Entrepreneurship: What does it REALLY mean?

Introduction:

In a world where ideas drive economies, it is no wonder that innovation and entrepreneurship are often seen as inseparable bedfellows. The governments around the world are starting to realize that in order to sustain progress and improve a country’s economy, the people have to be encouraged and trained to think out-of-the-box and be constantly developing innovative products and services. The once feasible ways of doing business are no longer guarantees for future economic success!

In response to this inevitable change, some governments are rethinking the way the young are educated by infusing creative thinking and innovation in their nation’s educational curriculum. In the same vein, they are putting much emphasis on the need to train future entrepreneurs through infusing entrepreneurship components within the educational system, especially at the tertiary level.

Some countries have taken this initiative to a higher level by introducing entrepreneurship education at elementary schools and encouraging them to be future entrepreneurs when they are of age. In a series of survey funded by Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, it was found that nearly seven out of 10 youths (aged 14-19) were interested in becoming entrepreneurs.

Being an entrepreneur is now the choice of the new generation as compared to the preferred career choices of yesteryears such as being a doctor, lawyer or a fighter pilot. In a recent visit to the bustling city of Shanghai in China, an informal survey was carried out among Chinese youths by the author. The results of the survey showed that being an entrepreneur, especially in the field of computer and e-commerce, is perceived as a ‘cool’ career and is an aspiration for many Chinese youths Prior to the ‘opening up’ of modern China, being an entrepreneur was perceived as the outcome of one’s inability to hold a good government job and those who dared to venture, were often scorned at by their peers. Times have indeed changed.

With this change in mindset and the relative knowledge that entrepreneurs bring forth increased job creations, the awareness and academic studies of entrepreneurship have also heightened. In many tertiary institutes, many courses of entrepreneurship and innovation are being developed and offered to cater to the increasing demand. The term “entrepreneurship” has also evolved with numerous variations. The proliferation of jargons such as netpreneur, biotechpreneur, technopreneur and multipreneur are coined to keep up with the ever-changing times and business conditions that surround us.

In view of these changes, it is important that the definition of entrepreneurship be refined or redefined to enable its application in this 21st century. To put it succinctly, “Good science has to begin with good definitions (Bygrave & Hofer, 1991, p13).” Without the proper definition, it will be laborious for policymakers to develop successful programs to inculcate entrepreneurial qualities in their people and organizations within their country.

The paper will provide a summary of the definitions of entrepreneurship provided by scholars in this subject area. The author will also expand on one of the definitions by Joseph Schumpeter to create a better understanding of the definition of the term “entrepreneurship” as applied in today’s business world.

Entrepreneurship through the Years:

It was discovered that the term ‘entrepreneurship’ could be found from the French verb ‘entreprende’ in the twelfth century though the meaning may not be that applicable today. This meaning of the word then was to do something without any link to economic profits, which is the antithesis of what entrepreneurship is all about today. It was only in the early 1700′s, when French economist, Richard Cantillon, described an entrepreneur as one who bears risks by buying at certain prices and selling at uncertain prices (Barreto, 1989, Casson 1982) which is probably closer to the term as applied today.

In the 1776 thought-provoking book ‘The Wealth of Nations’, Adam Smith explained clearly that it was not the benevolence of the baker but self-interest that motivated him to provide bread. From Smith’s standpoint, entrepreneurs were the economic agents who transformed demand into supply for profits.

In 1848, the famous economist John Stuart Mill described entrepreneurship as the founding of a private enterprise. This encompassed the risk takers, the decision makers, and the individuals who desire wealth by managing limited resources to create new business ventures.

One of the definitions that the author feels best exemplifies entrepreneurship was coined by Joseph Schumpeter (1934). He stated that the entrepreneur is one who applies “innovation” within the context of the business to satisfy unfulfilled market demand (Liebenstein, 1995). In elaboration, he saw an entrepreneur as an innovator who implements change within markets through the carrying out of new combinations. The carrying out of new combinations can take several forms:

The introduction of a new good or standard of quality;

  • The introduction of a novel method of production;
  • The opening of a new market;
  • The acquisition of a new source of new materials supply; and
  • The carrying out of the new organization in any industry.

Though the term ‘innovation’ has different meanings to different people, several writers tended to see “innovation” in the form of entrepreneurship as one not of incremental change but quantum change in the new business start-ups and the goods/services that they provide (egs, Bygrave, 1995; Bygrave & Hofer, 1991).

