What is the meaning of “entrepreneur” and how could it apply to me?
An entrepreneur is normally described as a person who takes personal risk and responsibility for starting an organisation or taking an established organisation to a higher stage of development. This involves every aspect of development – a successful entrepreneur has a multi-specialist skill set.
This definition goes further. Entrepreneurial skills are as relevant in a large established organisation as a start-up operation. Many large companies seem to develop the agility and flexibility of smaller companies and the characteristics of their managers are very similar. Entrepreneurship is a state of mind as well as a defined set of abilities and competencies.
The temptation to “be my own boss” and “take my own risks” can seem to be tempting and attractive to many whose careers have been built in a large company environment. However the incidence of failure is high. This course enables participants to assess whether the entrepreneurial life is the right choice and, if so, how to ensure that risks are minimised and opportunities taken.
What are the major questions that any prospective entrepreneur should ask? Here are some suggestions as to the main issues.
- What is the market gap that my idea will bridge?
- What should be the nature of my entrepreneurial business or project?
One important dimension of assessing the feasibility of an entrepreneurial idea is to decide what the venture will do and what it will not do. Entrepreneurial businesses need a strategy and business plan just as much as established organisations.
- How to I secure funding for my idea?
This is perhaps the most difficult issue in converting an idea into action and then scaling it up to a level that generates the desired profitable growth. Entrepreneurs need a well-constructed business plan, based on a robust strategy for the future of the business.
- How do I secure the right team to work with me?
Entrepreneurs acknowledge that they cannot do everything themselves. Staff in entrepreneurial businesses need to share the same mindset and aspirations as the leader if the venture is to proceed successfully.
- How to I keep the venture under control?
This will depend on building excellent relations with co-investors, such as the financial institutions, private capital, venture capital and perhaps later your own colleagues. Keeping the venture on course after commencement is often the most demanding part of running an entrepreneurial operation.
- Will my venture scale up from its original size?
Entrepreneurs and other people who invest in their vision and plans need to concern themselves at the outset with the opportunities and challenges of scaling up the original business idea into an operation that can sustain profitable growth. Scale-up should be addressed as a priority in the original strategy and business plan.
What should you do next?
Join the next group on this course in one of our other international course centres. We look forward to welcoming you, sharing ideas with you and developing your plans. The course will change the way you think about yourself, your career, your relations with others and you will be able to work out whether the path of the entrepreneur is right for you.