Entrepreneurial Skills and the Entrepreneurial Instinct

Powerful Essays
Sir Alan Sugar famously once said regarding entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial skills “The entrepreneurial instinct is in you. You can't learn it, you can't buy it, and you can't put it in a bottle. It's just there and it comes out” (Mail online, 2010). Surprisingly enough this is a view not shared by everyone. Whilst it cannot be denied that entrepreneurs are all ultimately unique in some way empirical evidence suggests that they all do share some common characteristics and skills, some of which can be taught (Colette, et al., 2005). This essay attempts to define those characteristics and skills that enable entrepreneurs to realise the business potential in their ideas. In addition it explores the difficulties entrepreneurs may come up against along the way towards having a successful business venture.
Meredith et al. (1991) describes an entrepreneur as someone who has the ability to see and evaluate business opportunities, gather resources to take advantage of them and undertake the necessary actions to ensure success. When reviewing literature we find we can characterise entrepreneurial characteristics and skills into three distinct key groups, personal characteristics, interpersonal skills and practical skills. According to Locke (2000) one of the most common personal characteristics shared by successful entrepreneurs is their work ethic or ‘love of their work’. Timmons and Spinelli (2006) support this view suggesting that it is this ‘passion for work’ that allows entrepreneurs cope with the extreme levels uncertainty and resources shortages when launching a new venture. Others such as Bass and Stogdill (1993) suggest that it is perseverance that pushes the entrepreneur through difficult business start-up process.

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