ENTREPRENEURSHIP SKILLS Definition of an Entrepreneur The definition of an entrepreneur presents a challenge. This is not because definitions are not available, but because there are so many. The management and economics literature is well served with suggested definition for the term ‘entrepreneur’. The problem arises because these definition rarely agree with other on the essential characteristic of the entrepreneurs. Economist have long recognized the importance of the entrepreneur, but even in this discipline, known for its rigour, the entrepreneur remain an elusive beast. The difficult lies not so much in giving entrepreneurs a role, but in giving a role that is distinct from that of ‘conventional’ employed managers. William Gartner (1990) undertook a detailed investigation of this matter he surveyed academicians, business leaders and politicians asking what they felt were a good definition of entrepreneurship. From the response ,he summarized ninety different attribute associated with the entrepreneur. These were not just variation on a theme but pairs of definition shared no common attribute at all. These word entrepreneur is derived from a French word ‘ entreprendre’ which means ‘to undertake’ i.e. individual who undertake the risk of new enterprise. The word entrepreneur therefore, first appeared in the French language in the beginning of the sixteenth centaury. The work was also applied to the leaders of military expedition. But ii was Richard Catillon, an Irishman living in French who first used the term entrepreneur to refer to economic activities. According to Cantillon : “ an entrepreneur is a person who buys factor services at certain prices with a view to selling its -product at uncertain prices. ”Thus to cantillon an ,entrepreneur is a bearer of risk which is non-insurable. Peter Kirby noted that the entrepreneur had a lot in common with the ‘Heffalump’ a character in A.A milne’s Winnie -the -poor, described as; A rather large and important animal. He has been hunted on by many individuals using various trapping devices but no one so far has succeeded I capturing him. All who claim to have caught sight of him report that he is enormous but disagree on his particulars . Burns (1991 )goes as far as commenting that it would appear that the whole of the western world is in the middle of a love affair with entrepreneurs.moreover,they are presented as economic heroes (Cannon ,1991), combining the ability to innovate and challenge the established equilibrium of economy and society while in the process of recreating it. 1
A description approach toward definition is presented by Richard Branson of Virgin Management Limited (Anderson, 1995) in Morrison 1998 as: I am often asked what it is to be an ‘entrepreneur and there is no simple answer. It is clear that successful entrepreneurs are vital for a health, vibrant and competitive economy. If you look around you, most of the largest companies have their foundation in one or two individual who have the determination to turn a
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