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Entrepreneurial Traits, Skills and Abilities 5. The Entrepreneurial Mindset 6. Unit 3: The Entrepreneurial Process 7. Entrepreneurial Process 8.
Unit 4 Assignment Preparation IV. Unit 4: Your Entrepreneurial Potential 9. Unit 4 Assignment Delivery: Entrepreneurial Plan Course Wrap up and Reflection Ancillary Material Submit ancillary resource About the Book Learn about entrepreneurship and what makes entrepreneurs successful, all while developing your entrepreneurial skills. The ones that follow are by no means exhaustive, but represent the major concepts of personal and interpersonal circumstances 1.
The wife or husband can contribute capital for the start-up or expansion of a business. A key element of family businesses, and thus businesses of people that are married, is that the family provides cheap or free labour, below market rates, in order to suit the needs of a growing business. On the other hand, the income of the non-entrepreneurial spouse is often regarded as the safety net that will protect the family from financial problems in case the entrepreneurial activity suffers under temporary or long term problems.
Since entrepreneurial activity embodies stress, spouses may offer emotional support and help overcome frustration. Being married offers in many economies benefits regarding taxation. In general, entrepreneurs are older in age and older members of the society tend to be married. Of course, there are also some contradicting theories, of which the major one suggests that married couples with children will probably opt for guaranteed and stable income, rather than risky entrepreneurial opportunities.
In general, studies have demonstrated that there is a positive correlation between entrepreneurial activity and marital status. This is because they can set up their daily schedule taking into account specific restrictions of time, place and activity. Also, in certain societies, employer discrimination regarding health and disability might be that dominant in the market, that people suffering from illnesses or having visible disabilities might be excluded from it.
It is also notable that government policies especially in the European Union which aim at alleviating such discrimination, focus both on employer benefits when hiring disabled individuals and self-employment subsidies for people with adequate or specialised knowledge. On the other hand, it has been shown that self employment can be demanding in time and effort, and thus a growth oriented entrepreneurial activity might be the wrong choice for individuals that face physical or mental constraints.
Moreover, health problems and disabilities might force the individual to pause his or her career for extended time intervals and put significant amount of money in dealing with health issues associated with their condition. Self-employed people have to take care of themselves, while employees are taken care of the employer and the public social and health systems. Studies have not managed to demonstrate a specific correlation between ill health or disability and entrepreneurship.
An explanation might be that self employment and entrepreneurial activity, under these personal health circumstances, might be different among several industries and varying disabilities. The higher the age of an individual, the more likely he or she will have developed an adequate network of other individuals that will supply resources for the entrepreneurial activity. It is expected that as a person grows older, capital is accrued that can be used to finance and support a start up.
Such capital, both in the form of money as well as intangibles knowledge, experience, networks etc , comes from personal work, relation to other people and inheritance. Many entrepreneurs have been recorder to kick off their career as employees, and to switch to self employment later on.
In cases of mandatory retirement, early retirement schemes or downsizing, older people are keener on using self employment as a way out. Retired individuals might not want to stop working, for both personal and financial reasons. On the other hand, older individuals might be less risky and willing to pursuit entrepreneurial opportunities, than younger ones. Moreover, as high potential entrepreneurial activities require long hours and increase work related stress, older individuals might not be able to cope under such conditions.
So, several descriptive studies across the globe show that self employment and mainly start ups is situated under normal circumstances around the midlife of the workforce. Also, there appears to be a difference among the willingness to become self employed and actually becoming self employed.
Blanchflower, Oswald and Stutzer , identify that the interest in self employment decreases as age increases, as the actual self employed increase as age increases. However, a key issue regarding this approach to entrepreneurship is how one describes and measures experience, as it is not straight forward that experience is linked to age.
As far as experience is concerned, it has been identified that previous self employment experience even failure is positively correlated to the willingness to pursuit self employment later on in life. If one considers education as an investment, it is obvious that the more an individual invests in his or her education that more returns will be expected.
