What Does It Take to Be An Entrepreneur?

Meredith et al 1982, quoted by Kirby 2003 define entrepreneurs as “people ho have the ability to see and evaluate business opportunities; to gather the necessary resources to take advantage of them; and to initiate appropriate action to ensure success. ” Hardwood (1982), quoted by Shell, Worth and Barley (1991) further defines that an entrepreneur may also be the founder of a new business venture since he “takes initiative, assumes considerable autonomy in the organization and management sources, shares in the asset risk, shares in an uncertain monetary profit, and innovates”



“Entrepreneurship is simply a type of leadership that occurs in a specific eating’ as it is defined by Vehicle (2003), emphasizing the importance of being a leader in order to be a successful entrepreneur. In addition, an entrepreneurial leader must be cognitively ambidextrous, secondly must have a social, environmental, and economic responsibility and sustainability, and finally has to be self and socially aware. (Greenberg, McKeon-Sweet and Wilson 2011). Example: My leadership skills as well as my ability to lead have considerably improved over the last three years.

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I have been assigned the role of group leader from my peers numerous times because of my ability to communicate effectively tit other group members and to organize work efficiently. As a result we have managed to achieve our goals efficiently without facing any major difficulties. According to Rooter (1996) locus of control is when an individual perceives the result of an event within or beyond his control. An “internal” believes that he can influence the outcome while the “external” believes that there are forces outside of his control, such as luck that have an effect on the outcome.

A strong relationship forms between entrepreneurial behavior and internal focus of control when put together. Brouhahas (1980) research was based on entrepreneurs that started up a new venture and it was still successful three years after. Entrepreneurs that were considered to be successful demonstrated a higher locus of control than those entrepreneurs that companies closed down. Although in most of the studies the locus of control was assessed with Rooter’s (1966) I-E scale. This could have been a possible reason for inaccurate results.

More recent empirical studies from Bonnet and Burnham (1991) using the economic locus of control scale have endorsed similar results. The results have shown that students that became involved in running a company under he British Young Enterprise Scheme tend to have a higher internal locus and stronger belief in hard work from those who choose not to get involved. Example: As an individual with dyslexia I have chosen not to let it restrain my academic studies. By working harder for longer periods of time and maintaining my organization throughout the year, I have managed to accomplish my goals.

This has had a direct reflection on my grades in the first and second year; currently on a .

Need for Achievement

According to McClellan (1965) a person with a high need for achievement “is ore self-confident, enjoys taking carefully calculated risks, researches his environment actively, and is very much interested in concrete measures of how well he is doing”. The need for high achievement is a personality trait of an entrepreneur. It predisposes entrepreneurs from a young age to seek out for positions that attain more of the achievement satisfaction than in other occupations.

Some dominant cultural values and training encourage the need for achievement. Moreover, it is the inner drive of individuals that drives them to work more and to achieve something for their own interest by taking personal risk (McClellan, 1965). Although Miscellany’s findings are important, there is no evidence if individuals actually perform better because of their higher need for achievement. There is no clear correlation between achievement motivation and the level of performance achieved (Littleton, 2000).

Example: Over the last two years I have done two unpaid summer internships. My desire to gain a greater and more in depth understanding of the workplace has been rewarded with the essential experience gained. As a result, I am more aware of the environment I will have to work in, I am more employable and I am now able to set myself more realistic goals for the future.



By the nature of their activities successful entrepreneurs have to be able to take calculated risks.

Webster Third New International Dictionary (1961) quoted by Robert and Brouhahas (1980) defines an entrepreneur as “the organizer of an economic venture, especially one who organizes, owns, manages, and assumes the risk of a business”. Knight (1921), quoted by Bam, Frees and Baron (2007), also supports that “entrepreneurs have a higher risk-taking propensity than other people because entrepreneurship is concerned with decision making under uncertainty”. Therefore we come to the conclusion that individuals who void taking risks are less likely to start a new business venture than those who take risks (Bam, Frees and Baron, 2007).

Example: One of the most famous and successful entrepreneurs, Bill Gates has demonstrated risk-taking behavior by dropping out of Harvard. It was done in order to become a partner at Microsoft, a computing company that had nothing to do with the law degree he was doing at Harvard. His ability to take the risk and drop out from one of the most established Universities in the world has allowed Bill Gates to be considered as one of the most wealthy and successful entrepreneurs of all time.


An innovative entrepreneur is defined as ‘the founder of a new venture that offered a unique value proposition relative to incumbents (e. G. , new or different feature set, pricing, convenience, Customizable); and the person who came up with the original idea to start the venture” (Dyer, Greenest and Christensen 2008). Products as well as processes are associated with being innovative. It is also strategically important as it can have a big impact on performance as well as competitiveness in the marketplace (Marksman, Balkan and Scooted, 2001 Example: Steve Jobs was an entrepreneur who was extremely successful due to is innovativeness.

A large part of Apple’s success should be devoted to him. “Thanks to innovative and hugely popular products such as the pod, the phone and more recently the pad, Apple has become one of the most sought after brands in the world. ” (Letterhead, 2011)


Bateman and Grant in 1993, as quoted by Clicks and Sundry (2002) illustrate that proactive personalities “scan for opportunities, show initiative, take action, and persevere until they reach closure by bringing about change”.

Being proactive is an essential trait of the entrepreneurial behavior . Therefore entrepreneurs deed to actively scan the environment for opportunities and not wait for one to arise. When opportunities come they need to engage in entrepreneurial behavior to utilities them (Beseecher and Manure in 1999 quoted by Pendants, 2003). An example of an individual that possesses entrepreneurial productivity is Mark Seersucker; the CEO and co-founder of Faceable. Before he even attended Harvard University only to drop out, he taught himself how to program computers.

During his senior year in high school, he and fellow programmer Adam Tangelo designed a plug-in that could build customized playbills. Later e went on to program Faceless and eventually Faceable. By learning a programming language he was well prepared when the opportunities arose. (Entrepreneur, 2004).


The above essay aimed at demonstrating three of my strengths as well as three less developed entrepreneurial traits using appropriate examples, theory and definitions. The strengths demonstrated above act as strong indications and are linked to entrepreneurial behavior by Kong in 1996.

The weaknesses clearly display lack of experience and fitness to act as an entrepreneur. In the future there should be a significant improvement in the areas that are eager and eventually turn them into strengths, in order to increase my potential in succeeding as an entrepreneur. However, there is no doubt that it will be challenging since many academics have made attempts to define and further analyze the term entrepreneurship without arriving to an agreed exact definition (Shell,2000).

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What Does It Take to Be An Entrepreneur?. (2018, May 09). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/assignment-entrepreneurship-and-business-plan-final-piece/