Who Is an Entrepreneur

Topics: Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneur, Small business Pages: 9 (2954 words) Published: December 1, 2010

Short Summary2
Common/different aspects of the paper2

“Who is an entrepreneur?”


“Who is an entrepreneur?” is a question that aroused many controversies and debates. Among many articles that talks about the entrepreneur and the process of entrepreneurship I will focus on three articles that tried to answer this question or demonstrated the uselessness of the question. Analyzing many different points of view will conduct to a better and deeper understanding of the phenomena. Therefore, this is not an exact science, like for instance mathematics or physics. It leads us more to interpretation, which means that, there will always be a need of debate.

Short Summary

In the article “Differentiating Entrepreneurs from Small Business Owners: A Conceptualization”, Carland et al. tries to answer the question by focusing on the characteristics of an entrepreneur and they go further with comparing him to a small business owner. They settle a definition for each and then, they apply the main ideas to a larger scale and differentiate an entrepreneurial venture from a small business. Gartner criticize their point of view in his article “Who is an entrepreneur? Is the wrong question” and considers that it is improper to define “the entrepreneur” because it would mean that an entrepreneur fits a certain type of person, which is not true since the views are not homogenous. That is why Gartner considers a more suitable approach for the concept, to analyze the entrepreneur’s behavior. In the article “Who is an entrepreneur? Is a question worth asking”, Carland et al. tries to respond to Gartner’s critique and in the end, he argues that indeed entrepreneurship is a complex and dynamic concept.

Common/different aspects of the paper

In the article “Differentiating Entrepreneurs from Small Business Owners: A Conceptualization”, Carland et al., in terms of entrepreneur and small business owner, focus on intentionality and characteristics. In their opinion, an entrepreneur’ purpose is profit and growth and he is characterized as an innovative person who will employ strategic management practices, while a small business owner’s purpose is furthering personal goals, and to whom the business is the primary source of income which will consume almost all of his time. In terms of differentiating Entrepreneurial Ventures form Small Business Ventures, they focus on the same ideas applied to a bigger scale. However, this attempt to define the concepts, and especially their arguments were hardly criticized by Gartner in his article “Who Is an Entrepreneur? Is the Wrong Question”. He brings into discussion the situation when “an individual personal goal is to establish a business for profit and growth”. He considers that Carland et al. are rung, first by focusing on intentionality, instead of creation, and second by focusing on the person instead of the act of entrepreneurship. He argues that, by referring only to intentionality rather than to concrete things like articulated strategies or observed behaviors, they increased even more the ambiguity. In my opinion, Carland et al.’s attempt to define a small business owner as an individual whose main characteristic is achieving its personal goals is a vague statement. To be more specific, I will take as an example a farmer, who lives in the country, has no job, owns 10 hectares of vineyards, and decides to start a business in wine industry. For him, this will be the primary source of income. To help me set his goals, I will analyze Maslow pyramid. According to Abraham Maslow we will start from the base. Our farmer’s first goal will be to sell as much wine as to be able to sustain his physiological needs, like buying food, water and so one. After satisfying his basic needs, he will want to assure the need of safety and therefore, he will need to earn more money....
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