Although entrepreneurial activity might offer significant returns, these will probably come after several years of low income. On the other hand, well educated employees will probably start off their career with higher salaries and will experience the return on their investment much faster. However, better educated individuals will have better market information and will be able to identify business opportunities. Moreover, educated professionals and highly skilled craftsmen are more likely to be able to support a self employment activity, through the uniqueness of their learned skills.
However, it is not said that within formal education no matter how high the level the individual will receive the necessary knowledge to pursuit and manage an entrepreneurial venture. Hence, although many scientists develop new products through research within their education, they usually associate themselves with businesspeople in order to market the product.
It is also notable, that entrepreneurs from older times are rather different in education from the modern ones. Entrepreneurs that established their businesses sometime in the middle of the 20th century especially in Europe after World War II are sometimes not educated at all or have intense education regarding their craft. On the other hand, modern growth oriented entrepreneurs have invested time and effort in their education and also try to gain the necessary business knowledge, in order to run their business.
In general, studies display contradictory results and a direct relation between education and entrepreneurial activity is not identified. The findings appear to be industry specific. Apart from the societal value system, family is argued to offer role models and secondary experience to the children. Parents, grand parents and close relatives demonstrate through their life choices the effects and results of choices. Hence, the role of family in entrepreneurship appears to be crucial, in that it transfers from one generation to the other explicit experiences regarding work ethics and career choices.
So, if one could argue that entrepreneurship runs in the family, it is highly probable that the experience the parents made with self employment was positive and inspired the children, offering a promising and rewarding goal. On the other hand, negative entrepreneurial experience not necessarily finance related, but also possible negative effects on the family life and the individual health , might drive the children away from the self employment career option.
In general, self employed parents offer their children a broad spectrum of business management knowledge, capital management and the understanding of risk. This informal schooling might not even be planned, but incorporated in the family life through activities such as the Sunday family dinner. Moreover, if a business exists in the family that might be passed on to the next generation, children are more inclined to self employment and might strive to prove their ability to inherit the family business.
Finally, the existence of a successful business in the family, might secure the essential capital needed to start a new venture by the children. On the other hand, other governmental policies that include subsidies to business for employing people, attempt to reduce frictional unemployment. Hence, it becomes clear that unemployment rates are negatively correlated with entrepreneurial activity and this is why governments need to intervene.
It has been shown that being unemployed does not mean that the individual will pursuit a career in self employment, especially when the social system offers significant support to the unemployed and their families. Even within cities, some areas appear to be more entrepreneurial than others, wider geographical areas have more per capita self employed and some countries are more entrepreneurial than their neighbouring ones.
Over time, several answers have been offered to explain this phenomenon. Moreover, it is essential to differentiate between rural and urban areas, since in each of them different types of entrepreneurial activity are feasible, especially when one takes into consideration the population movement from rural to urban areas.
This is also supported by governmental subsidy policy, through which entrepreneurs in rural areas are entitled to more funds than their urban competitors, in order to retain human capital in such areas. Immigrants and ethnic groups within a society appear to behave differently in regard to venturing than the main culture of the host country would suggest. For many years ethnic groups have been forming minorities in the developed economies, such as the USA, Australia and Germany, and nowadays a new influx of immigrants is shaping a more diversified economic population in the rest of the western and developing countries.
Also, in most post-socialist economies of Eastern Europe and Asia, due to population movements and unclear turf dissemination, significant ethnic groups find themselves in now independent countries. Entrepreneurial theory assumes that immigrants and ethnic groups are attracted to entrepreneurial activity as a way to economically advance and avoid poverty Sanders and Nee, Also, it is widely suggested that immigrants and ethnic groups suffer under employment discrimination, both in form of social discrimination and in form of the inability to work legally many financial immigrants reside illegally in the country that hosts them.
As far as an indication is concerned on where the current situation is leading, one might look at the USA, where immigrants have been a key economic growth tool. In this country, ethnic groups that belong to non-black groups ï¿½ such as the Chinese, Pakistani, Greeks, Italians ï¿½ have self employment rates that exceed the average of the total USA population.
