Entrepreneur

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An entrepreneur (a loanword from French) is a person who undertakes and operates a new enterprise or venture and assumes some accountability for the inherent risks. In the context of the creation of for-profit enterprises, entrepreneur is often synonymous with founder.

Most commonly, the term entrepreneur applies to someone who establishes a new entity to offer a new or existing product or service into a new or existing market, whether for a profit or not-for-profit outcome.

Business entrepreneurs often have strong beliefs about a market opportunity and are willing to accept a high level of personal, professional or financial risk to pursue that opportunity. Business entrepreneurs are often highly regarded in U.S. culture as critical components of its capitalistic society.

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[edit] Definition of entrepreneur

  • An entrepreneur is a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, esp. a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.
  • An employer of productive labor; contractor.
  • Is the one to deal with or initiate as an entrepreneur.

[edit] Role of entrepreneur in an organization

An entrepreneur is someone who organizes a system. He is the person who creates and/or sells a product or service in order to gain profit. However, there is a general sense that entrepreneurship involves the establishment of a new venture while adopting some of the risk and being ready for failure. There is no general definition for the word, as it has been used in a large variety of ways. Some scholars of entrepreneurship, such as Prof. W. Long (citation) have tried to develop a specific definition by studying the evolution of the word's usage "encyclopedia"

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[edit] Entrepreneur as a risk bearer

An entrepreneur is an agent who buys factors of production at certain prices in order to combine them into a product with a view to selling it at uncertain prices in future. Uncertainty is defined as a risk, which cannot be insured against and is incalculable. There is a distinction between ordinary risk and uncertainty. A risk can be reduced through the insurance principle, where the distribution of the outcome in a group of instances is known. On the contrary, uncertainty is a risk, which cannot be calculated. The entrepreneur, according to Knight, is the economic functionary who undertakes such responsibility of uncertainty, which by its very nature cannot be insured, or capitalized or salaried to. Mark Casson has extended this notion to characterize entrepreneurs as decision makers who improvise solutions to problems which cannot be solved by routine alone.

[edit] Entrepreneur as an organizer

An entrepreneur is one who combines the land of one, labor of another and the capital of yet another, and, thus, produces a product.

By selling the product in the market, he pays interest on capital, rent on land and wages to laborers and what remains is his or her profit.

[edit] Entrepreneur as a leader

Scholar R. B. Reich (citation) considers leadership, management ability, and team-building as essential qualities of an entrepreneur.

Entrepreneur is sometimes mistakenly equated with "opportunist". An entrepreneur may be considered one who creates an opportunity rather than merely exploits it, though that distinction is difficult to make precise.

[edit] Supply vs Demand Theories

Business academics have two classes of theories of how people become entrepreneurs, called supply and demand theories, after Economics. In the supply theory, entrepreneurs arise as they are born, with personality traits which drive them to become entrepreneurs. In the demand theory, anyone could be recruited by circumstance or opportunity to become an entrepreneur.

Several research studies have shown that entrepreneurs are convinced that they can command their own destinies. Behaviorial scientists express this by saying that entrepreneurs perceive the "locus of control" to be within themselves. It is this self-belief which stimulates the entrepreneur, according to supply-side theorists.

A more generally held theory is that entrepreneurs emerge from the population on demand, from the combination of opportunities and people well-positioned to take advantage of them. The entrepreneur may perceive that they are among the few to recognize or be able to solve a problem. In this view, one studies on one side the distribution of information available to would-be entrepreneurs (see Austrian School economics) and on the other, how environmental factors (access to capital, competition, etc.) change the rate of a society's production of entrepreneurs.

[edit] Personality Characteristics

John G. Burch[Business Horizons, September 1986] lists traits typical of entrepreneurs:

  • A desire to achieve: The push to conquer problems, and give birth to a successful venture.
  • Hard work: It is often suggested that many entrepreneurs are workaholics.
  • Desire to work for themselves: Entrepreneurs like to work for themselves rather than working for an organization or any other individual. They may work for someone to gain the knowledge of product or service that they may want to produce.
  • Nurturing quality: Willing to take charge of, and watch over a venture until it can stand alone.
  • Acceptance of responsibility: Are morally, legally, and mentally accountable for their ventures. Some entrepreneurs may be driven more by altruism than by self-interest.
  • Reward orientation: Desire to achieve, work hard, and take responsibility, but also with a commensurate desire to be rewarded handsomely for their efforts; rewards can be in forms other than money, such as recognition and respect.
  • Optimism: Live by the philosophy that this is the best of times, and that anything is possible.
  • Orientation to excellence: Often desire to achieve something outstanding that they can be proud of.
  • Organization: Are good at bringing together the components (including people) of a venture.
  • Profit orientation: Want to make a profit; but the profit serves primarily as a meter to gauge their success and achievement.

[edit] Famous/Exemplary Entrepreneurs

Famous American and other entrepreneurs include:


Famous British entrepreneurs include: Richard Branson (travel and media), James Dyson (home appliances) and Alan Sugar (computers).

Famous French entrepreneurs include Francis Bouygues.

Famous German entrepreneurs include Werner von Siemens and Ferdinand von Zeppelin.

Famous Greek entrepreneurs include Stelios Haji-Ioannou.

Famous Swedish entreprneurs include Ingvar Kamprad (home furnishing).

Famous Indian entrepreneurs include Rajat Gupta,Vinod Khosla,Kanwal Rekhi and many more contributed to silicon valley's entrepreneur revolution.

Some distinguish business entrepreneurs as either "political entrepreneurs" or "market entrepreneurs."

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

[edit] References

  • Binks, M. and Vale, P. (1990). Entrepreneurship and Economic Change. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill.
  • Casson, M. (2005). 'Entrepreneurship and the theory of the firm'. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 58 (2) , 327-348
  • Hebert, R.F. and Link, A.N. (1988). The Entrepreneur: Mainstream Views and Radical Critiques. New York: Praeger, 2nd edition.
  • Knight FH (1921/61). Risk uncertainty and profit. Kelley, 2nd edition.
  • Maria T. Brouwer (2002). 'Weber, Schumpeter and Knight on entrepreneurship and economic development'. Journal of Evolutionary Economics, vol. 12(1-2), p. 83. Heidelberg.


[edit] Theories of the Firm

  • Long, W. (1983). The meaning of entrepreneurship. American Journal of Small Business, 8(2), 47-59. (c971086)
  • Outcalt, Charles, (2000). 'The Notion of Entrepreneurship: Historical and Emerging Issues'. Cellcee digest. Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership.
  • Reich, R. B. (1987, May/June). Entrepreneurship reconsidered: The team as hero. Harvard Business Review. (c96187)da:Iværksætter

de:Unternehmer es:Entrepreneur fr:Homme d'affaires hr:Poduzetnik nl:Ondernemer no:Gründer pl:Przedsiębiorca ru:Предприниматель sr:Предузетник sv:Entreprenör

[edit] Notes

For the computer game previously called Entrepreneur, see The Corporate Machine.

Entrepreneur

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