In the view of Drucker (1985), he perceived entrepreneurship as the creation of a new organization, regardless of its ability to sustain itself, let alone make a profit. The notion of an individual who starts a new business venture would be sufficient for him/her to be labeled as an entrepreneur. It is this characteristic that distinguishes entrepreneurship from the routine management tasks of allocating resources in an already established business organization. Though the definition tends to be somewhat simplistic in nature, it firmly attaches the nature of entrepreneurial action with risk-taking and the bearing of uncertainty by the individual (Swoboda, 1983)

In a Delphi study, Gartner (1990) found eight themes expressed by the participants that constitute the nature of entrepreneurship. They were the entrepreneur, innovation, organization creation, creating value, profit or non-profit, growth, uniqueness, and the owner-manager. The themes could be seen as a derivative and expansion of Schumpter’s earlier concept.

Expanding on Schumpeter’s Definition:

After digesting the numerous definitions of entrepreneurship, one would tend to see a strong link between these two terms: entrepreneurship and innovation. In retrospect, most of the definitions tended to be, to some extent, a re-work and expansion of Schumpeter’s definition of entrepreneurship (which is that of innovation being applied in a business context).

As defining the term of ‘innovation’ is highly debatable and would merit a paper on its own, the author has thus, for convenience, summarised the definition of innovation. Innovation can be perceived simply as the transformation of creative ideas into useful applications by combining resources in new or unusual ways to provide value to society for or improved products, technology, or services.

In the author’s opinion, the difficulties of defining “innovation” could be the reason for the quandary one finds in attempting to arrive at a clear-cut definition of the term ” Entrepreneurship”.

Take for example, if someone starts another run-of-the-mill hot dog stand in the streets of New York, will he termed as an entrepreneur? According to Drucker’s definition, he will be seen as one. However, if the above definition by Schumpeter was used as a guideline, the answer is probably ‘NO’.

Why? The core of the matter lies in what is so innovative about setting up another hot-dog stand which are in abundance in New York. On the contrary, if he is the first one to start a stand selling hot-dogs with Oriental Sweet and Sour sauce topping; he could be termed as an entrepreneur (even based on Schumpeter’s requirement) as he has done what others have not done before. In the context of entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation are key points in the whole scheme of things.

In this manner, by adding “innovative” features to a product or services and setting up a business based on these additional features to compete in the existing market, new entrants may be able to gain this competitive advantage over existing market players.

In the case of the hot-dog seller, it may be argued that his addition of Oriental Sweet and Sour sauce toppings may be seen as nondescript. This runs in contrary to some scholars’ definition of entrepreneurship as requiring quantum changes in the products/ services to be justified as being entrepreneurial (Bygrave, 1985; Bygrave & Hofer, 1991).

Consistent with creating new products for sale, someone who starts a business by providing a totally new way of serving his customers/ clients is considered to be entrepreneurial too. Though, it is often argued that there are no real new products or services in a case where one does not look to the past products and services for ideas for improvements. Thus, the notion of incremental improvements should be accepted as being innovative too.

Innovation in the business sense may not necessarily involve, in the physical sense, the introduction of a new product or service. It can be in the form of what is commonly known as creative imitations. For example, if an individual starts selling a product that is already common in his area or country, he will not be seen as being entrepreneurial. However, if he is the first to sell the same product in a virgin locale or to an untouched market segment, he will be seen as an entrepreneur in his own rights.

Take Muhammad Yunus, for example. Yunus became an entrepreneur when he started a micro-loan program for the poor villagers in a rural part of Bangladesh named Grameen, with only US$26. The loan was divided among 42 villagers to assist them to buy small items such as combs, scissors, needles and other necessities to start their own home businesses. In the past 22 years, Grameen Bank has grown with over $2 billion loans granted. It has now become a model for several micro-loan facilities.

>From the following example, Yunus created banking and lending facilities in Grameen specifically for the poor villagers. Banking and lending money activities are not new but Yunus was the first to provide such facilities in a rural part of Bangladesh and that is definitely innovation and risk-bearing on his part as a social entrepreneur. In short, innovation need not arise mainly from a new product or service but it could be an old product or service finding a new market for penetration.

An individual could be termed as an entrepreneur if he or she sells a product or service using new systems and/ or mediums of marketing, distribution or production methods as a basis for a new business venture. A good example will be Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, the successful Web-based bookstore. He was one of the first to sell books on a large scale using an online store and also patented the one-click system for online buying. Though selling books is not an innovation in itself, Jeff Bezos was innovative in the use of the Internet then as a viable marketing and sales channel for selling books.