In countries that ethnic minorities have become an issue of importance recently, ethnic entrepreneurship takes mainly two forms. The first one is related to services and overall entrepreneurial activity that focuses on members of the ethnic group, such as food markets, restaurants, telecommunication, money transfer systems, leisure and entertainment, and other services.
The second form deals with jobs and activities that the members of the local workforce are not anymore willing to do. These jobs are usually related to manual activities, such as builders, farmers, cleaners etc. Also, specialised skills not found in the workforce of the host country, such as cooks or translators, become a competitive edge for immigrants.
Mainly because education in developing countries is considered a way out of poverty. Also, they have better access to ethnic resources and social networks.
Also, it is of common knowledge that women tend to earn less than their male counterparts for similar jobs. The same is valid for self employment. Fewer women are self employed and entrepreneurially active than males. So, female entrepreneurs are mainly focused on sales, personal, financial and other services. On the contrary, female entrepreneurs are not found in industries such as construction. In most developed economies, female self-employment is increasing rapidly and faster than male self employment.
It is suggested that this has both to do with societal acceptance of females as economic agents, as well as the fact that developed economies tend to focus on service sector activities, as they outsource more traditional ones. Hence, since female entrepreneurship is higher within the services sector, moving from production to services enhances their entrepreneurial potential, too.
Goffee and Scase published a research performed in the UK that looked into the key differences between female and male entrepreneurship. They suggest that there are two main influences on female entrepreneurship. Firstly, they refer to entrepreneurial ideals, that incorporate the role of women in the economy and which has been for many centuries a supportive role to the choices of their partner.
In this sense, women have been for centuries domestically active and only in the last years have been allowed social norms to earn money themselves. Secondly, female entrepreneurial propensity is affected by the extent to which women themselves adhere to conventional gender roles.
These two parameters become of special importance when imposed to different social and religious backgrounds. In this direction, it is also essential to note that child care and household activities are also related to females in modern societies and therefore affect both the extent and scope of female entrepreneurial activity. In cases of heavy household burden, self employment can be the solution for female workers who cannot be full time employed.
These factors differ from the preceding ones through the fact that they are driven by man. Decisions on economic development, industrial structure and government policy result from planned human activity, and directly affect the parameters discussed in the personal, family and social issues part.
However, apart from several theories, empirical findings do not allow us to draw any definite conclusions on the connection between overall economic development and any aspect of entrepreneurship.
It is important though to identify the three different ways in which economic development is facilitated. These are: 1. Growth of capital stock. Capital is one of the key elements of entrepreneurship, and when more capital is available it is assumed that entrepreneurial activity will be facilitated.
Technological progress. Technological progress is imported as well as endogenous to the entrepreneurial activity. New technology is some times adopted by the entrepreneur, while in other instances developed through the knowledge base that is established by past entrepreneurial activity. Endogenous increase of personal wealth. In the case that the entrepreneur or the worker will accumulate wealth from own work, it is expected that this wealth will be directed to new or further entrepreneurial activity.
Demand for different kind of education, skills and work force characteristics in general arises. Self employment and entrepreneurial activity is more prevalent in the service sector, mainly due to the low entry barriers and initial investment requirements.
So, manufacturing and industrial activity attracts the lowest rates of self employment. One major issue is the extent of employment protection. In terms of employment protection we refer to minimum wages policy and the ability of the employer to terminate contracts with employees. When there is no minimum wage policy and employees are not protected by law, it is highly possible that some will turn to self employment, since the opportunity cost is lower.
On the other hand, a strict minimum wage policy and employee protection law will push people towards employment. However, in this case employers are less willing to employ people, since costs are higher and not flexible, and might rely on extended working hours or part time employment to deal with increased demand periods. This is especially true for highly seasonal industries, such as tourism. Hence, strict minimum wage and employment protection policies are considered as barriers to entrepreneurial development.
Retirement policies, especially from the public sector, often lead people to self employment. This occurs partly for income reasons and partly from situations where retirement incentives to leave the service are given to young individuals. In such cases, partial retirement is a way of continuing work. If however, the welfare state is larger and pensioners can live optimally and according to their needs, self employment rates are lower.
