Entrepreneurship’ is a generic term that subsumes many issues.
It has,therefore, been defined in very many ways. Rabboir, (1995) listed twentydefinitions of ‘entrepreneurship’ from various authorities on the subject. Heconcludes that efforts to reach a consensus on the subject have not beensuccessful and various analysts are changing their definitions as work, studyand experience in the field evolve. Given the elusive definition ofentrepreneurship, it is increasingly recognised that what is of great consequence is not what’entrepreneurship’ is or who ‘entrepreneurs’ are, but rather what they do orthe ways in which different types of people, at different stages in the livesof their enterprises will respond to assistance of various types.
Schnurr andNewing, (1997) Doing new things or doing things that are already beingdone is a simple definition of entrepreneurship. It can be described as acreative and innovative response to the environment. Such responses can takeplace in any field of social Endeavour-business, agriculture, education, socialwork and a like. Knowledge about the economic-political environment, moreparticularly about the economic policies of the government and the financial aswell as commercial institutions, is important for the entrepreneur.Putting all this in mind, an entrepreneur is the one whoorganizes, manages and assumes the risk of an enterprise. An entrepreneurvisualizes a business, takes bold steps towards establishing an undertaking. Hecoordinates the various factors of production and gives it a start.
He is theowner of the business who contributes the capital and bears the risk ofuncertainties in business life. Entrepreneur is action –oriented and highlymotivated. He has the ability to evaluate business opportunities, to gather thenecessary resources to take advantage of them and to initiate appropriateaction to ensure success.He is associated with innovations. He is the main factorof production.
He takes decisions regarding what to produce, how to produce,where to produce and for whom to produce. He mobilizes other factors ofproduction namely, land, labour, capital, as well as organizes and initiatesproduction process. He is responsible for both the profit and the loss too. Entrepreneurship is different from management. Paul H. wilken(1979), explains that entrepreneurship involves initiating changes inproduction, where as management involves the ongoing coordination of the productionprocess.
He states that entrepreneurship is a discontinuous phenomenon,appearing to initiate changes in the production process and then disappearinguntil it reappears to initiate another change. Entrepreneurship is all about”change”. Entrepreneurs see change as the norm and as healthy.
Usually they donot bring about change themselves. (That is, they are not usually innovators).But the entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploitsit as an opportunity”. As written by peter ducker but they might just as easilyhave come from the pen of Schumpeter who popularized the term”entrepreneurship” who also added that the whole process of economic changedepends on the person who makes it happen-the entrepreneur. Lookingat the different conceptualizations of the term entrepreneur and Entrepreneurship,it becomes apparent that a clear-cut and controversy-free definition is nowherewithin reach.
Entrepreneurship cannot be wholly confined to Schumpeter’sinnovating activity. A business manager, for instance, who astutely guides,organizes, directs or co-ordinates the operations of a business venture, bymaking decisions on the use of productive factors, or the nature, quality, andstyle of products or services to be produced and on marketing and time factors,is, indeed, an entrepreneur. In so doing, the manager may out rightly innovateor as is more commonly the case, exercise creative imitation, often referred toas adaptationBut given that this paper aims towards at leasttentative suggestions for the promotion of entrepreneurship in the newlyindustrializing economies, it needs more definitional rigour. Without it, theissues relating to entrepreneurship and growth of enterprises cannot beproperly debated and policy issues cannot be precisely crafted. This paperadopts a definition of ‘entrepreneurship’ along the lines proposed byStevenson. According to Stevenson, ‘entrepreneurship’ is “the process whereby individuals become aware ofbusiness ownership as an option or viable alternative, develop ideas forbusiness, learn the process of becoming an entrepreneur and undertake theinitiation and development of a business”. It is the “practical application ofenterprising qualities, such as initiative, innovation, creativity, and risk-takinginto the work environment in order to promote economic growth by using theappropriate skills necessary for success in that environment and culture inwhich he or she is operating.
The application of these qualities, a process known as’entrepreneurism’ leads to ventures in the social, political or businessspheres. The emphasis in this paper is on self-employment. We define’self-employment’ as anyone who works for himself or herself but for anyoneelse, except under arm’s-length contracts (OECD, 2001). This definition by OECDincludes those who work alone – at home, from a workshop-truck or in separatebusinesses.