What is Entrepreneurship?
What is entrepreneurship? For starters, it is defined as the extraction or creation of value from something existing either formally or informally. By “creating” value, we imply that it is something that does not exist elsewhere, or is not necessarily of the same kind or quality with what is being produced. With that definition in mind, entrepreneurship is often viewed as innovation, typically involving significant risk, beyond what is usually encountered in the startup of a new enterprise, which can also include other more intangible values such as social ones.
In some ways, what is entrepreneurship reveals the larger question of what is progress. Is progress only possible if and when the new product or technology is released into the market, or if it is made available to everyone who wants it? Can there be such a thing as the right time, the right place, or the right method for an entrepreneur to introduce or launch a new business enterprise? In some ways, the answer to these questions can be answered more precisely under the labels of culture, values, motivation, and venture capital.
Culture refers to the shared values and attitudes of a community or group, the nature of which determines the type of behavior most appropriate to that community. Take, for instance, a community with a strong educational system. Many entrepreneurs would agree that such communities are ideal places to be because they are vibrant, accepting, progressive, and eager to experiment. In contrast, a less progressive or less accepting community might have the opposite reaction. An accurate definition of what is entrepreneurship might then read: what is progress in a community where the values of the community and the entrepreneurs are opposite and where what is acceptable and what is not acceptable change frequently.
Values determine the way an individual or an organization conducts its business affairs. A value-system can consist of a number of basic convictions about what is good or bad, right or wrong, and the proper or improper way to conduct business. In the case of entrepreneurship, values related to what is entrepreneurship could include, but are not limited to, respect for property, workmanship, integrity, intellectual property, entrepreneurial spirit, innovation, risk-taking, teamwork, and freedom. In the case of a business, values related to what is entrepreneurship could include, but are not limited to, the ability to compete with others, providing services that people want or need, building relationships with customers, and sharing profits and gains with fellow entrepreneurs. These, and any other, values that a successful entrepreneur holds are what is entrepreneurship definition.
Motivation is the driving force that gets people to take action. Entrepreneurs have one thing in common, however. The drive to succeed in business is strong in some entrepreneurs and almost absent in others. Those who lack motivation, or who fail to apply sufficient effort in their entrepreneurial ventures are what is entrepreneurship definition lose sight of their goals, go back to reality, and choose to shut their businesses down rather than make good on their promise to themselves and others to build large, stable fortunes for themselves and their families. Entrepreneurial ventures require long term vision, planning, persistence, a sense of what is possible, and a willingness to take risks.
Intrapreneurship refers to the practice of working with a company that does not employ full-time employees. Many entrepreneurial ventures are started this way, but many also involve employees in some capacity. Whether or not you’re the primary owner, an entrepreneur, or you work for a company, what is entrepreneurship, really, isn’t just about entrepreneurship. It’s about the many facets of entrepreneurship, including business management and how it applies to you and your future.
Of course, what is entrepreneurship can be applied to a new business venture as well. For instance, if you’re starting up a small consulting firm, instead of hiring employees, you can use what is called an entrepreneur grant from the US Small Business Administration. This grant program helps to finance the start up costs of a consulting firm, and in return you will gain equity release, which is the ability to receive payments from profits. This money comes from your tax returns. Of course, this money is only available if you are starting a consulting firm, because many large corporations use these new technology grants to fund their start ups. The government realizes that new businesses need resources to get started, and they are willing to provide those resources through the grant programs.
In closing, what is entrepreneurship can mean different things to different people. To define entrepreneurship correctly means a combination of skills, interests, knowledge, and experience that you are bringing together in order to solve problems and create new opportunities. These new opportunities don’t come easily. You must take risks, create strategic plans, and evaluate potential opportunities to determine if they are worth pursuing.