Who Is An Entrepreneur?
An entrepreneur can be described as someone who creates value in the hope of making profits. This definition of entrepreneurship is acceptable in many schools of thought, however leaves out a segment of entrepreneurs- non-profit entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs.
Following that logic, we can define an entrepreneur as someone who sees a problem or a gap in society and works to create solutions to add value in exchange for personal and group gratification.
In answering the question; who is an entrepreneur? We must make sure to include entrepreneurs from different umbrellas of entrepreneurship.
What Is Entrepreneurship?
Entrepreneurship is the activity of identifying problems, building solutions for the problems, and sharing the solution with the target market. Solutions can be in the form of products, services, or both.
Entrepreneurship differs from entrepreneurs in that while entrepreneurs are people, entrepreneurship is the activity that entrepreneurs engage in.
Why Are Entrepreneurs Important?
Entrepreneurs Boost Economic Growth
One of the most important contributions that entrepreneurs make is that they boost economic growth. With their entrepreneurial activities, they are able to boost the core of trade- buying and selling. And with that, they boost the economy and increase the quality of life. It is for this singular reason that governments around the world create policies and strategies that encourage entrepreneurship. The biggest countries in the world by Gross Domestic Products and other parameters are countries that have a huge number of entrepreneurs driving their local economies, industries, and sectors.
Entrepreneurs Develop The Community
Most entrepreneurs around the world develop the host communities of their companies one way or the other. For one, communities where commerce thrives typically see more developments than communities without commercial outfits. Cities like Silicon Valley in the United States; Yaba in Nigeria, Beijing in China, and others are testament to the fact that entrepreneurs develop communities.
In another sense, some entrepreneurs intentionally support communities for rapid development. Many companies today engage in corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities where they identify needs in typically underserved and underprivileged communities and strive to stand in the gap. Entrepreneurs like Bill and Melinda Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jack Dorsey are a few of the many entrepreneurs around the world working hard to develop communities.
On the last note, social entrepreneurship is another way that entrepreneurs have been able to develop communities. As we covered in this post here, social entrepreneurs are people that identify issues and problems in society, then work to create solutions that help resolve these issues. Social entrepreneurs differ from other entrepreneurs in that their solutions are not created for the primary purpose of making profits.
Entrepreneurs Make Existing Products And Services Better By Introducing Competition.
It is a well-known fact that when organisations have autonomy over a sector or an industry, they usually slack when it comes to product innovation and bettering their processes. As a result, entrepreneurs innovate by making existing solutions better and looking for new ways to do things. This in term helps general productivity and helps economies grow rapidly.
A good example of how entrepreneurs innovate on existing products and services these days is by developing traditional solutions for the web using information technology. Fintech, Edtech, and Agritech are some ways entrepreneurs are innovating.
Entrepreneurs Provide New Job Opportunities In The Short And Long Term.
One of the most important roles that entrepreneurs play in society is that they provide new job opportunities both in the short term and the long term. It is common knowledge that the government alone cannot provide employment to meet the job needs of all of its citizens.
As a result, governments need to put strong policies in place that spur the development of entrepreneurship and encourage more people to take up entrepreneurship. Because, as entrepreneurs grow their businesses, they need more and more hands to join the team which ultimately results in more jobs for people in the community.
Entrepreneurial Activity Raises The Productivity Of Firms And Economies.
We already discussed how entrepreneurs are always on the lookout for new ways to get things done. In fact, one of the focuses of entrepreneurs in today’s world is to look for simpler ways of doing things. It is on the back of that that we have seen huge strides in artificial intelligence, data science, and automation. The world is moving very fast these days, and there is a genuine need to do things faster. With many entrepreneurs innovating with solutions that help people achieve more, productivity levels are being increased across the board, making sure that economies are also developing very rapidly
Entrepreneurship Promotes Research And Development
Again, this point follows because many entrepreneurs are obsessed with improving on already-existing solutions and products. To help them achieve their goals, they have to involve aggressively in research and development to first identify gaps in the market, and then to create solutions that will fill these gaps.
If you go to any of the top corporations today, they have an in-house research and development team that helps the corporation research the market, and they are continually obsessed with building new products and solutions.
