Young: A capacity to create something new
Entrepreneurship is a phenomena that has dominated public attention quite a bit over the past two decades.
That glamour is due to a number of reasons. First, the crisis of the large corporation which appeared to be governed by managers/bureaucrats.
And the contemporary discovery of the entrepreneurially-based small business.
Decisive in shaping the view of entrepreneurship in the public imagination is the fact that typically great and prominent entrepreneurs have characterized the absolutely huge restructuring process of the 1990s.
People from all walks of life, from every nook and cranny of the corporate world and education communities, acknowledge that entrepreneurship is, not the “sleeping giant” of economic progress, the tower of economic foundation-building that can alter the socio-economic landscape of regions, provinces and nations.
Especially important also is the fact that real entrepreneurs have been able to ride the great wave off innovation and creativity that is so paramount in industries such as electronics and information technologies, which in turn has brought our world into an era of true globalization.
Entrepreneurship seems so central to the wealth and competitiveness of our region, province and country so much so that there is a tendency to attempt to codify it for both instructional and industrial policies.
What I find so unbelievably significant is that across North America alone, to say nothing of the remainder of the world, hundreds of universities, colleges and municipal centres are dedicated to the realm of entrepreneurship and all its precepts.
Entrepreneurship appears in different sizes as it were. It can be found in large corporations as well as in small retail shops.
It can present itself in various forms. You may discover it as a motivating force behind a science bench and the old-time peddler who is particularly able as an innovative salesperson or the highly-educated manager of a large corporation who understands the meaning of entrepreneurship and the passion that can be created by operating entrepreneurially from within and organization.
And, I love the imagery of what pushes the impetuous, instinctive type of person who is able to anticipate demand as solving a particular problem in the marketplace and builds an economic empire from out of that fulfillment.
I want to take a step back for a moment and offer a brief explanation of entrepreneurship as compared to small business. I often find my passion for entrepreneurship may cloud the way for others to see the relationship between the two elements of economic pursuit.
Many people use the terms entrepreneur and small business owner synonymously. While both may have much in common, there are significant differences between the two. Let me draw your attention to how entrepreneurial ventures differ from small business:
Amount of wealth creation—rather than simply generating an income stream that replaces traditional employment, a successful entrepreneurial venture creates substantial wealth.
Speed of wealth creation—while a successful small business can generate considerable profit over a lifetime, entrepreneurial wealth creation often is rapid.
Risk—the risk of an entrepreneurial venture must always be considered high, otherwise, with the incentive of sure profits many entrepreneurs would be pursuing the idea and the opportunity no longer would exist.
Innovation & Creativity—this element to me, as you have seen my words on this, is the most critical difference, as entrepreneurship often involves much more of these ingredients than what any small business might or can exhibit. This sense of innovation and creativity gives the entrepreneurial venture the competitive advantage that results in the aspect of rapid wealth creation. The innovation then can be the product or service itself or the business processes utilized to deliver it to the market.
In other words, a great litmus test for a difference between entrepreneurship and small business is the capacity to create something new. Remember, entrepreneurs look at the world the same as everyone else but think and behave differently.
Entrepreneurs are change agents, they thrive on disequilibrium. They are meant to bring to our world, the socio-economic progress that truly benefits our existence.
The time has come, once again, for us to celebrate, highlight and, most of all, champion the role of the entrepreneur in our regional and provincial landscape, because the entrepreneur is not going anywhere, is here to stay and is committed to making our world more enjoyable, fruitful and progressive.