Are Entrepreneurs Born or Made?
We often hear from our friends and sometimes teachers that a certain person is a born leader and a certain person is a born business man. Since a few years there has been a buzz word that many people in tech industry have been saying. That word is Entrepreneur.
Who is an Entrepreneur?
According to business dictionary,
“Someone who exercises initiative by organizing a venture to take benefit of an opportunity and, as the decision maker, decides what, how, and how much of a good or service will be produced.”
Entrepreneur is also a person who builds a business or businesses to make profits while assuming all the risks and rewards of the venture.
I graduated as a Computer Scientist with too little knowledge about business administration. But during my first year at University in 2006, I started providing a paid service named UMS to my class fellows. Many of my class fellows used to travel outside Karachi to their home in rural areas and they couldn’t check their emails regularly from there. I took the risk and started the service and majority of the students bought it.
This is a very small example of identifying a need or a problem and providing solution and in return get money and make profits. I would call it as a small step towards entrepreneurship as I created a product/service for the benefit of community while getting profit from it.
The question – Are entrepreneurs born or made?
Recently, I found that this is a question and lot of research has been carried out to answer this question and the answer is not simple.
The research was done at two extremes end. The view that entrepreneurs are born was carried out by James V. Koch a board of visitors professor of economics at Old Dominion University who concluded that there are genes that control some entrepreneurship traits in a person or some particular genes are triggered by some external influence. Julian Lange, a senior professor at Babson College conducted a research that indicated that entrepreneurship can be taught through a process and by exposing a person to the right training and courses.
In my opinion, there are two main types of business man. One who runs an already built family business and the other one who builds a business from scratch. In both of these cases, there is a risk-factor with more risk factor when you’re creating something new and you have no idea whether it is going to be successful or a complete failure. In both cases, you’re taking risk but innovation is less in the first case.
As a scientist, engineer and artist, I believe that every child is a born scientist. Every child is a born artist. One of the most famous and inspiring Scientist and Astrophysicist of his time, Carl Sagan said that:
“Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them”.
Here he brings an important point that the kids are born scientist. They have the curiosity to know about the world around them. They ponder over things and observe their environment. Then during schooling all the children there are judged on the same self-made criteria. Highly intelligent minds are brought down to match the average minds and average minds are dragged to come to average minds forcefully.
Similarly, I believe that every child is a natural-born entrepreneur. However, the schooling, environment and exposure has a great influence on a child’s interests, actions and ultimately future path. I believe that every normal child has the ability to become a leader, to become an entrepreneur and to bring innovation.
Of course, some people do have the natural born tendency of taking risks and this risk taking is one of the most important personality trait for an entrepreneur. People who have this trait are more likely to start a venture, because they have the ability to take risks and deal with the uncertainty. But the risk taking trait doesn’t guarantee that the entrepreneur is going to be successful.
Entrepreneurship is management, self-confidence, leadership, ability to manage uncertainty, learning from failures, improvise, the will to take risk and to believing in own self. Therefore, entrepreneurs can be made by teaching management, by giving exposure and by improving the personality. Personality has a significant role in becoming an Entrepreneur. Starting a business is not the ultimate goal but to make a sustainable business while providing value to the customer is what makes an Entrepreneur successful and that will come only by continuously improvising own self, learn from failures, improving the business and of course never giving up because you only fail when you give up.