The following assignment will critically evaluate the statement to whether entrepreneurs are born or made. The Business Dictionary (2014) defines an entrepreneur as “Someone who exercises initiative by organizing a venture to take benefit of an opportunity and, as the decision maker, decides what, how, and how much of a good or service will be produced.” There is a debate as to whether or not there is such a thing as an ‘entrepreneur gene’ or are entrepreneurs taught and made through experience. Richard Baister (2007) states that “being an entrepreneur is not a job; it’s a lifestyle. People going into business need to have the energy, enthusiasm and motivation to carry them through the inevitable challenges they will face”. These challenges can be hard work, very stressful, involve working long hours and often on their own.
The question is whether or not the skills required are learnt or inherited. There are many factors that can lead to entrepreneurship which can be described as push and pull factors, a push factor for example is someone that has been made redundant and has a job that they don’t want to be in and a pull factor is an attraction that has pulled you into it for example not wanting to work for an employer or money.
Richard Branson a famous international entrepreneur states that “entrepreneurs are born and are ready to go into the business world willingly but there those who hold back and need some encouragement”. Richard didn’t need to have qualifications to get where he is; it was the ideas and the traits that he believes he has and all entrepreneurs have. According to John Rampton (2014) he also believes there are five common personality traits shared by entrepreneurs. They are •Passion-driven by an idea that they have
•Resilience-never gives up
•Strong self-belief – being self-confident, self-motivated
•Flexibility- adapt to change easily
•Vision- always looking at ways to improve or develop their idea In an interview with Lucie Mitchell (Business Zone website), Doug Richards (2014), a serial entrepreneur, believes that “nobody wakes up one day with a successful business and brand” and are not born with these abilities. There are many people who differ in opinions for both sides to this. Lord Alan Sugar, a well-known entrepreneur, disagrees with Doug Richards, and believes that entrepreneurs are born. He states in an interview with Best You magazine (2014) that “you can’t go into Boots and buy a bottle of entrepreneurial juice – entrepreneurial spirit is something you are born with.” Lord Sugar knew from a young age that he wanted to make money (pull factor), but due to his parents struggling to bring him up he knew that being self-sufficient (push factor) would get him things that he wanted which would be seen as both a push and pull factor.
This then started his journey of entrepreneurial activities .Even though he had ideas and a way of selling, it can’t be proven that he was born with entrepreneurial skills. There was one incident where he started making and selling firelighters, local boys caught onto what he was doing, and took over and pushed him out. He states that “he learned the lesson– always be aware that the competition is close behind”, which could be suggested that the initial ‘making money’ idea was there but he was still learning entrepreneurial skills. He later went on to start his own manufacturing company, Amstrad, and is now the star of a reality show ‘The Apprentice’. It can be said that he knew from a young age knew what he wanted to do and has done very well for himself but doesn’t show that he was born with it.
A factor that could influence entrepreneurs to develop is family. If parents bring a child up in that environment, where they work for themselves and are entrepreneurs, then it could lead to them following in the same way this again is a pull factor. David Lanvisky (2014) states that it could be argued that “the more successful the parent, the more successful the child may become as an entrepreneur” but this is again learnt through their upbringing, and not being born that way. Bill Gates was brought up in a well-educated family of entrepreneurs, and became a massive name in technology. It can be argued that having a well-educated family behind him helped him to develop the strategic thinking and the talent to become the entrepreneur he is today. At the time, there was a gap in the market for this product which was the right place, the right time.
There is a question to whether education is a big influence in entrepreneurship. According to Dave Lanvisky (2014) “The more and better education students receive, the more likely they are to become ultra-successful entrepreneurs”. He states that “93% of top entrepreneurs attended college” which does suggest that education has a massive influence in entrepreneurship. Doug Richards (2014) on the schools for start-up website states that “teaching entrepreneurship means empowering people at a young age with ambition, desire, and self-belief.
These can be expressed in a myriad of ways. You need aspiration to be an entrepreneur. And nothing stops someone from combining them all”. This would suggest younger people with ideas could benefit from being taught entrepreneurship which could lead them to be successful in the future. In my opinion, entrepreneurs may not born but can have a way in which they differ from others. I believe that to be an entrepreneur you must have personality traits……….. As already stated people don’t just wake up becoming an entrepreneur but may be developed through life with the influences of families, in which way they have been brought up and education. The above traits are important for an entrepreneur to have but there is a question of whether they are born or learnt through growing up.
Mitchell, L (2014) ‘Nature or nurture: Are entrepreneurs born or made?’ Available at: http://www.businesszone.co.uk/topic/business-trends/nature-or-nurture-are-entrepreneurs-born-or-made/55263 (Accessed 23rd November 2014) Entrepreneur (2014),” Richard Branson on Common Misconceptions About Becoming an Entrepreneur” Available at: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/237036 (Accessed 14th December 2014) Forbes (2014),” 5 Personality Traits of an Entrepreneur” Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnrampton/2014/04/14/5-personality-traits-of-an-entrepreneur/ (Accessed 12th December 2914) Famous Entrepreneurs (2014), Bill Gates, Available at: http://www.famous-entrepreneurs.com/bill-gates