Higher rates will make borrowing more expensive and slow down entrepreneurial activity, while lower ones will enhance capital investment. Also, higher rates will push people to saving money, rather than spending and, hence, businesses that offer non essential goods or services will experience a drop in sales. Several studies have shown a negative correlation between interest rates and self employment.
Moreover, when interest rates increase, less new businesses are established and firm deaths increase. In recent years, governments in Europe have been looking towards entrepreneurial activity in order to solve structural economic problems. In this direction, the EU has been offering incentives for firm creation and growth, firm networking, and research and development.
These initiatives have been focused on sectors that are different in each country and theoretically enhance the national competitive advantage. These policies are further supported by de-regulation initiatives in areas that have been governmental monopolies for many years, such as energy, telecommunication, transport etc.
More on the policies that support entrepreneurship will be discussed in the material prepared for the second part of this course. These more realistic and empirical models, might offer the opportunity to link lived experiences with the theoretical background offered above.
The understanding of this will offer the opportunity to move on to more in depth reading in the field of entrepreneurship and a more clear view of the forces that bring people to self employment and entrepreneurial activity.
In order to draw a real-life parallel of these theoretical approaches to entrepreneurship, the reader can find below a variety of statistical evidence on entrepreneurship. This evidence refers to the European Union and is part of the Eurobarometer on entrepreneurship published by the European Commission in It is highly advisable for anyone interested to explore such data and read the full report.
Can you give explain your answer by practically applying this theory to a well known local entrepreneur? In the previous part we discussed the theoretical background of entrepreneurship and many of the aspects that researchers have looked into regarding its complications. In order to offer a better understanding of entrepreneurship at this point, it is essential to briefly present the main elements of the entrepreneurial process. A more detailed and practical analysis will be discussed within the material of another Part of this course.
It needs the input of a variety of elements, in order to add value on the initial materials and deliver an output. In this sense, the entrepreneurial process is the mechanism by which the entrepreneur bridges the gap between the current situation and what is considered possible.
This is the way an entrepreneur brings about change and makes a difference in the market. As a result, even in small entrepreneurial projects, the entrepreneurial vision is the key element in exploiting innovation in order to produce value that is not solely financial.
Hence, the entrepreneur situates his venture within a process where tension escalates between the actual and the possible. This tension has three key dimensions: financial, personal and social. Firstly, entrepreneurship is an economic activity and is mainly concerned with creating stable, growth- oriented and profitable businesses.
These businesses need to secure financial resources, in order to survive within their competitive environment and to increase the value of the overall market by exploiting an opportunity. So, the first dimension relates to the value creating potential.
Secondly, the entrepreneur needs the potential to persist and achieve personal goals. In several occasions, the force behind the personal potential to achieve might not be the target, but the process. Thirdly, as the entrepreneur operates within a social context, there is both a positive and negative force towards the change he or she wants to drive.
Therefore, a degree of social responsibility is essential, in order to bridge the gap between the actual and the possible. The entrepreneur is the agent of change and the economic factor that adds value to the production chain through the exploitation of an opportunity. As numerous theories suggest, the entrepreneur combines a variety of other factors in order to increase his or her wealth.
These other factors apparently coexist in the business environment, but no other person has realised their combined value or has not managed to combine them properly. This is why the entrepreneurial process is not the same in every case. However, it is essential to identify three key elements that the entrepreneur needs to put together in order to deliver change and experience success.
This means that, in order to have an entrepreneurial process, opportunity, resources and organisation need to be co-existent with a person that will facilitate the overall process.
In some cases, the entrepreneur might be a group of people with different roles. Such groups could be family, friends or partners. Firstly, the entrepreneur needs to identify opportunity. A simple and straightforward definition of opportunity is that it is a gap left in the market. The opportunity lies within a variety of things that could either be absent from the market or that could be done in a different way. The concept behind the opportunity is the idea, so often referred to by successful entrepreneurs.
In order to be successful though, the other people in the market, suppliers and customers, need to understand and welcome this idea.
