An entrepreneur is one who organizes a new business venture in the hopes of making a profit. Entrepreneurship is the process of being an entrepreneur, of gathering and allocating the resources—financial, creative, managerial, or technological—necessary for a new venture's success. One engages in entrepreneurship when one begins to plan an organization that uses diverse resources in an effort to take advantage of the newly found opportunity. It usually involves hard work, long hours, and, usually, the hope of significant financial return. More importantly, entrepreneurship is characterized by creative solutions to old or overlooked problems; ingenuity and innovation are the entrepreneur's stock in trade. By taking a new look at difficult situations, the entrepreneur discerns an opportunity where others might have seen a dead end. Entrepreneurship is also a source of more entrepreneurship. Societies around the world have always been fueled by the innovations and new products that entrepreneurs bring to the market. All big businesses started out small, usually as one man or woman with a good idea and the willingness to work hard and risk everything. While it is true that many new businesses fail, the ones that succeed contribute a great deal to the creation of other new ventures which leads, in turn, to a dynamic national economy. Indeed, today's economists and business researchers cite entrepreneurship as a key component of future economic growth in North America and around the world. "Entrepreneurship is viewed as the catalyst to transfer a segment of our new generation of [downsized] people into self-employed business owners who will, in turn, provide jobs for the rest," wrote Mitch Lenko in CMA. "It is viewed as the necessary component to the creation of new wealth; and hopefully represents the fountainhead from which will spawn innovative management techniques for the design, manufacture and marketing of products that will compete globally." Successful entrepreneurship depends on many factors. Of primary importance is a dedicated, talented, creative entrepreneur. The person who has the ideas, the energy, and the vision to create a new business is the cornerstone to any start-up. But the individual must have ready access to a variety of important resources in order to make the new venture more than just a good idea. He or she needs to develop a plan of action, a road map that will take the venture from the idea stage to a state of growth and institutionalization. In most instances, the entrepreneur also needs to put together a team of talented, experienced individuals to help manage the new venture's operations. Entrepreneurship also depends on access to capital, whether it be human, technological, or financial. In short, entrepreneurship is a process that involves preparation and the involvement of others in order to exploit an opportunity for profit. Entrepreneurship Defined
The multiplicity of the entrepreneur's motivations and goals leads to questions aimed at distilling the essence of entrepreneurship. To what or to whom does one refer when one uses the word? Is there any difference between a person who opens yet another dry cleaning establishment, sandwich shop, or bookstore and the entrepreneur? If so, what is it that separates the two? What characteristics define an entrepreneur and entrepreneurship itself? Historians and business writers have struggled with providing the answers. Even today, there is no widely accepted definition, but the variety of possibilities provides important clues as to what makes entrepreneurship special. Harvard professor Joseph Schumpeter, for example, argued that the defining characteristic of entrepreneurial ventures was innovation. By finding a new "production function" in an existing resource—a previously unknown means through which a resource could produce value—the entrepreneur was innovating. The innovation was broadly understood; an innovation could take place in product design,...
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