Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurship

Bolton and Thompson (2004, p. 16) define an entrepreneur as: “A person who habitually creates and innovates to build something of recognised value around perceived opportunities. ” The word entrepreneur is derived from the French verb ‘entreprendre’, which means to undertake, begin or start. Richard Cantillon invented the ‘entrepreneur’ word and defined it: ‘The entrepreneur is the bearer of risks inflicted by the changes in market demand ‘. (in Thornton, n. d. cited 1st May, <http://www. mises. org/content/cantillon. asp>)

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After having looked extensively at a number of entrepreneurs within the Bolton and Thompson text: Entrepreneurs: Talent, Temperament & Technique, I believe that anyone can become an entrepreneur. However, I do not believe that this can sometimes be a pre-set turnout for any one person. For example, George Lucas (who I look at in more detail later on) wanted to become a racing car driver before the idea of Star Wars had even entered his head! However, having survived a near fatal crash triggered the event that changed his life.

This shows that sometimes talents can be triggered within people, whilst in others they may lay dormant; waiting for an event to trigger their unknown talent. I think that every one of us, potentially, has entrepreneurial talent within us; it is just a case of stumbling across the perfect opportunity, or even living through a major event that will trigger us into thinking like an entrepreneur. I do not think that entrepreneurs are born, which is what many people believe.

I believe that everyone possesses an entrepreneurial talent, but I do not believe however that entrepreneurship can be taught fully to the individual. It can provide a basis but I do not think that it can lead to that person becoming a successful entrepreneur; their skills can be enhanced and brought closer to the surface, but they still have to spot the opportunity in order to become successful. Without entrepreneurship however, it is obvious that the world would not function; it is the force that drives economies across the globe.

Entrepreneurial innovations have led to many key points in history and at present, for example electricity was founded by Michael Faraday in 1749, Thomas Edison created the light bulb in 1847, which in turn led to televisions, radio, satellites and pen ultimately: Bill Gates and Microsoft. Without these entrepreneurial innovations beforehand, Bill Gates would not have been able to create his famous Microsoft operating system, because there would not have been any electricity! Therefore I believe that entrepreneurship is a key driving force for economies across the world.

However, entrepreneurs are not simply people who create something and make lots of money out of their idea; in fact, sometimes entrepreneurs are not even rich at all. For example, a classic social entrepreneur was Florence Nightingale, who created the first proper network of nurses and also laid the foundations for cleaner hospitals. However, Florence Nightingale never possessed a large bank account, and this clearly portrays that not all entrepreneurs are based around the financial aspect.

As I will look at later on, entrepreneurs can be defined in three common ways; financial, aesthetic or social. Entrepreneurs spot opportunities and exploit them, they anticipate economic benefits and possible outcomes of their actions. When an entrepreneur is successful, the idea leads to business and economic growth. Throughout the world there are a wide range of different levels of support and encouragement for entrepreneurial activity.