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Entrepreneurship

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THE UNIVESITY OF ZAMBIA SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES DEPARTMENT OF DEVELOPMENT STUDIES

NAME : KALUBA PHIRI

QUESTION:
ENTREPRENEURS ARE BORN. DISCUSS

The main objective of this essay is to discuss whether entrepreneurs are born or made. It will start by giving an elaborate definition of an entrepreneur and also highlight the characteristics which they possess. It will thereafter discuss with valid points raised on both angles of whether entrepreneurs are born or made. It will therefore justify with persuasive evidence that entrepreneurs are made. Finally a conclusion will be drawn.
The entrepreneur character is one of the characters which strongly influence business around the world. This explains the need to understand the profile of such a character. An entrepreneur is a person who creates a new business, taking risks in achieving the objectives which they propose, to make profits and growth by identifying some important opportunities. An entrepreneur manages important resources, which he or she draws from different sources on a major power to persuade those who hold them. Many experts have sought to understand and describe the personality of the entrepreneur, because, although many people have good ideas to start a business, some turn these ideas into concrete businesses (Shapiro 1975).
Burdus (3, 2007) An entrepreneur is said to be "a person with leadership qualities, able to take risks in order to exploit certain opportunities, their enthusiasm is based more on personal forces which leads to the development of strategies based almost entirely on personal interests. Entrepreneurs exist and are able to maintain their existence because they possess certain characteristics”. Burdus (2007) highlighted some characteristics which enable entrepreneurs to excel in a highly competitive business world. He stated that; Entrepreneurs are confidence in their personal abilities, due to their optimism which gives them a peculiar idea that whatever risks they take will lead them to successive profits in the near future. They tend to develop the desire for immediate results, which causes them to continuously monitor the progress of what they have invested in. This helps them to confirm whether they have made right decisions or not. The risks which entrepreneurs make are highly calculated, they tend to be very rational when taking risks. Nevertheless in other people’s eyes the risks they take tend to be unreasonable and their goals unachievable. They are ever willing to assume responsibilities, always preferring to control their own resources and achieve their objectives. They are always ready to be held accountable for any losses encountered. They tend to possess organizing skills, which allows entrepreneurs to put together people who carry out certain tasks, so as to implement the intended vision. Lastly entrepreneurs have a high level of commitment, which makes them hard to work for. They insure a work environment that creates success, removing barriers that seem insurmountable to others.
The debate over whether entrepreneurs are just born that way, or can be taught the skills to start and run a successful business, certainly divides opinion. Lord Alan sugar a famous entrepreneur once said: "It doesn't matter which business school you go to or what books you read, you can't go into Boots and buy a bottle of entrepreneurial juice - entrepreneurial spirit is something you are born with." This was his opinion and should be respected, but the question we have to consider now is, was he right? Are entrepreneurs born or are they made (Daley 2013).
This question has taken on urgency recently. In the past years studies carried out have indicated that there is what can be called an ‘entrepreneur gene’ or at least that people with certain genetic characteristics and personality traits are more likely to be more successful entrepreneurs than others (Kao and John, 1989).
Shane (2010) suggested that genes don’t just influence whether a person will start a business they might even determine how successful that person will turn out to be. In other words, some people are born to be alpha wolves and the rest will work in the mail room
James V. Koch professor at Dominion University as cited by Shane (2010) gave his point of view. He said because he is an academist he believed that entrepreneurship could be taught and this could be done with excellence, but after he carried out some research he discovered that entrepreneurs possess biological trait which are somewhat impossible to teach. He gave an example of risk taking and said there is no place in the world where risk taking is taught. This justifies that entrepreneurs are born. Laser (1, 2007) was in line with Koch’s point of view and stated that “while certain proficiencies such as developing a business plan or finding sources of funding can be taught, the basic profile of the entrepreneur is deeply imbedded in the personality structure of the individual. And no matter how much specialized education and training is offered to a person, it will still come back to whether that person has entrepreneur characteristics or not.” In order to further elaboration his point he gave an example of basketball players. He said, “One could probably be taught all of the right moves and the proper positioning on the basketball court, but if that person is very short he can be easily out moved by tall players.”
However some people had a different perspective which contradicted with the above raised points. Such a person is the serial entrepreneur Jonathan Richards who believes that an entrepreneurial mindset is the sum of all our experiences and it is not something that we are born with. An entrepreneur is created when an idea comes together with a person who is happy to balance creativity and management; understand, live with and manage risk; evangelize the idea in the face of negativity; and stay responsive and positive (Adair, 2004).