Another example from the field of e-commerce is Stuart Skorman, the founder of Reel.com [http://Reel.com]. Reel.com [http://Reel.com] is essentially one of the first cyber movie store with a very large inventory of over a 100 000 videos. Though setting a movie store was revolutionary then, Reel.com [http://Reel.com] main distinction was being known as the first online store to expand by opening an offline store. The founder felt that by doing so, the online store could be an advertisement for the offline store and vice versa, thus strengthening this click and mortar business venture- an example of creativity and innovation applied in a profitable business context.

Conclusion:

This paper has started as an attempt to redefine the term of entrepreneurship but ended up ‘updating’ the wheel, based on the definition as proposed by Schumpeter. The paper expanded on this influential work by giving examples to illustrate what innovation in entrepreneurship was and hope that along the way, new insights were unearthed in the study of defining entrepreneurship.

In summary, the author hopes that this paper would further encourage the infusion of creative thinking and innovation within the educational system to nurture future entrepreneurs with a competitive edge. In the author’s view, the characteristics and capabilities to set up a new business venture based on doing things that have not done before should be encouraged. Innovation needs to be the cornerstone of entrepreneurship as opposed to the mere setting up of another new enterprise without implementing changes or adding features of improvements to the products and services provided and/ or its business processes.

How to Insure Cargo

Cargo insurance is one the most effective methods to decrease transportation risks. However many companies in order to save their money refuse to insure their cargo, and hope that “things will come right “. The experience shows that such saving is risky, because in case if cargo is damaged or lost material losses may be severe.

Miracle movers, Toronto movers advise you to approach seriously cargo transportation. Since company’s financial director is interested in minimization of possible financial losses, he should imagine clearly against what types of risks the transported cargo is insured and which are factors that must be taken into account.

Today miracle movers, Corporate moves will share with you their experience regarding cargo insurance.

What should we take into account in case of cargo insurance?

Company may decide to conclude an insurance agreement at any time before cargo transportation. The conditions of insurance depend on cargo type, route and so on. The main document which stipulates these conditions is the agreement with insurance company.

Types of agreements

Each insurance company works on the basis of license granted by the official body and special document – rules of insurance, which are drawn up by each company. The rules describe types of insurance agreements, which may be concluded by the company, list of insured risks according to each type of the agreements, as well as mode of payment of losses to the insured party. Most of the companies have similar documents, because they are based on the Institute Cargo Clauses elaborated by the Institute of London Insurers. In case of cargo transportation to the other countries, in order to avoid problems with foreign partners the ICC terms are used. Miracle movers, Professional office movers, among others, transport cargos besides the Canada borders. That is why they work only with the most reliable insurance companies.

Types of insurance agreements differ by insured risks:

- “all risks”: insurer bears responsibility for losses caused by cargo damage or full or partial cargo loss, which took place by any cause, except causes stipulated in rules of the insurance company;

- ” with particular average”: the insurance company bears responsibility and undertakes to cover losses caused by cargo damage or full or partial cargo loss, which took place as a result of natural hazard or vehicles crash, as well as in consequence of ship in missing. Some companies, including miracle movers, Toronto movers include in such agreement risk of full or entire cargo theft.

- “free of particular average “: the insurer undertakes the responsibility for losses as a result of full or partial cargo loss caused by natural hazard or vehicles crash, as well as for losses in consequence of ship in missing.

Beside the aforesaid main agreements types insurance companies may conclude agreements of insurance of the allied risks, for example damages, which may appear when during cargo transportation goods cost increases or they are not delivered at all due to the political or other events. However the insurance premium in case of such agreements is rather high. But in case when clients of miracle movers, Corporate moves wish to bear such expenses, company concludes such agreements in their name.

Important clauses

Miracle movers, Professional office movers have experienced lawyers who have a serious approach to the insurance of the client’s cargo. Each insurance agreement, as well as the insurance company rules, contains a list of exception cases when the insurer is not liable. As a rule, to the exception cases refer risks related to:

- acts of war and their consequences;

- bad faith or gross negligence of the insured party or his representative A (violation of transportation conditions stipulated in the agreement).

The insurer also will not pay cargo shortage in case when the package has no visible damages (for example, loss of goods from container with unbroken seals).

In our next article we’ll discuss such crucial points in insurance as term of validity of the insurance agreements, factors which influence the underwriting rate, and how to obtain the insurance.

