Entrepreneurs are individuals who have the ability to come up with business ideas and see to it that they are implemented to achieve the goals that have been set. Entrepreneurs have the mandate of introducing a business idea and working out ways through which the business idea can be made into a viable commercial activity. Further, entrepreneurs can be seen as possessing skills that where they can identify a particular business opportunity. After identifying the opportunity, the entrepreneur formulates a method through which the opportunity can be explored to create a business that would bring returns to the firm. A typical entrepreneur must be in a position to seize any opportunity that comes by and builds a business out of the same. Also, have skills and knowledge that enable them to put together various factors that are likely to enhance the manner in which the activities of the business are carried. The ability to be able to identify a particular business opportunity, complete feasibility studies regarding the business and to make the idea practical can be seen to be the real representative picture of an entrepreneur. They must be individuals who can combine all of the skills that they possess and come up with a business out of the same.
Attributes of a successful entrepreneur
Entrepreneurship has been described as a set of activities taken by a particular person to draw together resources and ideas and syndicate them to a commercially conventional product while corporate entrepreneurship encompasses creativity and innovation (Wortman, 1987). There are certain specific attributes that one must have for them to be described as being successful entrepreneurs. A successful entrepreneur needs to be visionary. An individual who is engaging in a particular business activity must have a vision for the event that they are carrying out. Vision helps the business have something they look forward into achieving. For the same reason, it becomes vital for an entrepreneur to have the vision of where they would like the business to be after a given duration of time. The vision of the business serves as a guide to the firm on what needs to be done to achieve the ultimate goal. Entrepreneurs must be visionary enough so that they can work with whatever they have in the company to realize its potential.
Further, an entrepreneur needs to be someone who is creative enough in the manner in which they are conducting business. Business activities entail operating in competition with other firms. However, for one to be able to compete effectively with other commercial entities, they must be creative enough to come up with products that are appealing to the customers. The entrepreneur needs to give the customers a reason to choose its products instead of that offered by other companies. According to Kuratko and Hodgets (2004), entrepreneurship encompasses one being visionary and creative enough to ensure that the new ideas introduced by the company are implemented appropriately. Further, entrepreneurs must be willing to take risks in the cause of conducting the business activities. As Kuratko and Hodgets (2004) postulate, an entrepreneur should be prepared to take calculated risks concerning time, career, equity and formulation of an efficient venture team. An entrepreneur having such attributes is well placed to drive the business to success.
Successful entrepreneurs must have other skills that distinguish them from other individuals. Notably, entrepreneurs must have proper communication skills. The success of any organization is dependent upon the ability of the business to have an appropriate framework with which the individuals within the firm communicate with themselves or with the outsiders. An entrepreneur must have such skills for them to be able to realize success since business activities entail constant communication. Further, the entrepreneur must be an individual who has excellent negotiations skills. Business as an activity requires one striking a deal with potential investors, customers, and other stakeholders. An entrepreneur who has proper negotiation skills is well placed at realizing success for the organization since they can forge many deals with potential business partners for the benefit of the firm. Finally, aside from the skills mentioned, a successful entrepreneur needs to have knowledge of various factors that could be affecting the business. Notably, they must be able to write a business plan for the idea that they may have formulated. The success of any business activity is significantly dependent on the nature of the business plan that is formulated by the entrepreneurs. It is through the same that a guide on how the business would be run is derived. Next the entrepreneur must be well versed in financial management skills. Proper management of funds within any business is fundamental towards the success or failure of the enterprise. If the entrepreneur lacks valuable skills of financial management, there are chances of the company either operating in losses or failing to perform since much of the funds are not accounted. Finally, social skills are a prerequisite for any individual wishing to be a successful entrepreneur. As pointed out by Kuratko and Hodgets (2004), a successful entrepreneur needs to have both skills and knowledge for them to realize the potential of the business that they are running.
Entrepreneurship education in Trinidad and Tobago against universities in the more developed world
There is a similar opinion when it comes to a comparison of entrepreneurial education in tertiary institutions in Trinidad and Tobago with that in the developed countries. Students did feel that the curriculum was the same, but there was a variation when it came to the approach that was applied in the developed countries. Many were of the opinion that tertiary institutions in developed countries did focus on coming up with entrepreneurs who were versed in the practical skills compared to those who from Trinidad and Tobago where teaching focused on the acquisition of theoretical skills. Many universities across the globe have focused on coming up with entrepreneurship courses that are approachable enough to encourage the creation of an environment where it is possible to transform ideas into real actions. Notably, GEM (2010) points out that Trinidad and Tobago have come up with a framework that serves to link the small and medium enterprises with the policies and programs of the firm. It is a reflection of the efforts that are being made by the Caribbean governments in ensuring that entrepreneurship education creates a group of individuals who have a mindset of an entrepreneur. According to Jesselyn and Mitchell (2006), tertiary institutions have the mandate of coming up with students who not only are knowledgeable in entrepreneurship but also have the skills that are required when it comes to running a profitable business. The situation may not be the same in Trinidad and Tobago since as it is pointed out, much focus is on the acquisition of knowledge on entrepreneurship. Little regard has been given to encourage the application of the theoretical skills into practice. Because of the same, most of the students have ended up coming out of the tertiary institutions in Trinidad and Tobago with incomplete expertise when it comes to entrepreneurship.
However, much as the focus has been put on inculcating practical skills among the students in tertiary institutions in developed countries; it does not mean that the theoretical knowledge is not of significance. As Kuratko (2013) states, knowledge of entrepreneurship can only be found in tertiary institutions suggesting that institutions of higher learning in Trinidad and Tobago are justified in the provision of the theoretical knowledge. However, it is vital that they start incorporating the practical skills of entrepreneurship into the curriculum so that they can match up with what is being offered at the developed institutions. Pretorious et al. (2005) concur with the same sentiments as he suggests that entrepreneurial education needs to focus more on making students realize the entrepreneurial spirit as a way of helping the students come up with their business initiative.
Overall, entrepreneurship remains to be a core field of study when it comes to finding ways through which economic growth can be achieved for any country. Tertiary institutions that have the mandate of disseminating the knowledge to students need to align the curriculum with the demands of the economy. Much as it would be mandatory to have a focus on the acquisition of knowledge, it is vital that the tertiary institutions encourage the acquisition of practical skills that would help the students come up with the business initiatives. It is through such a venture that it would be possible to create employment and ensure economic growth in a country.
List of References
Jesselyn Co, M. and Mitchell, B., 2006. Entrepreneurship education in South Africa: a nationwide survey. Education+ Training, 48(5), pp.348-359.
Kuratko, D.F. and Hodgetts, R.M., 2004. Entrepreneurship: Theory, Process. Practice, 6.
Kuratko, D.F. and Audretsch, D.B., 2013. Clarifying the domains of corporate entrepreneurship.
International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 9(3), pp.323-335.
Pretorius, M., Nieman, G. and Van Vuuren, J., 2005. Critical evaluation of two models for entrepreneurial education: An improved model through integration. International Journal of Educational Management, 19(5), pp.413-427.
Ramkissoon-Babwah, N., 2012. An entrepreneurship education model for Trinidad and Tobago.
Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies, 3(3), p.307.
Wortman, M.S., 1987. Entrepreneurship: An integrating typology and evaluation of the empirical research in the field. Journal of Management, 13(2), pp.259-279.
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