The DNA of an Entrepreneur: Is There an Entrepreneur Gene?

Topics: Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneur, Joseph Schumpeter Pages: 9 (2547 words) Published: May 15, 2012
The DNA of an Entrepreneur

Is there an Entrepreneur Gene or an Entrepreneur Chromosome within the DNA of an Entrepreneur?  
In humans, there are chromosomes that determine sex and there are genes that determine the color of your eyes. Generically speaking, there are X & Y chromosomes that determine whether you are either male or female suggesting that you either are a female or are not a female.   With genes, there are dominant genes and recessive genes, suggesting that while you might carry a gene for blue eyes, you may also have a dominant gene from brown eyes which would win out to determine what your eye color is.  

A lot of institutional research is ongoing to map the human genome and identify the functions and role of DNA within the genetic make up of the human being.   
If we evaluate the genetic structure of economics and commerce, philosophically we can ask the question – Are Entrepreneurs Born? Or are they made?  
Culturally there currently exists a romantic “notion” about the glamour and romance of entrepreneurship. Many popular bands on tour have “groupies” that follow them that are romanced by the emotional feelings that are created by the illusion of what it means to be a “rock and roll star” on tour. Similarly, there are “entrepreneur groupies” that dream of the romance of entrepreneurship and desire to be associated with, close to, or affiliated with entrepreneurs.    The reality of what it takes to be an entrepreneur (or a rock and roll star in a popular band) is often quite different than the romantic “notion” that exists in the public perception.   

Similarly, what is an entrepreneur? What is the DNA of an Entrepreneur? What is the genetic make up of an entrepreneur? What are the characteristics of an entrepreneur? These questions are best answered not by a popularized romantic notion of the perceived glamour and romance of entrepreneurship, but by a scholarly researched assessment of the characteristics that drive long term sustainable success by identifiable entrepreneurs.  

To begin to define what an entrepreneur is we first need to create conceptual definitions of enterprise and the genetic players within the DNA space that we wish to look at.  
The Enterprise is the fundamental economic building block or cellular organizational structure that allows an individual or group of individuals to undertake an economic activity. Typically this activity is sophisticated, requires some level of organization, and includes some inherent risk. The modern enterprise is the fundamental building block of the transfer of goods and services in society today. Virtually any activity that you may want to engage in, whether that is basic human needs such as the consumption of food or shelter or discretionary needs such as entertainment or the purchase of luxury goods, involves your personal interaction with enterprises in one varying form or another.   

The traditional enterprise is composed of many individual actors each performing their unique functional responsibilities within the enterprise. Distinctly different, but not entirely separate from the individual actors within the enterprise organizational structure, is the entrepreneur. The entrepreneur is the individual “who organizes, manages, and assumes the risk associated with the enterprise.”  

So what makes an Entrepreneur different from all of the other actors upon the enterprise stage? That is what we seek to define.  
One characteristic often attributed to an Entrepreneur is that of seeing or identifying an opportunity. In isolation, this is not an adequate definition of a entrepreneurial characteristic. The Entrepreneur may not be the first creator or innovator of an idea. However, we can utilize this function to help draw a distinction between an Entrepreneur and an enterprise actor. An inventor may create a new product or concept but not know what to do with it, lack the skills or drive to develop it, or be willing to take...
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