How Rigs for Water Wells Operate

To find new artesian wells, technology absolutely has to help us. With technical and mechanical innovations together with hydraulic engineering it has been possible to build rigs that are more and more efficient and are able to go to very important depths while drilling even more resistant layers of rocks. An artesian well is an under earth rich reserve of pluvial water: it is about natural resources that are hidden in the earth’s ground, the precious water supply of an area can be more or less extensive. The drilled hole of an artesian well lets water spontaneously come up to surface, without the use of submersible pumps. To find this underground water it is thought necessary to use a rig that is appropriate to our aim. Modern rigs, designed and realized by companies from this sector, are able to drill into the layers of the earth for many hundreds of meters. We are talking about mobile rigs, i.e. mounted on trucks or trailer either big or small depending upon the dimensions and weight of the equipment; this will let us move the rig inside the working yard without too many problems.

The choice of the correct rig to drill water wells is a choice of fundamental importance. Depending upon the well’s depth the rig will need to be more or less powerful. The best way to find the most appropriate rig is to trust and search the internet. You just need to open the browser on Google or Bing pages and type “drilling rigs for sale”. Over the world there are many companies that are operating in the sector of designing and realizing rigs. There are companies that are specialized in building rigs dedicated to water research. Others do have rigs to drill inside mines. Others specialize in oil exploration in the deepest layers of the earth from either marine platforms or on the mainland. There are also bigger companies that offer a wider range of drilling equipment. It is not always necessary to buy a new drilling rig. Most companies suggest and offer to their clients the option to hire and sell used rigs which can be recommended for small works when it’s not necessary to use equipment for a long period.

It is possible to find rigs that are fit for any purpose; it is though important to know that not all rigs are equal. For instance there are mechanical rigs which normally operate by diesel engines. There are electrical drilling rigs powered by energy sources generated in the work place, often they have engines with internal combustion. There are hydraulic drilling rigs that are using hydraulic oil flow operated by diesel engine. The system includes one gear box on which are connected different hydraulic pumps. Moreover modern rigs do differentiate themselves for their drilling method; these rigs can work a percussion system or rotary drilling method. The first ones impact the ground vertically drilling a large diameter hole in the ground; these rigs are mostly used when searching for water at low depths, but with very large diameter. Other types of drilling rigs instead, operate by rotating movement with a specific tool, normally called a bit.

Impact of Technology on Business

Together with the advancement of science and technology, technological innovations grew along with it, resulting to the emergence of new equipment and gadgets. No matter how big or small your company is, technology brings both intangible and tangible benefits to become cost efficient and to meet the growing demands and needs of customers. Technological innovations affect corporate efficiency, culture and relationship among employees, clients, suppliers and customers. The type and quality of technology used affect the security of confidential business information.

Due to the burden brought by administrative tasks, like inventory, bookkeeping and records keeping, both big and small companies rely on computers to do their administrative works. The birth of Internet and online social networking sites tremendously decreased the costs of business operations. It also makes it easier for companies to use the Six Sigma management methodologies. Some firms shifted to outsourcing instead of hiring their own personnel due to the low costs associated with it. Because of the huge impact of technological innovations to companies, it is impossible for them to live with it.

Commonly used high technology equipment:

  • Computers
  • Photocopier
  • Telephone
  • Computer printer
  • Internet
  • Paper shredder
  • Multimedia projector
  • Touch screen monitors
  • Computer mouse
  • Laptop computers

Advantages of Technology to Business:

  • Customer Relations. Technology affects the way companies communicate and establish relations with their clients. In a fast moving and business environment, it is vital for them to interact with clients regularly and quickly to gain their trust and to obtain customer loyalty. With the use of Internet and online social networks, firms interact with consumers and answer all their queries about the product. Establishing effective communication with customers not only creates rapport with them, but it also creates strong public image. It allows business enterprises to reduce and to cut carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Business Operations. With the use of technological innovations, business owners and entrepreneur understand their cash flow better, how to manage their storage costs well and enables you to save time and money.
  • Corporate Culture. Technology lets employees communicate and interact with other employees in other countries. It establishes clique and prevents social tensions from arising.
  • Security. Modern security equipment enables companies to protect their financial data, confidential business information and decisions.
  • Research Opportunities. It provides a venue to conduct studies to keep themselves ahead of competitors. It allows companies to virtually travel into unknown markets.
  • Corporate Reports. With technology, business enterprises communicate effectively with their branch offices to deliver quality financial and operational reports.
  • Industrial Productivity. Through the use of business software programs or software packages, it automated traditional manufacturing process, reduces labor costs and enhances manufacturing productivity. It enables companies to increase efficiency and production output.
  • Business mobility. Technological innovations improved companies’ sales, services, shorted lead time on receiving and delivering goods and services. Enables them to penetrate multiple markets at least costs.
  • Research capacity. It enables them to conduct studies on various companies to gain knowledge on the new trends in the market and way on avoiding them.