This is why one of the key attributes of the entrepreneur is managerial ability, which characterises the way he or she co-ordinates different people. Also, the entrepreneurial process usually suffers under limited resources and the inherent risk of something new in the market requires the best combination of what is at hand.
Otherwise, though the target might be reached, the business might experience problems related to capital and cash flow management. Hence, the type of leadership each entrepreneur uses in order to manage the business, affects directly its future.
Usually, charismatic leadership is needed to motivate employees and enhance trust as far as suppliers and customers are concerned. The scarcity of resources also forces entrepreneurs to work in networks and support each other in difficult times.
Thirdly, in order to realise the opportunity and materialise the idea, the entrepreneur must be in the position to acquire the necessary resources. Resources include money, people, knowledge and skills, and materials. Resources can be tangible and intangible, such as name, reputation and customer trust. In order to exploit these resources, the entrepreneur needs to attract capital of any form that will guarantee their availability.
As mentioned before, resources in the entrepreneurial process tend to be scarce and, therefore, apart from acquiring them the entrepreneur needs to exploit them cautiously. So, in order to have an entrepreneurial process, we need three co-existing factors and a facilitator ï¿½ the entrepreneur. So, in the first instance what is required is the existence of an individual that can recognise opportunity, direct an organisation and acquire resources. This individual will become an entrepreneur in the moment the decision is made to combine the three elements.
For a society therefore that is looking to be entrepreneurial and to experience economic growth through individual innovation, it is important to cultivate the entrepreneurial propensity of its members. What is needed is a significant amount of latent entrepreneurs that will become active the moment all three elements co-exist. This way, the society secures that no opportunity will be left unexploited and, therefore, growth through entrepreneurial activity will be boosted.
Looking at the person that is needed to facilitate the combination of opportunity, organisation and resources, it is easy to identify the difference between a manager and an entrepreneur.
The manager is probably good at organising and leading, and knows how to realise goals with given resources. He or she needs to formulate ideas from opportunities that others cannot see into an effective and realistic business plan.
An entrepreneur needs to walk on the clouds and, at the same, time be realistic. This ability to dream and materialise these dreams is what one could call the entrepreneurial mindset. In different countries different levels of entrepreneurial propensity and activity can be found. In some countries more people claim that they want to be self employed than actually are. In others it is quite the opposite.
Also, in some countries self employment and entrepreneurial activity is the result of over- optimism. Hence, what an economy needs are people that will actually become entrepreneurs by calculating the true level of risk.
This can be achieved mainly through education and role modelling, an effort that has been successful in countries such as Ireland and the UK. Especially in transition economies, where the notion of private economic activity has not been part of the culture for many years, cautious steps need to be taken in order to produce the proper entrepreneurial mindset among the younger generations.
When the entrepreneurial mindset is optimised, then the government can enhance entrepreneurial activity by subsidies and supportive measures. The entrepreneurial mindset can be considered the backbone of the enterprise culture.
Identify two or more entrepreneurs and consider which is the most strong for each one of them. How does it interface with other items of the economic activity? How can they be overcome? As mentioned in the previous chapter, in order to have an entrepreneurial process we need four factors to co-exist. The key one is the entrepreneur, the individual that feels the need to pursuit the opportunity, organise the process and attract the resources. The force behind this need to do these three things is not always easy to understand.
Obviously, for an individual to be willing to take risk there must be a significant force behind this decision, in order to overcome the resisting ones. In this chapter we will try to differentiate between two kinds of forces. The first one is the force that pushes the entrepreneur to undertake risk. In this case, the entrepreneur has no obvious reason for pursuing an opportunity other than to increase his wealth and become successful.
Hence, the individual is in a position that is not unfavourable for him or his family and when an opportunity presents itself he or she decides to pursuit it or not.
In such cases, the risk is sometimes greater, because the individual trades a rather secure financial and personal situation with a risky attempt to achieve more. Apart from financial reasons though, this force might also stem from a need to achieve something, fulfil ones dreams, be successful, etc. So, we call this entrepreneurial activity as one of opportunity, since the entrepreneur does not necessarily need to do something different than he or she is doing at that point.
