Entrepreneurial Skills And The Entrepreneurial Instinct

2381 words - 10 pages

Sir Alan Sugar famously once said regarding entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial skills “The entrepreneurial instinct is in you. You can't learn it, you can't buy it, and you can't put it in a bottle. It's just there and it comes out” (Mail online, 2010). Surprisingly enough this is a view not shared by everyone. Whilst it cannot be denied that entrepreneurs are all ultimately unique in some way empirical evidence suggests that they all do share some common characteristics and skills, some of which can be taught (Colette, et al., 2005). This essay attempts to define those characteristics and skills that enable entrepreneurs to realise the business potential in their ideas. In addition it explores the difficulties entrepreneurs may come up against along the way towards having a successful business venture.
Meredith et al. (1991) describes an entrepreneur as someone who has the ability to see and evaluate business opportunities, gather resources to take advantage of them and undertake the necessary actions to ensure success. When reviewing literature we find we can characterise entrepreneurial characteristics and skills into three distinct key groups, personal characteristics, interpersonal skills and practical skills. According to Locke (2000) one of the most common personal characteristics shared by successful entrepreneurs is their work ethic or ‘love of their work’. Timmons and Spinelli (2006) support this view suggesting that it is this ‘passion for work’ that allows entrepreneurs cope with the extreme levels uncertainty and resources shortages when launching a new venture. Others such as Bass and Stogdill (1993) suggest that it is perseverance that pushes the entrepreneur through difficult business start-up process.
Entrepreneurs are often known for what they do best such as creating new products, services and sometimes even whole new industries. A good example of such a venture is Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic space tourism business (Virgin, 2014). Endeavours such as these require both vision and creativity. Okpara (2007) argues that this type of vision and creativity is a function of three components, expertise, creative thinking skills and motivation and that these are the entrepreneur’s raw material and natural resources. In entrepreneurs motivation often comes from, not only as we have suggested their ‘love of their work’ but also their own internal desire to do something unique, that no one has done before and the satisfaction derived from achieving it. Entrepreneurs tend to indulge in creative thinking more than the normal person and as a result of produce ideas that often fly in the face of established knowledge (Okpara, 2007). This can make it difficult for Entrepreneurs to launch their ideas. When James Dyson invented is revolutionary bag less cyclone based vacuum cleaner he struggled to find a licensee in the UK (Dyson, 2003). In his pursuit of success James Dyson showed some of other typical entrepreneurial characteristics...

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