Entrepreneurship Literature Review
1.1 The effects of entrepreneurship.
Most societies where technology advances rapidly and resources are abounding and where there’s economic improvement result from development of a trade market system by entrepreneurs. Early scholars of entrepreneurship such as Richard Cantillon have focused on the roles of entrepreneurs in any market and summarise these as the ‘ bearing of risk of buying at certain prices and selling at uncertain prices ‘. Jean Baptiste Say further developed the definition to encompass the role of bringing together the factors of production and defines the entrepreneur as the ‘protagonist of economic activity’. (Stevenson, 2007) in the form of jobs and wealth. Schumpeter deems entrepreneurship the process through which an economy, and by extension society progresses.
This socioeconomic progress is characterised by 5 main features. The most common of which is a society-wide adoption of a new artefact of value or ‘good’ or a higher quality artefact or good that already exists. The second feature is introduction of a new method or system of value creation such as new model of manufacturing. Another feature social economic improvement can be noted in emergence of new markets of consumers buying or paying for products and services that were previously not in demand before. The fourth is a new acquisition and control of a supply of raw materials and resources and lastly a re-organization of industries such as consolidating or deconstructing monopoly positions.
1.2 The Entrepreneurial Principles
The five features discussed would not come about without adherence to a set of aligned principles by the persons who drive the successful implementation. These are near universal set of principles among all successful enterprises. 1 Identify objectives and pursue it with unrelenting motivation. 2 Save capital investment money early and consistently. 3 Make the most of your current occupation to manifest future success.4 Practice and hone your skills and abilities that are key in your business 5 Locate existing problems and needs and proceed to design solutions or products and services that can be supplied at acceptable quality and price. 6 Maintain life-long learning to stay abreast of developments in your field and keep an open mind to new knowledge. 7 Do not ever give up and always execute your plans diligently.
These principles specify certain tasks that the entrepreneur will do in accordance with each principle. The entrepreneur will engage in finding needs and problems that confront a society and try to anticipate solutions sustainably and at low cost. Furthermore, he or she will understand the customer well enough to identify their wants and will command expertise to deliver what the customer will pay for. Therefore, the entrepreneur must consistently learn and develop himself into competencies vital in their field.
1.3 Who is an Entrepreneur?
Studies and research in entrepreneurship with a focus on the roles of the entrepreneur includes in scope the personal profile of individuals and enterprises that succeed, and a specific set of general behaviours can be attributed to almost all cases of wealth creation and economic boom. The person who habitually innovates and creates to build valuable products and services in order to pursue opportunities of solving some problem that exists will encounter many obstacles and risks and his personality traits will be key to succeed in this endeavour. The personality factors such as competitiveness, perseverance and steadfast determination to attain specific goals are key for growing businesses whereas creative problem-solving, risk taking, strong conscientiousness are very invaluable for the operating and thriving business. These personality traits are common among many success stories
Researchers report often that many succeeding entrepreneurs have similarities beyond the personal, there are parallels to be drawn in their upbringing, more often than not, the successful enterprises are driven by persons with very strong entrepreneurial heritage in their family background, and they also have a wide network of family and friends that they can exploit for their inventions as customers and partners. It is also common that most begin entrepreneurship early and accumulate skills that enable their success later on. They have modest educational qualifications but do rely more on extensive work experience and competence in their business, wherein they continuously see creative ideas through to the application of customer goods to exploit opportunities that exist as problems and needs.
The Personality-Environment Equilibrium.
Entrepreneurs that succeed make the best of their personality strengths and improve on their weaknesses in all practices. In a fashion analogous to the action-learning cycle, many success cases are driven by individuals who initiate change and revel in learning from the experience. Testing new ideas consistently and seeking opportunities that other people miss, finding resources such as experts and knowing how to use them optimally is a matter of personality engaging the environment and extracting what’s useful. Facing adversity and working toward solutions. Changing with the times, remaining flexible and learning all the time allows for better risk and strategic business management through customer feedback.
1.4 Entrepreneurial Skills of the Trade
As with any skill in the purview of a human as understood in the neuropsychological understanding of the structure and function of the human brain, proficiency improves with hours of practice and experienced mentorship, within the limits of each person’s motivations and personality traits. These skills have been reported more often associated with the persons who most effectively carry out the functions of an entrepreneur leader, according to (Lidow, 2014), there a five skills entrepreneurs need to succeed:
The entrepreneur who will know his capabilities must comprehend his own personality traits, motivations and technical skills. The personality traits are congenital but develop early in life; they are resultant of each person’s physiology such as body size and other health factors and psychology such as one’s DISC profile and the Brain Dominance Index of Hermann Gardner whole brain conceptualization of a person’s learning style. Other measures such as IQ and EQ are components of a person’s psychological profile. On the other hand, the motivations that often drive entrepreneurs include but are not limited to
• The desire to be one’s own boss and not work for anyone
• The desire to be rich
• Fear of starvation
• Fear of humiliation in the eyes of rivals and peers, or loved one.