On the other hand, we have a force that pulls the entrepreneur towards risk. Such cases result from a variety of reasons that make an individual become self employed, because there are no other alternatives. The reasons an individual has no other choice vary. On one side we have strict economical issues, such as satisfying basic needs. The latter ones however not being so essential to the survival of the individual.
Economic issues usually relate to employment discrimination and are the direct result of the fact that the individual has no way to earn his or her living. Therefore, self employment is the only choice that remains for the individual to cater for personal and family needs. So, this kind of entrepreneurial activity reflects the need of the entrepreneur to reverse the financial situation under which he or she suffers.
All these groups have in common the fact that they include people with similar problems, which do not allow them either to be accepted by other members of the society or have specific needs regarding their employment. The problems might stem from communication compatibility, lack of skills, past wrongdoings, cultural bias, racism etc.
Apart from people that belong to one of the above groups, there are also individuals that have no apparent reason to experience employment discrimination, but might still suffer under it. Finally, in several economies there might be situations when the majority of the society is facing employment issues and is therefore forced to earn their living in another way.
Such situations include the collapse of economic activity or post-war periods where the entire infrastructure is destroyed. Such periods include the great depression in the USA in or the post-war era of the European continent. Turning to self employment in case of need will usually lead people to grow their business up to a point.
In the first case, it can be expected that an individual experiencing employment discrimination will have the same problems in attracting capital. In the second case, when the business is up and running, growth might not be the key objective of the entrepreneur. In most cases entrepreneurs of need will set a goal of income that would relate to the salary they would expect from employment.
Hence, another key difference between entrepreneurship of opportunity and the one of need is, apart from the starting point, the final goal of the entrepreneur. Hence, we would be rather discussing small business management than entrepreneurship. Of course this is not limiting, since the goals in each case are related to the capacity of the individual entrepreneur. Finally, employment discrimination and entrepreneurship of need might lead their subjects to illegal business activities.
The illegality of these activities might range from not paying taxes or registering the business, to pursuing illegal opportunities per se, such as selling drugs, trafficking, violation of copyright laws, etc. Did any well known entrepreneurs emerge at that time? Serial Entrepreneurship Learning Objectives: After having read chapter 1.
In several economies it is possible to locate entrepreneurs that appear to be more active than others. Such entrepreneurs might be starting one business after the other and expanding their risk taking constantly. Such entrepreneurs are considered to be serial. Behind the choice of serial entrepreneurship one can find a variety of driving forces that can be split into two main groups.
The first one includes entrepreneurs that follow a strategic path to increase their wealth by including in their activities complementary or other businesses. In this case new ventures are set up to facilitate the key idea behind the initial one and the whole process is part of an overall entrepreneurial vision. The second group includes entrepreneurs that, according to the psychological traits theory approach, are motivated mainly by other rewards than money and they feel great satisfaction is setting up businesses.
Following the above, we can define two sub-groups of serial entrepreneurs. The sequential entrepreneur will start a business; bring it to a point and then move on to start the next one. In essence, they handle one business at a time. These people appear to be enjoying the process of opportunity exploitation more than running an established business. In any case, the serial entrepreneur will set up the business, fine tune it and then sell it, using the proceeds to start his or her new project.
In this context, there have been suggestions that when a business is set up and running, the actual entrepreneurship phase is over. These serial entrepreneurs follow an overall strategy for growth and may have vertical or horizontal expansion in mind. Also, increasing the entrepreneurial portfolio might even be the proper way to handle risk, by spreading it across different activities with different threats.
The special skills needed for serial entrepreneurship are all included in a well established entrepreneurial mindset: Opportunity recognition and evaluation, market analysis, customer insight, securing of capital and decision making ability. This might be the case why some entrepreneurs choose to be sequential ones. On the other hand, portfolio entrepreneurs exist in cases in which the initial idea, the core business concept, is applicable to more than one products, services or even industries, and hence the opportunities appear to be endless.