What Is Entrepreneurship About?
A lot of people are attracted to entrepreneurship because they like the kind of lifestyles that successful entrepreneurs lead. But entrepreneurship is not about that. The glitz and glamour is a result of years, and sometimes, decades of hard work. So the question is; what is entrepreneurship about?
Here are a few things that are core about entrepreneurship:
Entrepreneurship Is About Passion
A core aspect of entrepreneurship is passion. It is simple- you are either passionate about the product/solution you are building or you will not make it. The most successful entrepreneurs in the world are people who had an idea, failed many times at creating it, but were passionate enough to stick to their guns, and finally had a breakthrough.
The story is told that Thomas Edison; a serial inventor and entrepreneur failed 1,000 times before eventually inventing the lightbulb. And that is just one case out of several. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos have all failed severally but were passionate enough to forge ahead.
Entrepreneurship Is About Flexibility
There are many times that you are going to make decisions that will not achieve the results that you project. So, what will you do in that situation? While it is important to have enough grit to pursue your goals even in the face of adversity, an entrepreneur must be flexible enough to know when to call the time on a particular project.
In another vein, because your solution is working today does not mean it will work tomorrow. As an entrepreneur, you must be flexible enough to adapt to the times. As the market is rapidly developing, you must also give consideration to finding new ways to make your product and services relevant in the market of the day as well as the future.
Entrepreneurship Is About Self-Motivation
There are some entrepreneurs that build a project and become successful off the bat and that is wonderful. But for the majority of entrepreneurs, you might stumble and fumble a few times before getting things right.
So what will you do in a situation where things are not working out as you hoped? Self-motivation is the key. Entrepreneurs are individuals that will travel the road uncharted by many, so you will feel lonely at times, but with the right dose of self-motivation, you should do just fine.
Entrepreneurship Is About Networking
Many successful entrepreneurs will be the first to tell you that your network is very important to your entrepreneurial journey. That is the reason most organisations around the world spend hundreds of thousands trying to network online, at events, and through other avenues. They understand that their network is a fine measurement of the kinds of connections that they have, and ultimately, the kinds of deals that they will be closing. Networking is a core part of entrepreneurship if you are aiming for success.
Entrepreneurship Means Constantly Building Knowledge
We already agreed that an entrepreneur must always be willing to adapt his business to the realities of the day as well as in readiness for the future. However, something we did not address was the question of how they will understand that the world is changing and that the future will be a different reality from the present.
For entrepreneurs to always be in the know, they need to be heavy consumers of knowledge. As an entrepreneur, whether you gather your knowledge by watching videos, reading books, or consuming content on social media is not important. What matters is the fact that you are chasing knowledge constantly. The phrase that says readers are leaders comes to mind when talking about entrepreneurship being a constant hunger for knowledge.
Entrepreneurship Is About Time Management
Entrepreneurship involves a lot of time management. At the beginning of your career as an entrepreneur, you will have time on your hands. But, as your business continues to grow, you will find free time a bit difficult. The onus is on you to try to manage and distribute your time in order of priority. That way, some parts of your business will not suffer.
Time management is also important in entrepreneurship because, without it, you might become stressed and ultimately sick. If you want to continue being in business, you have to stay healthy. So, manage your time properly.
Entrepreneurship Is About Money Management
It goes without saying that at the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey, you will not have as much money as you want to on your hands. And even when you start to make money, you will discover that your needs and the company’s needs will grow as well. As a result, you must learn how to allocate resources properly, and manage your money well.
Entrepreneurship Is About Mentorship
As you start out your journey to entrepreneurship, something that will help you greatly is if you have a business mentor. Mentors will give you strategic advice about how to go about your business, and pitfalls that you should avoid. The place of mentorship in entrepreneurship is hugely important. This is why many successful entrepreneurs spend good money on mentorship in many fields.
Many people look at entrepreneurship as a pathway to the good things in life. And while that mindset is not entirely wrong, that is not what entrepreneurship is about. Entrepreneurship is about a lot more. It is about mentorship, money management, time management, passion, flexibility, self-motivation, and a lot more.
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