As we discuss the subject of entrepreneurship in a more in-depth manner, it is helpful to understand some basic terms. We are going to look at four classes of entrepreneurs:
The first is a general term that we use to talk about entrepreneurs
in our everyday conversation.
The other three are specific terms used to more accurately define
what type of entrepreneur we are discussing. Let’s start with the
Dictionary.com defines entrepreneur as “a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk”.
Section 2: The Entrepreneurial Life
Part 1: Entrepreneurs
Five things stand out in this definition.
1. It does not limit an entrepreneur to being only a man, a woman, an adult, a professional. It does not limit it by race or religion. Anyone can be an entrepreneur. This includes you!
2. There is an enterprise involved, usually a business, but not necessarily so. It could be a movement within a company, or a movement to change a particular aspect of society, or to create a mission that will bring about change in a religious context.
3. You will need management and organizational skills. You must learn how to be organized and how to manage your enterprise.
4. You will need initiative. Entrepreneurs don’t normally sit around and watch TV. They are up and doing.
5. You will face risk. Everything you will do has a risk attached to it. You had better become comfortable with living with a measure of risk at all times. There is no “security” as an entrepreneur—but the security of a regular job is also fading. Good entrepreneurs take carefully considered risks.
One might say that any small business owner is an entrepreneur. These are people who have decided that they don’t want to work in a bigger company so they decide to open their own business.
Watch the video “Illusions of an Entrepreneur Doomed to Fail” by Rich Schefren (3:03 minutes).
Just How Many Entrepreneurs Are Out There?
Let’s look at the number of businesses that exist in Canada, which has a population of nearly 35,000,000.
From this data, is it right to say that about 6.9% of Canadians are entrepreneurs? We can’t be exact with these numbers, but they are approximate. The reason is that the government does not have precise data on the actual number of business owners. Furthermore, it does not take into account the entrepreneurs who have started their businesses, but have not yet registered them. However, 7% would be a rough estimate. The interesting observation is that if you are an entrepreneur in Canada, you would be in the company of 2.4 million other entrepreneurs. You’re not alone. There are many others walking this path with you.
In comparison, the USA has nearly 314 million people and about 28 million businesses which is closer to 8.9% (http://www.census.gov/econ/smallbus.html). This percentage is roughly similar to Canada’s.
No matter where you live, you will find that your community abounds with entrepreneurs. In every place they will look different. They might be well-dressed business people who drive flashy cars; they might be the work-at-home singles or parents who love to set their own hours; and they might be someone who is just trying to survive selling a few items by the side of the road or on ebay.
What are the main characteristics of an entrepreneur?
Compare and contrast the advice in the following 4 videos, along with The Top 12 Entrepreneurial Qualities that are given on the next page. What are Steve Jobs, Seth Godin and Cameron Herold arguing for? What is their best advice?
According to Seth Godin,
1. What does the market reward?
2. What does Seth Godin say you’ve always asked for?
3. What are you actually (personally) asking for?
Watch “Steve Jobs’ Advice for Entrepreneurs” (1:09 minutes)
Watch “Seth Godin and the Entrepreneurial Revolution” (4:23 minutes)
Watch “Seth Godin Keynote Speech” (11:12 minutes)
Watch the Ted Talk--“Cameron Herold: Let’s raise kids to be entrepreneurs” (22:08 minutes)
Submit your answers in a Word document to your teacher.