Overall, Wright et al. Reasons could be failure, market saturation, floating of the business etc. One could separate between those who make deals and buy other businesses and those that create each time the business they require to pursuit their strategic outlook. It is important to underline at this point the overall importance of failure in the entrepreneurial process. As risk is inherent in all entrepreneurial activity, the possibility of failure is an option for which all entrepreneurs need to be prepared for.
In general, failure has a different meaning in each culture and economy. Some cultures embrace failure and understand its value. In other cultures failure is not that well received and entrepreneurs that failed once have a difficult time getting on. In serial entrepreneurship failure is important because an entrepreneur that tries something new after a failure might experience varying feedback. There are investors that trust a failed entrepreneur more, because they consider that he or she has learned a lesson.
On the other hand, there are more formal institutions, such as banks or even the state that will turn down any loan or support to a failed entrepreneur. Finally, one identifies family entrepreneurship within the serial entrepreneurship context, since in many cases proceeds from an initial entrepreneurial activity are given as capital to the younger generation, in order to pursuit their own opportunities.
Entrepreneurial Networks Learning Objectives: After having read chapter 1. Having read the psychological traits approach to the entrepreneurial personality, one could describe entrepreneurs as individualistic and autonomous. However, in recent years, extensive research in the area has developed a new aspect of entrepreneurship.
Networks and networking has become a prominent and important research target, in the attempt to better understand the entrepreneurial process. As mentioned beforehand, the entrepreneur has to manage an organisation that tries to exploit an opportunity, based on scarce resources. These resources include, apart from raw materials, capital, skills, knowledge, technology and other that differ from business to business. It is difficult to define networks and networking, although most people understand grossly what these words stand for.
As a basis for discussion, it is enough to define networks as constructs that are based on formal and informal overlapping relationships of the business with its environment ï¿½ or the entrepreneur with other individuals. Hence, networks are continuously being set up by each new business that enters a specific market, and therefore no network remains static. Each new member becomes related with all the others through networking with members of other networks.
It is clear then, that a networking process has to offer a lot to an entrepreneur in terms of receiving ï¿½ especially when one is prepared also to give. Networks are primarily transactional. At a starting point, the entrepreneur might gain access to capital, information and advice.
Moreover, innovation can also be a result of networking, observing other members of the network how they deal with or manage novelties. Formal networks include professional bodies, chambers of commerce, alumni associations etc. Informal networks are numerous and range from close friendships to casual meetings with other entrepreneurs over dinner.
The benefits of formal networks are obvious, including lobbying and support, while the informal ones offer a different support: extension of strategic competencies, identification of opportunities, contribution to own resources during extra ordinary situations.
In this sense, it has been shown that entrepreneurs that have difficult access to informal networks, have access to less free information and are therefore forced to operate with less capital ï¿½ in a broader sense ï¿½ than their peers Leonard-Barton, In many cases, entrepreneurs tend to get involved in informal networks even before they establish their business, during the screening stage of the opportunity they have discovered.
Key: Participant in society: individual, household, group, organisation Direct relationship shared between members in an interaction Indirect relationship influence shared between members more than one step away from each other Figure: Example of a Social Network Map In general, entrepreneurial networks have a variety of characteristics that mainly deal with small firms and are briefly depicted below: 1. Morphological Characteristics pattern and structure Mitchell, : a.
Reachability The anchor of the network ï¿½ as described previously ï¿½ interacts with the other elements within the social construct of the network. The measure of how far and how easy this interaction takes place is the reachablity.
One can count number of interactions within the network in order to reach the desired network member. The fewer the interactions, the higher is the reachability. In this sense, one can draw the boundaries of the narrower and the wider network of a business and understand the effort required to acquire resources that are available through this network. Also, in such an examination, one can identify the network members that link this network with other ones. Density Networks can be tight or loose, depending on how close all the members are with each other.
In cases of networks in which all members interact directly with all other members, the density is at its highest values. On the other hand, if a network member needs to go through several other members in order to reach the objective, the network is considered to be loose.
