Business Studies

Meaning of Entrepreneurship

In recent times, entrepreneurship has become an important concept in Nigeria especially among policy makers and the academia who are concerned with the economic development of Nigeria. It is now a compulsory course for our students in the tertiary institutions. This is because the government has realized that it can no longer cope with the developmental stride required by the country in providing adequate goods and services and employment for the people. It is now believed that entrepreneurship will bring out the developmental strides necessary to meet the needs of the people.

Entrepreneurship is the process of creating, developing and actualizing ideas through the establishment of business enterprise that provides for the needs of the people. It is the process of creating a business enterprise capable of producing new business, products or renovating old ones, for monetary rewards or personal satisfaction.

Definition of important concepts in entrepreneurship –

  1. Business: A business is any economic activity performed to produce goods or services that provide satisfaction for the consumers.
  2. Enterprise: An enterprise is a business or concern set up by an individual, group of people or even a government for providing goods and services for a purpose. An enterprise may be (i) private (ii) public or (iii) voluntary agency enterprise.
  • Private enterprise: a private enterprise is a business enterprise which is set up by an individual or a group of people for producing goods and services for the purpose of making profits and providing employment for the people. Examples include poultry farms, bakery, modern interstate transport system etc., others in the country are: Gobacom, Dangote sugar/salt/refineries etc.
  • Public enterprise: a public enterprise is a venture or organization set up by either local, state or federal government for the provision of essential social services for the people. Examples include the government educational institutions across the country, Water Corporation, Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) etc.
  • Voluntary agency enterprise: these are non-governmental agencies (NGO) set up by willing individuals, religious groups and people with common ideals to provide social and welfare amenities for the needs of the society. Membership of such organizations are voluntary and their establishments are not for making profit but for the provision of social and welfare services for the people. Such voluntary agencies enterprise include: Nigeria’s Girls Guide, The Boy’s Scout of Nigeria, The Nigerian Red Cross, Educational-Aid Global (Edu-Aid) etc.

Who is an entrepreneur?

In recent years the media have glamorised the challenge of starting and growing a business. A quick search on Google will display many books by entrepreneurs and other “business experts” describing “how they made it”, “my first million” etc. Prime-time television shows such as Next Titan, Dragons Den, etc. have proved hugely popular by showcasing the challenges faced in setting up a business. Entrepreneurs such as Aliko Dangote, Mike Adenuga, Femi Otedola have earned enormous fortunes and provide inspiration for the next generation of budding business leaders.

Entrepreneurs play an important role in society. They make a major contribution to economic activity. Imagine how many jobs are created by the thousands of new businesses that are set up every year and by the small businesses that prosper and take on more staff.

Not surprisingly, much research has been done to examine the personality and other characteristics of successful entrepreneurs to see if there is a proven method or route to success. You will find many lists of “what is takes to be an entrepreneur”, but they tend to say the same things.

So here is a summary of the key findings! Key characteristics of successful entrepreneurs Successful entrepreneurs tend to have one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Passionate about their product or service and about getting things right for the customer
  • Visionary – they have faith in what they are trying to do. They tend to not get too bogged down in the fine detail of day-to-day business
  • Energetic and driven – prepared to work consistently long hours, especially in the early stages
  • Self-starting and decisive – they don’t wait for others to take decisions. Entrepreneurs tend to take the initiative, spotting opportunities early and taking decisions quickly
  • Calculated risk-takers – not reckless; they are prepared to take a risk in order to maximise the rewards
  • Multitasker – able to take on more than one role (product development, selling, recruitment)
  • Resilient and determined – able to handle problems and overcome hurdles. Setting up a business is difficult and time-consuming
  • Focused – sets clear goals and self-imposed high standards
  • Results-orientated – take pleasure from achieving targets and setting the bar higher. Entrepreneurs tend to set clear objectives for their business which then feed into relevant business planning
  • Persuasive – entrepreneurs are good at bringing other people and businesses “along with the idea”; persuading suppliers to supply a new business, or an employee to leave a current job and join the start-up
  • Leadership – an entrepreneur leads his or her own business (often working alone in the early stages). As the business develops, the skills of leading others become even more important
  • GOD-Factor – not to be laughed at! Every business needs some favour from GOD – e.g. being in the right place at the right time. But remember the advice of a well-known golfer – “the harder I practice, the better favoured I get”

The important thing to remember about the list above is that an entrepreneur is unlikely to possess all these characteristics! Anyone who starts a business has strengths and weaknesses. However, the savvy entrepreneur recognises where his/her weaknesses lie and takes steps to address them (e.g. recruit someone with the right skills).

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