Definition of Entrepreneurship
The word “entrepreneur” is derived from the French word entreprendre (to undertake). It was coined by the economist Jean-Baptiste Say and was originally used to describe people who take on risks or undertake tasks such as starting a new venture.
Entrepreneurs are often confused with inventors. While many inventors are entrepreneurs and vice versa, the roles they perform are different. An inventor creates something new, however an entrepreneur integrates available resources in order to transform an invention into a running business.
This is best perceived in the innovation value chain:
An inventor’s focus is on experimenting with new ideas and discoveries while an entrepreneur’s mandate is broader and involves product development as well as go-to-market strategies.
Reasons for Entrepreneurship
There are 3 main reasons why people choose to become entrepreneurs:
· Autonomy and Freedom
Entrepreneurs are their own bosses and work for no one except themselves. This empowers them to plan out their schedule and avoid the inflexibility that accompanies a regular office job. Being an entrepreneur also allows for intellectual freedom as the entrepreneur is free to pursue ideas without being bound by red-tape and bureaucracy.
· Impact and Change
Entrepreneurs are in a position of leadership and the actions they take have a direct impact on the outcome of a business. This gives entrepreneurs a greater sense of mission and purpose compared to employees. As a result of being leaders, entrepreneurs also become key agents for change in society.
· Legacy and Accomplishment
Being an entrepreneur requires a significant amount of risk taking in creating and pursuing business opportunities. With a higher risk involved, the expected reward of an entrepreneur, both in terms of financial gain and emotional satisfaction, is greater than that of a regular employee.