But few people who act now. Tomorrow is not the best time. Not tomorrow, but today. Entrepreneurship is about being a doer and not a dreamer. Nolan BushnellChuck E. Cheese’s and Atari founders

This is what entrepreneurship is about. To be a successful entrepreneur, you must have “fire in your belly” and the desire to see your business ideas become reality. Peter Drucker said that entrepreneurship is “a systemic innovation, which is the purposeful and organised search for change, and it’s the systematic analysis and evaluation of the opportunities such changes might present for economic or social innovation.” It’s the ability to create and build something useful and profitable from virtually nothing. A more broad definition of entrepreneurship is the attitude that seeks out challenging opportunities, takes calculated risks, and reaps the rewards in the establishment of a profitable venture.

There are many roles associated with entrepreneurship. The majority of these roles are focused on socio-economic growth. These are the main roles of an entrepreneur.

Entrepreneur as Risk-Taker.

Richard Cantillon explains that entrepreneurship involves taking calculated steps to make a profit or lose while taking risks. He says that an entrepreneur must be innovative, risk-taking, forward-looking, and efficient alert. Two types of risk are involved in the role of entrepreneur; measured and unseen. But, a successful entrepreneur has the ability to see and accept unmeasured risk in his business and turn them into opportunities for growth.

Entrepreneur as Innovator.

Entrepreneurship plays a significant role in the acquisition of knowledge that is not currently in use and in setting up new functions and forms of production to create, market, and produce new and innovative products. Joseph Schumpeter made the point that innovation does not necessarily mean it must be completely new. Entrepreneurs are able to use existing knowledge in new ways that can be used in production. An entrepreneur must not only be an inventor but also possess the potential to make inventions profitable for commercial exploitation.

The Entrepreneur as a Leader

This is one of the main roles of entrepreneurship. Alfred Marshall states that entrepreneurs must be “natural leaders of men who can select assistants wisely, but also exercise general control over all aspects of the business and maintain order and unity.” He must be open to new ways of doing business that are cost-effective. He should have the ability to lead the business and the workforce towards a better socioeconomic situation.

Entrepreneur as Restorer or Perceiver.

John Bates Clark sees entrepreneurship as the process of maintaining coordination, which helps in restoring the socio-economic system to an effective equilibrium. Entrepreneurs identify lucrative opportunities and risk, which helps them drive the market to equilibrium. This is done through a thorough “discovery process”. Entrepreneurship is about being able to see the lucrative business opportunities. A successful entrepreneur must have a high level of perception.


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