Dense networks often result from family or friend networks. Range The range of an entrepreneurial network refers to the heterogeneity of the members in direct contact to the anchor. If multiple resources are available through direct contact we have a diverse network, if not a narrow one.
Interactional Characteristics perception of the relationships within a network a. Content Content refers to the meaning attributed to each relationship within the entrepreneurial network.
Labels such as family, friendship, acquaintance etc describe levels of content. Intensity Again, each relationship has a different weight on each member of the entrepreneurial network.
This weight defines the willingness to interact, respond to communication, honour obligations and exercise rights that are given due to relationships. Frequency Frequency measures the time entrepreneurs spend ï¿½ or invest ï¿½ in order to interact with their networks and cultivate relationships.
It is important to note that frequency does not necessarily affect the quality of exchange or the intensity of the relationships. Durability As networks are dynamic and participation voluntary, durability can describe the time a relationship lasts. If both sides consider the relationship of value, there is a high probability that it will last. This mainly depends on how much each side of the relationship is willing to invest in it over time.
Direction Direction refers to the flow of power within a relationship. One member might be stronger than the other, and hence the weak one receives support from the strong one.
In entrepreneurial networks direction might alternate over time or depending on the issue, while in strong social relationships, such as friendship, direction might not be of importance. It is important to recognise how networks contribute to the entrepreneurial process. Since no business exists in vacuum, it is essential to interact heavily with its environment in order to achieve its goals.
Finally, it is important to underline that networks are of a reciprocal nature. Each member receives and benefits from the network relationships, but needs to offer, too. Identify resources that you can access through your network in order to achieve your goals. Intrapreneurship and Innovation Learning Objectives: After having read chapter 1. Up to this point, we have referred to entrepreneurship as an event, or a process, that takes place outside all existing business establishments and relates to a new venture.
Having mentioned serial entrepreneurship as a phenomenon of continuous entrepreneurial activity by an individual, it is useful to also discuss intrapreneurship. Intrapreneurship refers to the ability of larger and established organisations to act entrepreneurially by taking advantage of their human capital that has a well developed and healthy entrepreneurial mindset.
In this attempt, larger businesses tend to move away from bureaucratic structures and capture innovation at its source, enabling the communication of latent entrepreneurial intentions within their structures. In every innovative larger business, such as 3M, General Motors and Yahoo! These individuals could be entrepreneurs themselves and operate as change agents within the market.
Hence, instead of experiencing the phenomenon of the dissatisfied manager, they introduce the role of the intrapreneur. So, intrapreneurs are the entrepreneurs within business constructs, who are given the resources to pursuit the opportunities they have identified.
Inherent to new venture creation are ï¿½ apart from risk ï¿½ capital requirements, resource scarcity, knowledge and skills employment, and other key elements depending on the situation. The individual will choose to become an entrepreneur when he or she considers the opportunity costs low and the prospective income significant enough to alleviate risk.
In a sense, intrapreneurship is entrepreneurship with a safety net. Therefore, returns might not be as big as in entrepreneurial activities, but the risk is much lower, too. Intrapreneurship can exist as a part of the organisational culture of a business only if it is supported, embraced and rewarded. Individuals that scout for innovation within the business and clear their schedules in order to listen.
In several organisations, the initial concept builder is gradually left out as the project moves to more advanced stages. However, the motivational power and devotion lies within the involvement of the initial intrapreneur, who has to be present in all stages of the new project.
Intrapreneurial teams need to work as entrepreneurs. They must have power over their resources and be free to decide. The intrapreneur will need to access resources throughout the organisation in all stages of the project; from idea conception to the actual implementation of the idea. Hence, increased bureaucracy will delay the process and might outdate the idea. When investing in new projects, an organisation needs to be able to face failure in the same way an entrepreneur would.
This failure might come from increased risk or mistakes by the intrapreneurial team. In any case, if failure is punished, any intrapreneurial opportunities that might exist or come to life in the future will be discouraged.
Intrapreneurial activities might not present favourable results within the time frames the organisation is used to. So, intrapreneurship requires time and a long-term investment to flourish.
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