The word ‘entrepreneur’ was derived from French words ‘entre’, which stands for ‘between’ and ‘prendre’, which means ‘to take’. The word was originally tagged to people who take on risk between the buyers and sellers or start a new venture (Barringer and Ireland, 2006). However, in the contemporary business, the essence of the entrepreneurial behaviour is identifying opportunities and putting useful ideas into practice. Therefore entrepreneurship can be defined as the process by which individuals pursue opportunities without regards to resources they currently control (Barringer and Ireland, 2006, p5).
In recent times entrepreneurship has attracted a lot of attention and is seen as an attractive career path, which has resulted into a barrage of literature and research into the subject of entrepreneurial behaviour (Papers4you.com, 2006). This is evident in the fact that Amazon.com holds nearly 5,800 books that deal with one or the other aspect of entrepreneurial behaviour (Barringer and Ireland, 2006). However, most of the literature is repetitive in nature describing the same personal qualities of passion for business, tenacity despite failure, execution intelligence etc. This coupled with a flurry of women entrepreneurs like Anita Roddick of the Body shop sometimes ends in a debate about women being better equipped with the qualities of being an entrepreneur. On the other hand, it is increasingly becoming apparent that while opening a business is easy, the real challenge is to keep the business open. This is evident in recent statistics provided by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) suggesting that 20% of the new firms in the US failed in the first year itself (Barringer and Ireland, 2006).
However, the significance of entrepreneurial activities to economic development is immense as the fundamental requirement for an entrepreneurial start up is a new and innovative business idea (Papers4you.com, 2006). Schumpeter was the first one to recognise that new technologies and products developed by the entrepreneurs will over the time make current technologies obsolete, terming is as ‘creative destruction’ (Welsch, 2005). The whole entrepreneurial process goes through a few common steps vis-à-vis deciding to become an entrepreneur, developing a successful business idea by doing a feasibility analysis, industry analysis and coming up with an effective business model. After a business model has been drafted the next step would be to move from an idea to an entrepreneurial firm, which would include assembling firms initial management team, get a sound financial back and writing a business plan which would help draw the finances. The last and the final step would be to manage the firm to ensure sustained growth (Barringer and Ireland, 2006).
Entrepreneurship is hence a long journey through the steps mentioned above and requires skill and qualities to execute them successfully. However the belief that ‘entrepreneurs are born, not made’ is a myth and a through knowledge of the field would enable a smoother journey.
Barringer, B and Ireland, R. (2006). ‘Entrepreneurship: Successfully launching new ventures’. Prentice Hall, New Jersey.
Welsch, H. (2005). ‘Entrepreneurship: the war ahead’. Routledge, London.
Papers For You (2006) ” P/B/604. Theories on entrepreneurial behaviour”, Available from http://www.coursework4you.co.uk/sprtbus34.htm [18/06/2006]
Papers For You (2006) ” P/B/423. What are the origins of entrepreneurial behaviour?”, Available from http://www.coursework4you.co.uk/sprtbus34.htm [17/06/2006]
Copyright 2006 Verena Veneeva. Professional Writer working for http://www.coursework4you.co.uk
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