Account for why some enterprises become successful innovators and why others do not.
It is a difficult question to answer why some enterprises become successful innovators while others do not especially in these days of rapid technological changes, high inflation and highly fluctuating exchange rates in the world of borderless world. The first reaction is it could be due to the strong entrepreneurial leadership of the enterprises in terms of knowledge management or an acute sense of financial investment and acumen. This however raises several questions: who are successful entrepreneurs? What are the qualities of a successful entrepreneur or even an entrepreneur? How does one sustain a period of consistent growth and development? How does one translate personal commitment to organisational growth?
Let me first start with who is an entrepreneur? There are several ways of explaining this but I think I would like to say that an entrepreneur is one who takes risks to invest and puts his personal commitment to succeed above everything else and this is closely linked with entrepreneurship which means taking risks for a business or venture but anyone who already owns a business will tell you that there's much more to do than that. This brings in to consideration the issue what are the qualities and skills of an entrepreneur? The original explanation came from Peter Shumpeter, according to whom; an entrepreneur is “An innovator who creates new industries and precipitates structural changes in the economy”. (Schumpeter 1934) and though there have been some amendments to this, this definition remains relevant to this date. According to Lyve Alexis Pleshette, Senior Staff Writer, PowerHomeBiz.com, there are five must have skills that are needed to become an entrepreneur and develop to succeed in today’s competitive market.
“If you are thinking of starting a business, you will need a broad array of entrepreneurial skills to succeed in today's competitive market. You must possess basic skills necessary to enable you to start, develop, finance, and market your own home business enterprises. There are a number of qualities and skills you need to have, including personal attributes, business skills and management capability. While you may not have all of them right now, there are five basic skills you really must have to run any kind of business. These five skills are: Sales and Marketing skills, Financial know how, Self motivational Skills, Time Management Skills and Administration Skills”. (Pleshette, 2009.). A pertinent question is: Are these skills learnt, taught or the people are born with them? One of the leading thinkers of our times Peter Jones of Dragon’s Den fame says the skills needed to turn ideas into commercial successes must be taught in school, “ Entrepreneurs are not born, they are made. The key skills needed can and should be taught. And what's more, I can prove it”. (Jones 2009).
It is interesting to know however, that some management thinkers believe that one must know and find out if one has the skills and qualities needed for the entrepreneurship or do you have the mindset and the skills to be an entrepreneur?. According to SCORE, the counselors to America’s Small Business, “You probably already know that starting a small business requires extensive research and analysis of many factors. But the one requiring the most critical assessment is often overlooked by many entrepreneurs. And, it’s as close as the nearest mirror. That’s because wanting to be an entrepreneur is one thing; being one is quite another. You will take on responsibilities and commitments far different from those of an employee, even if you have management experience. It’s a challenge that can be exhilarating and rewarding. Unless you’re prepared mentally and emotionally, however, it can also be overwhelming. Before you study financing options and plan store layouts, sit down and conduct a probing interview with yourself to see...
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