Contemporary View of Entrepreneurship

It is worth pointing out that while the early thinking on entrepreneurship primarily focused on the entrepreneur as an individual, it has become necessary to also consider the environment where entrepreneurs operate as much as their personal traits come into play. The early thinking seems to suggest that entrepreneurship is something remarkable that is only undertaken by talented individuals—people of high ingenuity, big risk- takers and those determined to be their own bosses. This may not reflect today’s thinking.

Entrepreneurship in contemporary behavioural science focuses on the individual, the process and the individual’s freedom of choice. Focusing on the individual is about the earlier behavioural entrepreneurship research, which unearthed the characteristics of the entrepreneur. Focusing on the process shows the relationship between the environment and the behaviour of the individual. For instance, individuals with entrepreneurial parents tend to pursue entrepreneurial careers to a larger extent than others, which can be explained with the help of social learning models. Focusing on the individual’s freedom of choice shows that new businesses are started by individuals choosing to start them. This means that the psychologically oriented entrepreneurship research has also taken an interest in the individual’s intentions and choices when starting a business.18

The contemporary or modern perspective of entrepreneurship or entrepreneur should examine the entrepreneurial spirit, not only as the expression of unusual individuals, but also as the product of an environment or culture that encourages and supports people in their efforts to launch new ventures. This view presupposes that more people would embark on new ventures if they were given the right support. Although it remains critical for entrepreneurs to identify opportunities, allocate resources and create value through innovative solutions, this is only possible in an environment that promotes entrepreneurial culture and nurturing of new ideas.19

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