The entrepreneur is a person who is willing to take risk in launching and building businesses in order to make profits. Entrepreneurs must possess a combination of creativity, innovation, business sense, and leadership skills to succeed. Successful communication is a must, as entrepreneurs communicate their ideas and strategies to potential investors, employees, and suppliers.
What is being an entrepreneur?
The word Entrepreneur is derived from the French verb entreprendre, meaning “to undertake.” Early on, it referred to manufacturers and tradesmen who entered contracts with monarchs for public buildings or supplies for armies. The word then grew to include businessmen with fixed revenue from their contracts but uncertain costs. Economist Mark Thornton uncovered that these entrepreneurs attempted to increase their profit margins by cutting corners on materials and construction methods. This practice fueled the negative perception of entrepreneurs as cheats and tricksters.
In modern economics, the entrepreneur acts as a coordinating agent in a capitalist economy. They identify opportunities to create or extract economic value by mobilizing resources toward new potential profit opportunities. They also act as innovators, creating or adapting a product, service, or process for market penetration.
In the 19th century, a famous French economist, Jean-Baptiste Say, popularized the academic usage of entrepreneur. He expanded the literal translation to mean one who shifts economic resources away from areas of lower productivity into higher productivity areas. Joseph Schumpeter’s 20th-century contributions further defined the entrepreneurial spirit as an activity that revolutionizes economic structures and fosters constant economic change.