Entrepreneurship: What does it REALLY mean?

Introduction:

In a world where ideas drive economies, it is no wonder that innovation and entrepreneurship are often seen as inseparable bedfellows. The governments around the world are starting to realize that in order to sustain progress and improve a country’s economy, the people have to be encouraged and trained to think out-of-the-box and be constantly developing innovative products and services. The once feasible ways of doing business are no longer guarantees for future economic success!

In response to this inevitable change, some governments are rethinking the way the young are educated by infusing creative thinking and innovation in their nation’s educational curriculum. In the same vein, they are putting much emphasis on the need to train future entrepreneurs through infusing entrepreneurship components within the educational system, especially at the tertiary level.

Some countries have taken this initiative to a higher level by introducing entrepreneurship education at elementary schools and encouraging them to be future entrepreneurs when they are of age. In a series of survey funded by Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, it was found that nearly seven out of 10 youths (aged 14-19) were interested in becoming entrepreneurs.

Being an entrepreneur is now the choice of the new generation as compared to the preferred career choices of yesteryears such as being a doctor, lawyer or a fighter pilot. In a recent visit to the bustling city of Shanghai in China, an informal survey was carried out among Chinese youths by the author. The results of the survey showed that being an entrepreneur, especially in the field of computer and e-commerce, is perceived as a ‘cool’ career and is an aspiration for many Chinese youths Prior to the ‘opening up’ of modern China, being an entrepreneur was perceived as the outcome of one’s inability to hold a good government job and those who dared to venture, were often scorned at by their peers. Times have indeed changed.

With this change in mindset and the relative knowledge that entrepreneurs bring forth increased job creations, the awareness and academic studies of entrepreneurship have also heightened. In many tertiary institutes, many courses of entrepreneurship and innovation are being developed and offered to cater to the increasing demand. The term “entrepreneurship” has also evolved with numerous variations. The proliferation of jargons such as netpreneur, biotechpreneur, technopreneur and multipreneur are coined to keep up with the ever-changing times and business conditions that surround us.

In view of these changes, it is important that the definition of entrepreneurship be refined or redefined to enable its application in this 21st century. To put it succinctly, “Good science has to begin with good definitions (Bygrave & Hofer, 1991, p13).” Without the proper definition, it will be laborious for policymakers to develop successful programs to inculcate entrepreneurial qualities in their people and organizations within their country.

The paper will provide a summary of the definitions of entrepreneurship provided by scholars in this subject area. The author will also expand on one of the definitions by Joseph Schumpeter to create a better understanding of the definition of the term “entrepreneurship” as applied in today’s business world.

Entrepreneurship through the Years:

It was discovered that the term ‘entrepreneurship’ could be found from the French verb ‘entreprende’ in the twelfth century though the meaning may not be that applicable today. This meaning of the word then was to do something without any link to economic profits, which is the antithesis of what entrepreneurship is all about today. It was only in the early 1700′s, when French economist, Richard Cantillon, described an entrepreneur as one who bears risks by buying at certain prices and selling at uncertain prices (Barreto, 1989, Casson 1982) which is probably closer to the term as applied today.

In the 1776 thought-provoking book ‘The Wealth of Nations’, Adam Smith explained clearly that it was not the benevolence of the baker but self-interest that motivated him to provide bread. From Smith’s standpoint, entrepreneurs were the economic agents who transformed demand into supply for profits.

In 1848, the famous economist John Stuart Mill described entrepreneurship as the founding of a private enterprise. This encompassed the risk takers, the decision makers, and the individuals who desire wealth by managing limited resources to create new business ventures.

One of the definitions that the author feels best exemplifies entrepreneurship was coined by Joseph Schumpeter (1934). He stated that the entrepreneur is one who applies “innovation” within the context of the business to satisfy unfulfilled market demand (Liebenstein, 1995). In elaboration, he saw an entrepreneur as an innovator who implements change within markets through the carrying out of new combinations. The carrying out of new combinations can take several forms:

The introduction of a new good or standard of quality;

  • The introduction of a novel method of production;
  • The opening of a new market;
  • The acquisition of a new source of new materials supply; and
  • The carrying out of the new organization in any industry.

