The concept of an entrepreneur is refined when principles and terms from a business, managerial, and personal perspective are considered. In almost all of the definitions of entrepreneurship, there is agreement that we are talking about a kind of behavior that includes:
- Initiative taking,
- The organizing and reorganizing of social and economic mechanisms to turn resources and situations to practical account and
- Acceptance of risk or failure.
To an economist, an entrepreneur is one who brings resources, labor, materials, and other assets into combinations that make their value greater than before, and also one who introduces changes, innovations, and a new order.
WHAT IS ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT?
Entrepreneurship development is concerned with the study of entrepreneurial behavior, the dynamics of business set-up, development and expansion of the enterprise. Entrepreneurship development (ED) refers to the process of enhancing entrepreneurial skills and knowledge through structured training and institution-building programs. It basically aims to enlarge the base of entrepreneurs in order to hasten the pace at which new ventures are created. This accelerates employment generation and economic development.
Entrepreneurship development focuses on the individual who wishes to start or expand a business. Small and medium enterprise (SME) development, on the other hand, it also focuses on developing the enterprise, whether or not it employs or is led by individuals who can be considered entrepreneurial. Furthermore, entrepreneurship development concentrates more on growth potential and innovation than SME development does. However, many of the lessons learned from experiences in both types of development are similar.
Entrepreneurship is promoted to help alleviate the unemployment problem, to overcome the problem of stagnation and to increase the competitiveness and growth of business and industries. Various attempts have been made to promote and develop entrepreneurship. By giving specific assistance to improve the competence of the entrepreneur and his enterprise so as to enhance his entrepreneurial objectives and accommodate more people to become entrepreneurs as well.
ACHIEVING SUSTAINABLE ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT
There is a pervasive tendency to equate entrepreneurship development (ED) with self-employment. Many self-employed individuals are indeed entrepreneurs, but the majority are not. Their businesses are simply micro enterprises in the informal sector, with little growth potential. The promotion of self-employment is a worthwhile objective, but it should not be confused with ED. Entrepreneurship development programs that in reality focus only on self-employment are less likely to succeed in creating economic growth.
Entrepreneurship development should be about helping people start and grow dynamic businesses that provide high value added. In determining the difference, it is useful to look at potential growth sectors or geographic areas and to explore criteria for selecting beneficiaries who are entrepreneurial. A needs assessment before program formulation is useful. An analysis of high-growth economic sectors enables more focused support to entrepreneurs in the most promising sectors of the economy.
Entrepreneurship development programs should be formulated to identify risks and determine the likelihood of success, identify the factors that affect the levels of entrepreneurship in a country. These factors include the perception of opportunity, degree of respect accorded to entrepreneurs, acceptance of wide disparities in income and a family environment which is oriented towards business.
Entrepreneurship development programs require a selection process that attempts to identify those target groups that have some of the key prerequisites for entrepreneurial success. While it can be argued that public funds should be spent on those who most need help, a selection process deploys limited resources where they are most effective, to the overall benefit of the community. Beneficiaries may be individuals and/or groups.
Entrepreneurial development programs may have to include support for;
- Entrepreneurship orientation and awareness.
- Development of the competencies (skills, experience and attitudes) necessary to recognize a market opportunity and organize the resources to meet it.
- Improvement of business performance for growth and competitiveness.
ECONOMIC ROLE OF THE ENTREPRENEUR
An entrepreneur is an individual who establishes a firm. Because of their importance in the modern economy, entrepreneurs should be at the heart of microeconomics. Entrepreneurs set up firms in response to economic incentives. In turn, firms create and operate markets that provide mechanisms of exchange for consumers. Firms also create and manage organizations that provide internal coordination and market interactions. The actions of entrepreneurs are the essential force that helps to drive the economy towards equilibrium.
Entrepreneurs are endogenous to the economy in the general theory of the firm. The entrepreneur is, before anything, a consumer. The consumer becomes an entrepreneur by choosing to establish a firm. Consumers bring to the task of entrepreneurship their judgment, knowledge, and technology. Consumers decide to become entrepreneurs based on their personal characteristics and their judgment of available market opportunities. Entrepreneurs act rationally and purposefully based on maximizing their net benefits.
INTERPERSONAL SKILLS OF AN ENTREPRENEUR
These could be referred to as social skills. They are a set of skills that people use when interacting and communicating with one another. These skills show up in countless interactions, from public speaking, group projects and team presentations, to professional writing (work e-mails, contracts etc.) and talking with friends and business associates. Here are a few tips on how to improve your interpersonal skills:
1. Be an active listener– Take the time to listen and show others that you’re listening and understand their perspective-even if it is not in line with yours.
2. Body language– I don’t know many people who enjoy being around unhappy individuals or those who appear to be unhappy in any given moment. Make sure to smile, stand tall, make eye contact and do your best to give off a good vibe. Your body language introduces you to those around you before you even open your mouth.
3. Empathize– Try putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and understand their perspective. This will allow you to better respond to their feelings and it will show them that you care.
4. Humour– It is not all about business. After all, we are all human. Be spontaneous and say something at an appropriate time that you think will make the other person smile. If they smile, you know they’re probably working on their interpersonal skills, too.
5. Optimism– Be optimistic, open minded and have an overall positive attitude. Positive attitudes are contagious to those around you. Everyone knows someone who has a negative attitude and you definitely do not want to be one of them.
6. Think on your feet– It is important to be sharp, pick up on, and react to both verbal and nonverbal cues of others.
7. Be patient– Not everyone processes and understand concepts in the same way. Take the time to make sure that whoever you’re talking to understands what you’re saying.
8. Practice- The more interactions you have with others, the more progress you’ll make.