Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Entrepreneur - A Shining By Product?

Look amidst the fallout of the recent global economic crisis and you will see the shape of the business landscape is changing.

As the larger private sector corporations gradually disappear from the business radar, relinquishing many of once secure, reliable employment they have left in their wake a remarkable by product.

I’m talking of course about the Entrepreneur. I read recently that more new businesses were started in 2010 than at any other time during the last 14 years, and there is nothing to say that trend didn’t follow suit throughout 2011 as more and more people utilised their own money, in most cases redundancy pay to set themselves up in business.

Is this a case of individuals showing true entrepreneurial spirit or is it just something that has had to be done out of necessity in a rapidly declining employment marketplace?

If it really is entrepreneurial spirit it begs the question what defines an entrepreneur?

Now be careful, the very word is exotic to the extreme, conjuring glamorous but sometimes artificial imagery of wealth, success and revered inventory eminence.

A quick search on the internet will tell you that the term entrepreneur was first coined by 19th century economists, most notably Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Say who defined an entrepreneur as "one who undertakes an enterprise, especially a contractor, acting as intermediatory between capital and labour"

Alternatively a more contemporary definition would be ‘a person who has possession of a new enterprise, venture or idea and is accountable for the inherent risks and the outcome’.

Either way in my view if you have taken a personal risk on a new business venture, whether it be an existing or new idea, product or service offering you have without doubt displayed true entrepreneurial qualities.

No longer is this ‘club’ exclusive to the Gates, Bransons, Jobs and Sugars of the world, we can all claim our membership. However, beware the pitfalls for they are plentiful!

The global economy needs its entrepreneurs, it is without question that new business ventures, ideas and technology are essential to future economic growth, but please don’t underestimate the challenge or indeed the associated risks.

Being a true entrepreneur is not something that should be taken lightly. You are a beacon that shines bright in darker times. But remember, it’s not just about the conception, the idea and the spark but about sustainability too.

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