Though the term ‘innovation’ has different meanings to different people, several writers tended to see “innovation” in the form of entrepreneurship as one not of incremental change but quantum change in the new business start-ups and the goods/services that they provide (egs, Bygrave, 1995; Bygrave & Hofer, 1991).

In the view of Drucker (1985), he perceived entrepreneurship as the creation of a new organization, regardless of its ability to sustain itself, let alone make a profit. The notion of an individual who starts a new business venture would be sufficient for him/her to be labeled as an entrepreneur. It is this characteristic that distinguishes entrepreneurship from the routine management tasks of allocating resources in an already established business organization. Though the definition tends to be somewhat simplistic in nature, it firmly attaches the nature of entrepreneurial action with risk-taking and the bearing of uncertainty by the individual (Swoboda, 1983)

In a Delphi study, Gartner (1990) found eight themes expressed by the participants that constitute the nature of entrepreneurship. They were the entrepreneur, innovation, organization creation, creating value, profit or non-profit, growth, uniqueness, and the owner-manager. The themes could be seen as a derivative and expansion of Schumpter’s earlier concept.

Expanding on Schumpeter’s Definition:

After digesting the numerous definitions of entrepreneurship, one would tend to see a strong link between these two terms: entrepreneurship and innovation. In retrospect, most of the definitions tended to be, to some extent, a re-work and expansion of Schumpeter’s definition of entrepreneurship (which is that of innovation being applied in a business context).

As defining the term of ‘innovation’ is highly debatable and would merit a paper on its own, the author has thus, for convenience, summarised the definition of innovation. Innovation can be perceived simply as the transformation of creative ideas into useful applications by combining resources in new or unusual ways to provide value to society for or improved products, technology, or services.

In the author’s opinion, the difficulties of defining “innovation” could be the reason for the quandary one finds in attempting to arrive at a clear-cut definition of the term ” Entrepreneurship”.

Take for example, if someone starts another run-of-the-mill hot dog stand in the streets of New York, will he termed as an entrepreneur? According to Drucker’s definition, he will be seen as one. However, if the above definition by Schumpeter was used as a guideline, the answer is probably ‘NO’.

Why? The core of the matter lies in what is so innovative about setting up another hot-dog stand which are in abundance in New York. On the contrary, if he is the first one to start a stand selling hot-dogs with Oriental Sweet and Sour sauce topping; he could be termed as an entrepreneur (even based on Schumpeter’s requirement) as he has done what others have not done before. In the context of entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation are key points in the whole scheme of things.

In this manner, by adding “innovative” features to a product or services and setting up a business based on these additional features to compete in the existing market, new entrants may be able to gain this competitive advantage over existing market players.

In the case of the hot-dog seller, it may be argued that his addition of Oriental Sweet and Sour sauce toppings may be seen as nondescript. This runs in contrary to some scholars’ definition of entrepreneurship as requiring quantum changes in the products/ services to be justified as being entrepreneurial (Bygrave, 1985; Bygrave & Hofer, 1991).

Consistent with creating new products for sale, someone who starts a business by providing a totally new way of serving his customers/ clients is considered to be entrepreneurial too. Though, it is often argued that there are no real new products or services in a case where one does not look to the past products and services for ideas for improvements. Thus, the notion of incremental improvements should be accepted as being innovative too.

Innovation in the business sense may not necessarily involve, in the physical sense, the introduction of a new product or service. It can be in the form of what is commonly known as creative imitations. For example, if an individual starts selling a product that is already common in his area or country, he will not be seen as being entrepreneurial. However, if he is the first to sell the same product in a virgin locale or to an untouched market segment, he will be seen as an entrepreneur in his own rights.

