Are Entrepreneurs Born or Made?

The film ‘The Social Network’ based on the life of American entrepreneur Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of the social networking site face book, has struck a chord with many youngsters. Not simply because of the popularity of Facebook but also because of Zuckerberg’s entrepreneurial skills that the Generation Next is taking in terms of risk to launch their own ventures, in fact, post-recession entrepreneurship has become a fashionable and popular option. This is because entrepreneurs are often motivated by necessity and opportunity.
An approach to solving problems, a way of creating, launching or growing a venture –  can take place in any context (corporate government family, non-profit or a de novo start up). It involves identifying or creating opportunities acquiring the resources and providing the leadership to create something of value (either social or economical).
Connecting people:
Research in entrepreneurship has come a long way past trait psychology, popular in the 1960s that suggested entrepreneurs were risk taking, achievement oriented and heroic individuals.
Instead more than 36 years of research shows that it is behavioural and cognitive psychology that predicts success not traits. It involves teaching students techniques and approaches for identifying, creating and evaluating opportunities, approaches to acquire and transform resources- money, people, social, organizational, technological, physical and processes for building a capable team.
Entrepreneurial thought and action is the core strategy of Babson College, we believe that traditional disciplines (marketing, finance, operations) can be strongly enhanced by the inclusion of entrepreneurial thought and action. In other words standard business skills and current management approaches are based on the assumption that the organization exists. What happens if it doesn’t? This is where entrepreneurial thinking is required. And this is where a business school plays an important role.
There are several aspects that make for a successful entrepreneur. Some of these such as principles of business management associated with entrepreneurship can be taught. But there other aspects such as judgment, passion, and intuitions — which are inherent in a successful entrepreneur – are not easily taught in many ways it is akin to teaching art. While an artist can acquire some basic skills through formal training his/ her success as an artist requires much more than the basic principles and techniques. This can however, over time be complemented through practice, experimentation observation and mentoring.
Passion and spirit can potentially take an entrepreneur far but managerial skills are always critical. The broad sales and marketing skills are possibly the most important in the early stages of the entrepreneurial life cycle. An Entrepreneur needs to sell and market beyond just the company’s solution – at times it is selling the idea to an investor to raise money, sometimes it is sales to potential employee to join a starved organization.
The Entrepreneurial Spark:
An MBA graduate Israni says it is his passion for hairdressing that keeps him going and growing. Entrepreneurship is a risky business but if you have a clear vision, believe in yourself and be willing to hard work. Then it is a risk worth taking.
Not being afraid of failure is every famous entrepreneur’s success mantra.
On the difference between the management and entrepreneurship education, Management education assumes that the organizations exists, that there are limits to resources and therefore teaches how to manage within resources and organizational constraints while entrepreneurship education embraces obstacles and surprises; it favours action rather than analysis.
To develop an entrepreneurial approach to doing business, the Global Entrepreneurship Programs (GEP) was developed by three business schools across the globe – EMYLON (France), Babson College (US) and Zhejiang University (China). GEP is a 12 month full time program and fully taught in English. Participants start the year in France continue in China and finish the year in US. Each location offers five modules each of which is focused on key elements of successful entrepreneurship.
Excerpts from The Times of India

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