His colleague Doug Richard cited by (Adair, 2004), also believes that nobody is ‘born’ an entrepreneur and that entrepreneurship can most definitely be taught. He said, “If you give a group of people a violin, certain people will have a natural ability of course, but that becomes irrelevant if everybody is given a chance to learn and practice. We all need to do exactly that in whatever we choose to do professionally or otherwise. Nobody can claim to be born an entrepreneur, and nobody wakes up one day with a successful business and brand. Hard work, mistakes and a determined attitude combined with the right support at the right time are the not-so-magic formula."
Kao, in his book, contends that “entrepreneurship is environmentally determined”, which means that there are certain conditions that will encourage entrepreneurial activities. This includes capital availability, mechanisms for realizing value, and availability of other resources namely human resources, information resources such as libraries and data banks, and infrastructure resources such as inexpensive space. Other factors would also prove useful in creating an atmosphere conducive to entrepreneurial environment; media attention, idea-generating institution, and cultural environment (Kao, et al, p98 1989).
Respondents in a survey of 100 chief executives from entrepreneurial firms believed that while personality traits are difficult to influence, the vast majority of knowledge required by entrepreneurs can be taught (Hood and Young, 1993). Additional support for this view comes from a ten year (1985-1994) literature review of entrepreneurship and business education that showed ¦most of the empirical studies surveyed indicated that entrepreneurship can be taught, or at least encouraged, by entrepreneurship education (Gorman, Hanlon and King, 1997, p. 63).
The question still stands are entrepreneurs then made or born? It can then be stated that entrepreneurs are made for the simple reason that entrepreneurs take it into their hands to make sure they learn to play the game better than anybody. That game is taking the risk now, for expected greater returns in the future. Bill Gates did that when he negotiated with IBM for the licensing of the DOS operating system in the late 1970s. Bill Gates and his partners did not write the code for that operation system, they bought it for $50,000 from one computer programmer who was happy to take the offer. Bill Gates saw Apple Computer’s mistake in not licensing its operating system software with other computer manufacturers, so they took matters into their own hands, bought that simple operating system from an unknown programmer, and negotiated with the computer manufacturers especially IBM. It takes a lot of courage to be able to do something like that. And it is very much unlikely that Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, and Paul Allen, were born to become great observers of the computer industry. They banded together and searched for the next big thing in business while attending Harvard University (Marian, 2009).
Entrepreneurship can be taught, in the sense that you are not born with it. It is always a learning process. This can be justified through the observation that, many entrepreneurs where brought up in humble families which had no entrepreneurial background no whatsoever. Through their childhood experience, social experience and an education they were able to develop enthusiasm and lose the fear of risk taking. This led them to excel in a very competitive business world. A good example of such an entrepreneur is Corrado Accardi, founder of Pizza Rossa. He was first a charted engineer before he began to think about his business. Because he had no idea about managing a business he enrolled on an executive MBA. This lead to his success because recently his business raised 440000 pounds in less than 19 days this was 57% more than his original target (Marian, 2009).
This essay has fully defined the word entrepreneur. It has highlighted the characteristics possessed by entrepreneurs. It has fully discussed whether entrepreneurs are born or made and thereafter justifying that entrepreneurs are made. It can therefore be stated that the entrepreneurial character is acquired due to one’s childhood experience and their social interaction. No man is born an entrepreneur. Anyone can be groomed into an entrepreneur given that one is provided with Resources, a good business environment, good nurturing and good research facilities.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Adair, J., (2004). The Handbook of Management and Leadership, Thorogood, London,
Eugene Burdus,(2007). Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship The Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies, Romania Volume 11, Issue 1,
Ireland D. R.; Hitt M.A.; Sirmon D. G.,( 2003) A Model of Strategic Entrepreneurship: The Construct and its Dimensions, Journal of Management, , vol. 29(6), pp. 963-989
Kao, John J., (1989). Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Organization, Harvard Business School, Boston, MA 98 Laser. S, (2007). Are Entrepreneurs Made or Born, 200 South Wacker Drive, Suite 3400 Chicago, Illinois 60606
Marian, N.,(2009) Importance of Trust in the Knowledge Based Leadership”, in Reviw of International Comparative Management, Volume 10, Issue 3,
Scott Shane, (2010). born entrepreneurs born leaders, oxford university press Shapiro, A., (1975). Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Proceeding of Projeect, Inseed Sumer,
Topping, P., (2002). Managerial Leadership, McGraw-Hill Professional, Blacklick,
Daley J. (2013). Are entrepreneurs born or made www.entrepreneur.com/articles/228273 last viewed 28/03/15

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