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Entrepreneurship: The nature-nurture debate

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Tue Oct 22, 2013

Editor: “Entrepreneurs may be made rather than born, but … research has found that entrepreneurs will typically exhibit a combination of behaviors and attitudes.”- Ernest & Young A global debate continues on whether or not entrepreneurs are born or made. As with almost every phenomenon, strong arguments from at least two sides of the spectrum can be presented by experts using scientific data. This article will not be caught up in this scientific debate, except to note that regardless of whether or not entrepreneurs are born or made, entrepreneurs will almost always exhibit a combination of attitudes and behaviours. A few of these will be presented and then it is for you to decide if these attitudes and behaviours are genetically inherited or nurtured.{{more}}

Entrepreneurship is the synthesis in the triad of dialectics. The thesis is tenacious. This means that the entrepreneur must believe in his/her cause, regardless of the odds. This tenacious attitude will make the entrepreneur a trendsetter. His/her resoluteness must be maintained, which will result in success in the long run.

At the same time, the entrepreneur is expected to be flexible and adaptive. Adaptive thinking equips the entrepreneur to identify business opportunities in the most daunting circumstances. It is then important for the entrepreneur to identify the necessary skills needed to capitalize on the opportunities afforded to him or her and then apply them effectively. The successful application of skills to opportunities produces success.

The fear of failure must be overcome by the will to succeed. Therefore, the quiet comfort of a salaried job or being laid off and having a little severance or pay-off or even retiring and having a lump sum gratuity to last until you die must be rejected. The entrepreneur cannot subscribe to the notion that a bird in a hand is better than 10 in the air.

The success of an entrepreneur is measured by the level of technical and financial efficiency of the venture. While the entrepreneur may, at some point, be able to hire technical and financial skills, it is important that he/she possess a mere minimum competency in these areas, at least initially. The success of an entrepreneurial venture can be a complex interaction of internal and external factors, including timing, location, and culture and sometimes sheer luck.

Whatever the factors behind the success of an entrepreneur or the drive to even contemplate entrepreneurship, the reality is that traditional professions are saturated. The fluidity of the workplace is greater than before. Further, businesses are outsourcing and are on a mission to cut costs, while at the same time increase profit.

As a result of the economic climate of our country and by extension the world, the old adage that says ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ may just be the driving force of the growth of entrepreneurship.

Finally, the truth is economies will grow only as businesses grow. The private sector must grow numerically and individual companies must experience developmental growth.

Kenrick D. Quashie

kquashie@gmail.com

(Kenrick D. Quashie is the founder and Managing Director of Youth Business SVG Inc.)

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