What is entrepreneurship?
If, for the moment we stick with hard definitions, entrepreneurship is the act of being an entrepreneur.
According to Entrepreneur.com, an entrepreneur is someone who organizes a business venture and assumes the risk for it.
When you distill it down to an academic definition, it sounds rather blasé. There could be nothing farther from the truth.
Entrepreneurship in its purest form is starting a new business, a new enterprise. This, for ages, has been the only meaning, but in the last decade, entrepreneurship also takes into account social and political activity.
What is Social Entrepreneurship?
The primary motivator for entrepreneurship is profit.
All the special skills and dynamics are used by the entrepreneur to create a venture that provides employment, profit and a return on investment for the stakeholders.
Social entrepreneurship uses the same tools that the entrepreneur possesses, his drive, skills, imagination etc., but focused on developing programs that have immediate positive returns on the society in which he lives. Social entrepreneurs are commonly found within the not-for-profit sector and as a volunteer effort.
What is Strategic Entrepreneurship?
The Journal of Management December 2003 vol. 29 no. 6 963-989 suggests that strategic entrepreneurship is a unique, distinctive construct through which firms are able to create wealth.
They argue that SE involves the simultaneous activities of seeking opportunities and advantages that will result in superior performance.
What is Business Entrepreneurship?
It is simply entrepreneurship practiced in and for business. Dr. Peter F. Drucker considers innovation and entrepreneurship to be one of the keys in promoting well being in a society.
The common denominator amongst all forms of entrepreneurship is an innovative approach to problem solving, the energy and grit to face the pitfalls that lie ahead and the tenacious devotion to the vision.
When asked, “what is the definition of entrepreneurship”, we now have a comprehensive answer.
Basically it is a skill, or rather a set of skills that are in the possession of some, but not all, and can be applied to a host of challenges. The premise is, an entrepreneur can use his skills for profit, for strategic study in government or in providing direction in solving one or more social woes.
So, what is an entrepreneurship and how best can that which makes an entrepreneur, be used to solve the many ills that we are faced with.
First, it is best if we attempt to define the ills. In a true business sense, we are faced with a government that appears to be adrift, we are faced with an economy that is slowly going backwards instead of forwards and we do not have enough small businesses starting up.
Couple all of this, and more, with the outsourcing of employment and the actual loss of main stream industry and we are close to seeing the basic truths.
To define our social ills all we have to do is look around us. High unemployment, massive consumer debt, a housing crisis, sub-par education, discrimination, substance abuse and other personality disorders are the core issues.
If we use the skills and disciplines of the entrepreneur, many, but not all, of these ills, both business and social can be tackled.
What is a Entrepreneurship Mindset?
The most pronounced asset of an entrepreneur is drive. Say what you may, when an entrepreneur gets an idea in his claws, it is very hard to pry it loose. His inbuilt commitment, his unwavering belief in success will eventually end in success.
To be able to state this as a fact, I rely on my own experiences and observations.
Many years ago I was given the challenge by the corporation I worked for to build a subsidiary in South Africa. This was during the days of Apartheid.
During the development phase, I was appalled at the lack of mechanical skills of the majority black population.
I once witnessed a worker turning both the nut and the bolt in the same direction, wondering why he was getting nowhere. Once I got the operation running as smooth as could be expected, I started to think of my recent experiences, asking myself what I might be able to do to have some impact, no matter how small, on the future of the majority peoples.
Reflecting on the nonexistent mechanical skills, I decided to make a change. I contacted a local Rotary Club and suggested we build a small technical “school” in Soweto, a notorious township of Johannesburg.
I pledged the materials; the bricks and mortar and the Rotarians pledged their labor. With the assistance of the township council we were given a small plot of land on which we built our school. The school was staffed by master mechanics from my operation, which I dispatched for weekly lessons.
This, in my mind answers the question, what is a entrepreneurship mindset?
The corporation I worked for had a major investor, The California State Teachers Association pension fund. One day, out of the blue, they announced that any company they invested in that had exposure in South Africa that their stock would immediately be disposed of.
Their move was mimicked quickly by other large institutional investors. Overnight, companies of significance began their withdrawal from the country. I received an urgent call from my Chairman instructing me to wrap up and leave the country as well.
Little did he know of my involvement with our little school. I quickly told him of what we had done, and dashed off a host of pictures to him back in the States. He approached the investor with our story, and as educators they immediately told us to stay.
They told the chairman that they would not sell our stock, that they would buy more. This is but a simple example of what is strategic entrepreneurship and how it works.
Nothing spectacular, just applying the same skills that are used in creating wealth to the creation of a social solution. There is no doubt that if the tenets of entrepreneurship were to be applied to our ills; unemployment, lowering of educational standards, discrimination, religious intolerance etc.
That this world in which we live can be turned around.
All the hand wringing in the world will not get the job done, it requires a dedication and an attitude of “don’t take your eye off the ball” to get the world moving again.