What makes an entrepreneur?? Are they made or born??


What motivate an individual to be an entrepreneur??
Are they born entrepreneur??

There are varied approaches to understanding why some individuals decide to venture into Entrepreneurship and, thereby, ‘break through traditional ways of doing things’.Notwithstanding numerous studies on ‘entrepreneurial traits’, there are no ‘well-defined psychological attitudes or profiles that describe all entrepreneurs or characteristics to which entrepreneurs generally conform’.

As Amar Bhide put it, ‘There is no ideal profile. Entrepreneurs can be gregarious or taciturn, analytical or intuitive, cautious or daring’.

To find out the factors behind an entrepreneur, National Knowledge Commission(NKC) of India studied it in great details.

According to the report,an overwhelming 99.4% of the entrepreneurs said they do not want to be in a routine job, signifying that they are satisfied with their vocation and do not regret their initial decision to
become entrepreneurs.


The NKC Study confirms that there is no single motivating factor that triggers the decision to become an entrepreneur. As seen from the figure below, the significant ‘Motivation Triggers’ are: ‘Independence’ (stemming from the freedom to do ‘one’s own thing’), ‘Market Opportunity’, ‘Family Background’ in Entrepreneurship, a ‘New Idea’
(with business potential), the prospect of ‘Challenge’ offered by Entrepreneurship as well as a long cherished ‘Dream Desire’ to become an entrepreneur.

‘Internal’ factors (such as Independence, Challenge and Dream Desire, i.e. the idea that ‘by nature, man cannot but be an entrepreneur’) cumulatively account for the bulk of the total motivating triggers (42%). This lends credence to the argument that the entrepreneurs are driven more by their own inner drive rather than by external conditions.

At the same time, as elaborated in the paragraphs that follow, ‘market opportunity’ as an additional motivating factor has also shown a steady rise over the last two decades. This fact gives rise to the argument that macro environment plays a crucial role in influencing the initial decision of an individual to become an entrepreneur.

To illustrate the many reasons for becoming an Entrepreneur, here are some direct quotes from entrepreneurs interviewed for the NKC study:

 ‘Entrepreneurship offers the opportunity to create something of
one’s own’.
 ‘Entrepreneurs get the opportunity to make the road as well as walk
on it’.
 ‘Entrepreneurship allows people to think outside the box and make
thoughts work’.
 ‘Entrepreneurs are not confined to a particular area of business; they
need to know everything about how business runs’.
 ‘Entrepreneurship allows possibilities for constant selfactualization’.



Variations in Motivation Triggers-

The NKC Study also reveals interesting variations across region, gender, age, family background, time period and levels of work experience.

Variations According to Region:
The most significant motivating trigger for Entrepreneurship was found to be wide ranging across regions – from
‘family background’ being the prime trigger in Ahmedabad and Kolkata to ‘market opportunity’ serving as the most important motivator in Bangalore. Gujarat has been a traditional trading and business hub that may explain greater influence of family background as a prime trigger. In West Bengal, the seeds of Entrepreneurship were sown by migrants
belonging to traditional business communities from Rajasthan. On theother hand, Bangalore, an IT hub and a centre of educational excellence, has emerged as an attractive centre for knowledge Entrepreneurship,driven by increasing market opportunity. Chennai and Pune have also been educational centres of repute, which may explain the preeminence
of idea-driven Entrepreneurship in these cities. Interestingly,entrepreneurs from Hyderabad valued ‘independence’ as a trigger more than other factors.


Variations According to Age:
‘Idea-driven’ motivators are more significant for entrepreneurs above the age of 35 and exert a minimal influence on those below 35. Further, ‘market opportunity’ is a far significant motivating factor for the below-35 age-group compared to those above that age.


Variations According to Family Background: The study found that ‘independence’ is the most powerful motivator for the first-generation entrepreneur (33%), while it has almost no significance in motivating second generation entrepreneurs (only 4% among those second generation entrepreneurs in the same business and only 3% for the
second generation entrepreneurs in a different business).




Degree of ambition:-
When entrepreneurs were asked: ‘Where do you see yourself five years from now?’, it was discovered that most entrepreneurs envision the future of their business in terms of the nature and quality of work (and other intangibles) rather than only in terms of turnover and growth rates. While some entrepreneurs spoke about getting more clients or venturing into the international market, others spoke about being leaders in their respective markets. Some said they see the future in terms of diversifying into newer areas, while others elaborated on dreams of building their current ventures into world-class enterprises. The vision of growth was found to vary according to both the age
of the entrepreneur as well as the age of the enterprise. This clearly shows that entrepreneurs are intensely involved with the work they engage in and view future possibilities through their work, rather than
in financial terms alone.

Mohit Bansal(23) is B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, India. He has interest in business and entrepreneurship and has published couple of research articles. He is also associated with various NGOs. He is with Techaloo when it was just in concept stage. The Techaloo site was not existing even then. Currently Mohit is working with Mu Sigma as a Business Analyst Profile.

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