Take Muhammad Yunus, for example. Yunus became an entrepreneur when he started a micro-loan program for the poor villagers in a rural part of Bangladesh named Grameen, with only US$26. The loan was divided among 42 villagers to assist them to buy small items such as combs, scissors, needles and other necessities to start their own home businesses. In the past 22 years, Grameen Bank has grown with over $2 billion loans granted. It has now become a model for several micro-loan facilities.

>From the following example, Yunus created banking and lending facilities in Grameen specifically for the poor villagers. Banking and lending money activities are not new but Yunus was the first to provide such facilities in a rural part of Bangladesh and that is definitely innovation and risk-bearing on his part as a social entrepreneur. In short, innovation need not arise mainly from a new product or service but it could be an old product or service finding a new market for penetration.

An individual could be termed as an entrepreneur if he or she sells a product or service using new systems and/ or mediums of marketing, distribution or production methods as a basis for a new business venture. A good example will be Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, the successful Web-based bookstore. He was one of the first to sell books on a large scale using an online store and also patented the one-click system for online buying. Though selling books is not an innovation in itself, Jeff Bezos was innovative in the use of the Internet then as a viable marketing and sales channel for selling books.

Another example from the field of e-commerce is Stuart Skorman, the founder of Reel.com [http://Reel.com]. Reel.com [http://Reel.com] is essentially one of the first cyber movie store with a very large inventory of over a 100 000 videos. Though setting a movie store was revolutionary then, Reel.com [http://Reel.com] main distinction was being known as the first online store to expand by opening an offline store. The founder felt that by doing so, the online store could be an advertisement for the offline store and vice versa, thus strengthening this click and mortar business venture- an example of creativity and innovation applied in a profitable business context.

Conclusion:

This paper has started as an attempt to redefine the term of entrepreneurship but ended up ‘updating’ the wheel, based on the definition as proposed by Schumpeter. The paper expanded on this influential work by giving examples to illustrate what innovation in entrepreneurship was and hope that along the way, new insights were unearthed in the study of defining entrepreneurship.

In summary, the author hopes that this paper would further encourage the infusion of creative thinking and innovation within the educational system to nurture future entrepreneurs with a competitive edge. In the author’s view, the characteristics and capabilities to set up a new business venture based on doing things that have not done before should be encouraged. Innovation needs to be the cornerstone of entrepreneurship as opposed to the mere setting up of another new enterprise without implementing changes or adding features of improvements to the products and services provided and/ or its business processes.

Acne Medicine

Is acne making your social life hell? Is everyone giving you their valuable advice on how to get rid of acne? Have you tried and tested everything in the market without any success? Its time to do some research and find more about the products available and the effect they have on your skin. Acne is a very personal issue and any medication you should be personalized according to your individual habits. Here is important that you find out a few things like the type of your skin. If you have oily skin then you should use gel based products where as your skin is dry then you should use an acne cream. If your skin is sensitive then you should avoid too strong products or your situation may worsen.

The main cause of acne, unlike popular belief is not dirt or dust where as it is either genetic or caused due hormonal changes like puberty. Acne can strike both boys and girls depending upon their genetic make up. The washing washing face all the time may not be the solution rather washing two to three times a day with a mild cleanser may serve the purpose.
You can choose from natural or medicated medicines. Natural medicines are made of extracts of plants and naturally occurring substances. They are generally a blend of ingredients like Vitamin E, grape seed oil, calendula, aloe vera or witch hazel and essential oils. Although even natural medication may be strong and it is a fact that should be kept in mind by people of sensitive skin.

Medicated medicines contain chemicals that dry up the pimple while acting as exfoliate. The chemicals used most commonly are benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. The higher the percentage of chemical used, the stronger is the product. Higher concentration may harm your skin since it is important to choose wisely while applying any cream – be it medicated or natural.