These are the strongest motivations linked to the compulsion of an entrepreneur to make the selfless sacrifices to grow his enterprise. Lastly the entrepreneur needs to appreciate exactly his skills, which are not congenital and are learned abilities to perform prescribed tasks. He or she needs to understand his/her level of proficiency in each of them. The proficiency in these skills can be improved with practice and experienced mentorship.
2 Relationship Building
The entrepreneur must be able to build and sustain relationships for his enterprise to thrive and he/she must therefore understand the principles that build relationships on trust and interdependence. The win-win approach bears more fruit and is reportedly most favoured by successful enterprises. The deposits into a relationship such as courtesy, kindness, honesty and keeping promises bodes well for relationships and the contrary is true, discourtesy, dishonesty disrespect ignoring and threatening people are withdrawals and decrease trust and weaken relationships.
3 Motivating Others
This is key skill in order to motivate others into helping an entrepreneur to succeed. There are principles that may be adhered to in order to capitalize on others talents and input.in any organization of individuals, psychologist report that people feel and perform better when they feel autonomous and masterful with a purpose and it is imperative on the entrepreneur to create an environment and task objectives that enable their employees to
• Feel in control and in charge of their immediate environment and destiny
• Perceive themselves to be performing at the maximum of their abilities
• Find their work meaningful in personal terms to them.
4 Leading Change
Any enterprise is always in a state of change as it matures through the stages of maturity and must therefore be led in accordance with that reality. The central idea in this endeavour is to accept that nothing is or can ever be perfect. The entrepreneur must keep things moving and not dwell so much on trying to perfect one component of a job that nothing gets done, for example, this late assignment is a result of paralysis by perfectionism. The idea is to adhere as close as possible to the process depicted in figure 1.
Figure 1: The action learning process in entrepreneurship for change leadership
5 Good Enterprise Basics
The running of an enterprise requires its leader to understand how it works and what it needs from him/her during its stages of growing. There are four stages all enterprises have to complete to succeed, and the person in charge has the responsibility to ensure it succeeds through each stage and that he/she also matures with enterprise so as to avoid stunting the growth of the business by stubborn adherence to outdated leadership and attempting to skip stages in order to work on ideas that are not ready to be worked on yet. This often yields ill-considered projects and culture that breeds degeneration. These stages are
• Customer validation
• Operational validation
• Financial Validation
Different approaches will be required in each stage and it is the responsibility of the entrepreneur to respond appropriately to all challenges and requirements in each stage.
1.5 Entrepreneurship in Practice
According to Grant Cardone (Cardone, 2010), there are four responses during economic contractions that indicate the behaviours and practices of entrepreneurs and business people.
• The Cheerleader Response – refuse to participate
The refusal of participants in a market to not partake in thinking actions and behaviours of those that find contraction favourable, it is characterised by avoiding negative sentiment focusing on optimistic attitudes without necessarily reorganizing themselves in a way that takes economic advantage of the environment
• The Old-School Response – nothing’s changed, let’s get back to basics
This is a principle of many entrepreneurs to never forget their roots and founding principles during times of contraction. This is an approach of damage limitation and survival and does not pursue success because it refuses to acknowledge the true reality of the environment and thus cannot identify lucrative opportunities. Merely going back to basics doesn’t position enterprises favourably
• The quitter Response – There’s nothing that can be done until the storm fades
This response is associated with picking low hanging fruit and easy business. They have not a strong work ethic to accumulate wealth and always choose to wait until the worst subsides before getting active in the economy again.
• Advance and Conquer – maximising investments while all around are retreating
This is the challenging response that acknowledges the difference in the market and appreciates the new difficulty in doing business. This response requires a strong work ethic and mind-set and actions to identify opportunities that exist and exploiting them fully despite the many negative sentiments from those negatively affected by market changes.
2 Practical Application
2.1 My entrepreneurial acumen
1. Personality Traits and Skills
A personality trait test I took on www. Psychcentral.com reveals the information depicted in figure 2 about my personality, which I believe to be quite accurate, surprisingly. I’m heartened by the task accomplishment and concentration aspects of it as I believe creative problem solving is not too far out of my reach and bodes well for my entrepreneurial journey, contingent to some improvements on my skills and conscientiousness.
