Entrepreneurs are generally considered to be the engine of new job creation economic development. From this driven lot springs the new businesses and jobs coveted by local localities across the US.
In an effort to spark the creation of new business, the entrepreneurial spirit is nurtured in our schools, colleges and business community. In my opinion, this efforts seem to be solely focused on seeding the entrepreneurial pool and waiting for something to grow. An alternative and complementary approach may be the mixing of entrepreneurial talent "cocktails" to create new business.
To get some insight into what defines an entrepreneur, the following information comes from Wikipedia:
An entrepreneur is a person who has possession of an enterprise, or venture, and assumes significant accountability for the inherent risks and the outcome. It is an ambitious leader who combines land, labor, and capital to create and market new goods or services. (Source)
Entrepreneurship is the practice of starting new organizations or revitalizing mature organizations, particularly new businesses generally in response to identified opportunities. (Source)
The following traits are ascribed to entrepreneurs:
* Willingness to take prudent risks.
* Primarily motivated by an overwhelming need for achievement and strong urge to build
* They are tough, pragmatic people driven by needs of independence and achievement. They seldom are willing to submit to authority.
* Mercurial, that is, prone to insights, brainstorms, deceptions, ingeniousness and resourcefulness. they are cunning, opportunistic, creative, and unsentimental.
* Exhibit extreme optimism in their decision-making processes.
* Prone to overconfidence and over generalizations.
* Has an enthusiastic vision, the driving force of an enterprise.
* Vision is usually supported by an interlocked collection of specific ideas not available to the marketplace.
* Ability to see the big picture while the specifics may be in flux.
* Promotes the vision with enthusiastic passion.
* Persistence and determination to develop strategies to change vision into reality.
* Usually a positive thinker and a decision maker.
* (Source) ###
The list contains both positive and negative traits. It's my opinion, the ability to shoulder risk is what really separates entrepreneurs from the general workforce. The fear of leaving one's "zone of security" dictates how many of us live our lives. (How many people work jobs they hate because they fear change?)
The economic downturn presents us with a set of circumstances that may be conducive to the creation of entrepreneurial entities. Many qualified individuals have been forced from their zone of security through job or investment loss. Combined with a tight job market, this leaves many with no place to go. Dealing with the unknown has become a daily activity.
Why not package groups with the necessary skill sets (management, marketing and production) and, combined with a mix of training and capitalization, move them toward business creation? (A for-profit, cooperatively owned company would provide equal benefit for all involved in the new start-ups.)
Join us for a further discussion of business creation and business cooperatives (and how they can benefit rural economic development) at: www.alleganyco-op.com/SMF_Alleganycoop/