Medication may be short term or prolonged dependent upon your condition. But no matter what you use it is important to alert oneself in case of any reaction or allergies that a medicine may cause if it does not suit your skin. Using medicines without proper supervision may have adverse effect and may cost you much more time and money if permanent damage occurs. Here is best advised to be careful while using any kind of medication.

Uses And Features Of Price Computing Scales

Price computing scales design all those scales that are normally available with an LCD display, but have an additional capability of converting units to price. As is evident for this description, price computing scales are useful for weighing by traders: fruits, vegetables, and other grocery items; meat and butcher shops; bakery items like cake and biscuits, ice cream sellers, hardware etc. A trader just needs to feed in the price per unit rate as many times as the market changes. Each time he will get readings for different items with their price. For the convenience of the customers Dual display LCD screens are also available with one in front for the counter attendant and the other at the back for the customer to see. Since most price computing scales are used in trade they are considered legal, if they have been approved by NTEP or any other regulatory body in your area.

The types of price computing scales vary according to features; you may be looking for 15 lb, 30 lb, or 60 lb. Capacity which can be calculated by one scale for fruits and vegetable weighing. Small sizes that save space and have a battery powered operation facilitating portability are also in demand as fruit sellers on carts or vendors need to move it from time to time. Deli shops, meat shops, candy counters or cheese shops with limited counter space may find compact design very useful.

Price computing scales is most desirable for the cost conscious retailer who wants to be honest in his dealings, since precision in weight reading and accuracy in price conversion is a matter of integrity for them. Electronic load cells with a digital display make sure that these shop owners are satisfied. Out of all scales available in the market the better ones are easy to install and operate with easy cleaning and minimum maintenance requirements. The more attractive ones have a rugged housing, sleek profile and small footprint with some additional features like

1. Raised keys with a key beeper

2. Battery operated with auto sleep and shut off options for power saving

3. High resolution to weigh small objects and give increments like 0.01 lb or 0.005 lb divisions

4. High grade polymer surface with stainless steel pan

5. Price computing function by count (number) of objects

6. Large memory storage up to 25 PLU's

7. Price accumulation at the end of grocery purchase by one customer.

8. Tare function to enable reset of display to zero after adding object each time to a loaded pan.

9. LCD displays with large numbers and back lit displays

Price computing scales like all others need to be bought with platform size and capacity in mind according to the type, size and weight of object you plan to put in it. Minimum and maximum weight requirements must be kept in mind to allow for your full range of products to be weighed by one scale. Finally accuracy in reading and durability of scales for use in harsh environments are factors that should drive the purchase decision.

Cheap Web Design: Choose It And Buy Your Peace of Mind

You had been wondering and getting apprehensive each time you realized you had very little or no experience with web design. It is the cheap web designers who can solve your problem. Taking help of internet to trace such designers can be very beneficial, a word of caution for you though- make proper enquiries and satisfy to the authenticity of their existence. Wherever you feel doubts or confusions, you should ask for few past references of satisfied customers. This way it will help you clear all doubts directly from their earlier customers.

Selecting the service providers will make sure that you get your designing needs fulfilled at reduced cost. Finding such designers would not be difficult with a massive competition all around where each service provider is well- known to charge their customers a very low price in return for services rendered by them. This way you can be sure of return to your investment.

Once you have selected cheap website design and seen it up and running, attracting good traffic, you should pay head to taking measures that can increase traffic flow towards your website. It is in this reference that link building and banner ads are very effective. Besides these two options, there is a third option, which is considered to be a sure shot way to find more business for your web. This would involve coming up with a good site. This will facilitate you in providing with greater details about your products and services.

It is advisable to include some of actual information that will make it more productive and meaningful for visitors to your site that is the result of selection of cheap website design. Having this will make the website more interesting and useful where visitors may even take print outs of the information that is contained in it. Having backdated and stale information is a strict ‘no no’. Keeping the information latest and current is seen by many experts as a prudent move that will ensure visitors can corroborate required information from other available means at their disposal. It will also leave a positive impact on their minds where they will feel satisfied and assured that your website is a genuine one.