Many industry observers have debated on the origin of entrepreneurship. The fact to note here is that most scholars who debate the origin of entrepreneurship are either Economists or Historians. The common forum accepts that the concept of ‘Entrepreneur’ is derived from the French concept entreprendre, which matches closely with the English concept of business conduct; in this sense – “to undertake”. From the business point of view, to undertake simply means to start a business.
The entrepreneurship theory has been changing throughout several decades of business growth and has received numerous definitions and characteristics from different scholars, who believe that some qualities are common among most entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship’s foundations are based on economics and other such disciplines such as History, Politics, Education, Culture, Experience, and Networking.
Schumpeter(Joseph Alois Schumpeter, who was an Austrian-born American Economist and Political Scientist) told that the coming together of various disparate theories forms a generalized set of entrepreneurship skills and guidelines. He then listed the characteristics of entrepreneurs as given below −
He concedes that although these features are not the only ones, but they do go a long way in explaining why some people become entrepreneurs while others do not.
There are many meanings of the term ‘entrepreneurship’. After attentively discussing all the available ones, we can conclude that entrepreneurship is a system of operating business in which opportunities existing within the scope of a market are exploited.
Self-employment necessitates that any available opportunities within the economic system should be utilized in the creation and functioning of new organizations. A potential entrepreneur should show the interest to seek out investment opportunities in the market, so that they can run the enterprise successfully based on the identifiable opportunities.
Thus, going through the above responsibilities of an entrepreneur, the term ‘entrepreneurship’ has been finally defined as a function which covers multiple functions such as −
Entrepreneurs are business people who can detect and sense the availability of business opportunities in any given scenario. They will then utilize these opportunities to create new products by employing new production methods in different markets. They will also function in different ways by using various resources who will give them profit.
It is important to note that although most entrepreneurial businesses start small, the owners of such businesses need not be small scale owners. They could in fact be big business owners, who first try and test the waters before investing big time in the business. Small business owners dread risk, but successful entrepreneurs are very innovative and know how to operate profitably in a business environment, even if the risk is very high.
In fact, innovation is the life blood of any kind of entrepreneurs; this is one of the tools that helps them gain an advantage over established players in the market. Entrepreneurs are, thus, defined as “individuals or groups of individuals who carry out entrepreneurship activities that are based on their innovative approaches to solving real-word problems”.
There are many possible situations where a potential entrepreneur doesn’t get a chance to establish or fund his or her own business and is forced to work in an organization. In this case they are referred to as ‘Intrepreneurs’ i.e. entrepreneurs within an organization. These individuals are also entrepreneurs because they don’t share the typical “employer employee” relationship with their bosses; instead, they operate just as collaborators and are treated as visionaries in the organization.
Sometimes, such individuals themselves aren’t aware of their talent and hidden skills. The organization needs to identify these talented people and then encourage these individuals to exercise their entrepreneurial abilities to the benefit of the organization otherwise such people eventually will get frustrated over the routine life and will leave the organization or start their own businesses to pursue their ideas.
An entrepreneur is a person who enters a venture through a startup model of business and tries to establish it. This is done while taking risks of bringing together the factors of production to address a cause and making a profit out of it at the same time.
An intrapreneur, on the other hand, will tend to work within an existing organization to pursue the exploitation of business opportunities, in the absence of available business capital, infrastructure or clear direction.
Just like entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs, we also have a “technopreneur”, who is an individual interested in bringing innovations thorough technology, and then using the same technology to build a successful business empire.
A technopreneur is first a technological innovator and then a businessman who wants to create self-employment and other employment opportunities through his technological innovations.