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“Entrepreneurs Are Born Not Made.” Critically Analyse This Statement with Reference to the Literature and to Your Experience of Entrepreneurship.

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“Entrepreneurs are born not made.” Critically analyse this statement with reference to the literature and to your experience of entrepreneurship.
This essay aims to evaluate the various traits identified with entrepreneurs, and then establish whether entrepreneurs are born with these traits, or whether, they are shaped and developed through their life experiences. Put simply the purpose of this essay is to establish whether entrepreneurs are ‘born or made’. This essay focuses on two distinct schools of researchers in the field of entrepreneurship: The more traditional group of researchers has focused on the personality characteristics of the individual, the internal factors, whilst a second group of researchers have taken a social cognitive approach. They look at the relationship between an individual and his or her environment. The external factors include culture, role models, work experience, education, and environment. This essay looks at the early definitions of an entrepreneur, evaluates the literature which supports the theory that entrepreneurs are ‘born’, and also evaluates the proposal that there is a relationship between the individual entrepreneur and their social environment, that is, entrepreneurs are ‘made’.
Cantillon (1756) defined the entrepreneur as engaging in business without an assurance of profits; thus the bearing of risk being the distinguishing feature of an entrepreneur. Jean Baptiste Say expanded on this by making the entrepreneur the pivot of the economy, and a catalyst for economic change and development. The entrepreneur was seen as someone willing to take the risk of bringing different factors of production together. The commonly held view of the entrepreneur as a calculated risk-taker is close to the view of Knight (1921) that the entrepreneur is prepared to undertake risk. Profit, according to Knight, is the return for bearing...

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