The Entrepreneurial Process
The entrepreneurial process is defined as the cycle in which mental conceptions and ideas are transformed and translated into business ideas that represent a profitable opportunity for the entrepreneur to harness resources and design an enterprise that allows him/her to exploit the opportunity to make profit - but in the process also taking calculated risk. The final stage of the process will be the nurturing of the enterprise and the process recurs in the bid to grow the enterprise as new ideas are transformed into growth opportunities and the entrepreneurial process recurs. Various authors and researchers have come up with different models to describe the entrepreneurial process. According to Moore and Bygrave (1994) the entrepreneurial process is built on a cycle of four stages: innovation, a triggering event, implementation and growth. They further argued that during the cycle different variables interact with the environment to influence the entrepreneurial process. The interaction between the environment and individual, organisational and sociological variables define the possible path of each specific entrepreneurial event. Hisrich and Peters (2002) identified four distinct phases of activities in the entrepreneurial process which are: identification and evaluation of the opportunity, development of a business plan, determination of required resources and the management of the resulting enterprise. The entrepreneurial process therefore has some fundamental stages common to all models regardless of the author and a combination of these would give the generic entrepreneurial process. The entrepreneurial process from literature therefore can be summarised in the model below. To explain the entrepreneurial process better Econet Wireless Zimbabwe will be used as an example to apply the concepts to the real world.
The activity based entrepreneurship process from literature
Idea generation is the seed of the entrepreneurial process. According to Cronche et al (2003:50) ‘establishing a new business usually involves an idea that the entrepreneur pursues enthusiastically’. Idea generation therefore is the starting point of transforming and translating creativity or innovation into a business opportunity. However, Veerabhadrappa Havinal (2009) argues that the entrepreneurship process starts with some change in the real world. Kruger (2004) expands that “not all ideas are creative, for some innovations are incremental changes or were developed by others and adapted for use locally”. Sources of ideas usually include prior working experience, understanding the industry, and knowledge of the market. Scholars have come up with two styles of idea generation that is scientific and artistic idea generation. Scientific idea generation involves a rigorous examination and analysis of the business environment in which the entrepreneur lives, for patterns and trends that can be capitalised into ideas or business opportunities. Scientific idea generation mainly focuses on the business environment and has the danger of pruning other important factors, like social and political trends, off the idea. Artistic idea generation on the other hand includes an analysis of not only the business environment but everything that happens around the entrepreneur. Concentration is given to economic, political, and social trends, fashion, business process, services offered, and manufacturing/production process. This style of idea generation may result in both process and product innovation. It also includes an analysis of the behaviour of intended audiences and competition is identified, compared and contrasted for a niche or business edge. The dangers of idea generation is that the idea might be overrated that is the best idea doesn’t necessarily guarantee success. Value of the generated idea is embodied in the capability and capacity of the entrepreneur to transform the...
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