Fig 2: Psychometric results on psychcentral.com
I’m consistently engaged in cognitive burdens of figuring out the process of creating all the basic needs of my days, food, security and clothing. I’m looking to meet many needs in the society and in collaboration, earn income from each of these solutions. I’m interested primarily in Chemical Engineering, Bioinformatics and biotechnology, my skills as a lab analyst and academic experience as a tutor in courses in these fields has equipped me with a competent level proficiency in many techniques in chemical and biochemical laboratory operations.
My interests include materials science, agricultural engineering and other biotechnology operations, many of whom I believe I can participate in offering value in the health sector as an analyst service provider in disease diagnoses and other activities.
I am mainly motivated by the fear of starvation and being humiliated by not being able to be relied upon by my family and my girlfriend. And I have a strong but temporary urge to be rich. I have to make sure my rivals and foes don’t see me poor and begging hungry. Fr this, I have to be super successful and rich, with all the social status and respect that comes with it.
I believe many of the ideas that I have can be actioned into value producing activities, particularly hosting and providing revision hackathons for exam and test preparation. I’m willing to implement theories I have learned about learning to offer productivity work sessions that I can facilitate to help students make the most of their efforts in selected courses at undergraduate level.
2.2 Private Tutor Practice turning into a Hackathon Facilitator
My experience as a physics and chemistry tutor opened my eyes to the demand for undergraduate education and I believe I can help students organize their understanding and design work flow processes that can best approach the learning outcomes in these particular courses but not limited to them.
I have 5 years tutoring experience and have been in the 1st and 2nd year tutoring programme of the university I have seen many mistakes and misconceptions and I can guide the process to construct a firm and detailed understanding of all topics in courses such as those in the chemical engineering faculty (chemistry, chemical engineering thermodynamics) and the natural and agricultural sciences (biochemistry genetics biology) on the once off basis for exam and test preparation as well as weekly regular basis.
I’m anticipating a socio-constructive environment of collaboration and extensive engagement in academic work and other group work such as business meetings or strategy meetings that can benefit from a well experienced facilitator that can steer proceedings and guide their fruitful conclusions as wells as learning and engagement on the part of the group.
My students are interested in branded clothing that signifies their campus studies, for example actuarial science students looking to buy hoodies that have their faculty insignia. They need monthly groceries, pharmaceuticals and toiletries at affordable prices. There are other demands such as recreation and tourism that I believe can be linked with their academic programme from high school level.
The gamified learning experience calls for items such as rewards, badges and challenge that can be implemented in the day-to-day basis, that is participating in the gamified learning experience can have ramifications outside of the classroom where the rewards and badges can be useful to students in contexts outside of the academic environment and thus increase motivation and engagement in the process because the rewards can help the process of reflection learning.
2.3 Entrepreneurial Project
I’m looking to transform my practice from a private one on one tutorial to a social group engagement that embraces ideas of constructivism and gamification to maximise on social interactions and collaboration, increased game-based participation and motivation.
I’m changing my practice from a purely discussion based private consultation to a social and public event of collaboration and gamified workflow. In the hackathon, students work on a common goal and collaborate to bring parts together through constructionist philosophy of social engagement in activities such as writing e-books, creating solution references, live debates, and other academic, professional or commercial purposes.
Group Weekly Hackathon
In this event I will guide the action learning cycle in figure 1 in a variety of way. The creation of resources through which the students construct meaning about the previous week’s content. I will also provide an opportunity for students to reflect ion their learning by asking provocative questions and facilitating collaborative work from the group. I’m proposing a bottom-up approach to understanding topics under study fully by going through all the stages of building the knowledge. Furthermore, this event will be designed in the form of a game-based activity where students will get their intelligences tested and their effort collated to a shared goal.
Exam ; Test Hackathon
This even will be an illustration of the competencies students will need to display in the exam and test setting as a preparatory measure students take before their assessments. In this event, collaboration and participation will also be vital and will be harnessed through the game-based nature of the hackathon.
I don’t intend to have academic only events but I intend to host hackathons for writers, business associations, research groups and any work group that intends to increase productivity and reach specific objectives.
1. Cardone, G. (2010). If You’re not First You’re Last. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.
2. Lidow, D. (2014). Startup Leadership : How savvy entrepreneurs turn their ideas into succeful enterprises. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
3. Stevenson, H. H. (2007). A paradigm of entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurial management. Strategic Management Journal, 155–170.