The Concept of Entrepreneurship

No subject has garnered more attention over the past few years as entrepreneurship has. Many academic journals are dedicated to heralding its characteristics and significance, as do academic conferences, higher education curricula and a host of self-help books. Entrepreneurship is also unique among the bulk of business school offerings, and can even claim its own trade magazine.7 This section explores the definition of entrepreneurship/ entrepreneur, early thinking regarding entrepreneurship, contemporary views of entrepreneurship, and the different types of entrepreneurship.

Definition: Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneur

Defining the words entrepreneur and entrepreneurship has been one of the most difficult and intractable tasks researchers in the field have faced. This is because of a proliferation of theories, definitions and taxonomies of entrepreneurship that are often in conflict and overlap each other, resulting in confusion and disagreements among researchers and practitioners about precisely what entrepreneurship is.8 The old sense of entrepreneurship meant a speculative person investing their own capital in stocks, land and operating machinery or manpower for personal profit.9

Books, articles and authors looked at the entrepreneur from entrepreneurial roles, as well as the psychological profile. The roles include entrepreneur as risk-taker manager, capitalist, innovator, alert seeker of opportunities, and as coordinator of limited resources.10 Similarly, the psychological profile of the “successful entrepreneur” emphasizes characteristics such as risk-taking, assertiveness and vision. These refer to innate predispositions or aspects of temperament, which may make us conclude that only certain types of people make good entrepreneurs or are capable of worthwhile innovations.11

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