WHAT IS AN ENTREPRENEUR?
The term entrepreneur is a loanword from French, and is commonly used to describe an individual who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on financial risk to do so.
The term was first defined by the Irish-French economist Richard Cantillon as the person who pays a certain price for a product in order to resell it at an certain price, thereby making decisions about obtaining and using the resources while consequently admitting the risk of enterprise. The term first appeared in the French Dictionary "Dictionnaire Universel de Commerce" of Jacques des Bruslons published in 1723.
Over time, scholars have defined the term in different ways. Here are some prominent definitions.
- 1803: Jean-Baptiste Say: An entrepreneur is an economic agent who unites all means of production- land of one, the labour of another and the capital of yet another and thus produces a product. By selling the product in the market he pays rent of land, wages to labour, interest on capital and what remains is his profit. He shifts economic resources out of an area of lower and into an area of higher productivity and greater yield.
- 1934: Schumpeter: Entrepreneurs are innovators who use a process of shattering the status quo of the existing products and services, to set up new products, new services.
- 1964: Peter Drucker: An entrepreneur searches for change, responds to it and exploits opportunities. Innovation is a specific tool of an entrepreneur hence an effective entrepreneur converts a source into a resource.
- 1971: Kilby: Emphasizes the role of an imitator entrepreneur who does not innovate but imitates technologies innovated by others. Are very important in developing economies.
- 1975: Albert Shapero: Entrepreneurs take initiative, accept risk of failure and have an internal locus of control.
- 1975: Howard Stevenson: Entrepreneurship is "the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled."
- 1983: G. Pinchot: Intrapreneur is an entrepreneur within an already established organization.
- 1985: W.B. Gartner: Entrepreneur is a person who started a new business where there was none before.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I never saw myself as an entrepreneur, but when enough people tell you that thats how you operate, you begin to believe it. The naming of people however is not as import as the role of and the need for pioneers, innovators or servant leadership.
I started out as more of a social entrepreneur, initially developing a course called New Start Motivation for young people trying to get a job. This inspired a number of motivational type programs: Examination Motivation at a local University, a Radio program called High Voltage Thinking and a manuel with CD’s named the Success N Life Club. This lead to speaking engagements at a wide range of functions on a broad range of topics, from Thinking by Design, to Practical Business Skills, and the Art of Leadership.
My journey has involved a multitude of endeavors: Global Tribe aid work, reinventing community organizations and Churches, the Leadership of a Political Party - Future New Zealand, Romanian Child Aid, Body and Soul gyms, and the Global Tribe Cafe for young people.
Global Tribe Cafe was where this idea of Global Tribe Entrepreneurs had its genesis, as already mentioned with spaces for young people as a safe place to have-a-go at their first business. We gave them a space, mentors and a great environment in which to develop their ideas. This cafe eventually became funded by local government and the name changed to Zeal, which has now spread to many other cities throughout New Zealand under the leadership of a group of young social entrepreneurs far more understanding of youth issues than I do.
My involvement in politic’s helped me to understand the wider issues of living in community and developing an integrated vision for a healthy society. As a young political leader in our country I was invited to Washington DC, along with many other leaders from around the world, to a prayer breakfast with President Bill Clinton. This was an annual event started by president President Eisenhower to build relationships globally.
It was there that I heard the story of Mother Teresa’s visit to a previous Breakfast to speak on a platform with President Clinton, Hilary Clinton, and a line-up of the world’s greatest speakers and leaders. Apparently when this short, physically frail woman spoke, it had an impact and authority that no other speaker present possessed. She had an impact and authority greater than presidents because of her servant heart, and passionate love for the poorest of the poor. As she spoke, she shifted people’s priorities and carried such a potent level of love that it deeply affected all of those that heard her for the rest of their lives.
TO ROMANIA WITH LOVE
Spearheading a major paradigm shift in my thinking, was our initiative to help children suffering in orphanages throughout Romania. The result of twenty-five years of dictatorship under Ceausescu saw these children living under hellish conditions.
Late one Saturday evening, I reflected on what I had seen of the Romanian children on the BBC World News that day. Pictures of naked children covered in sores, huddling together like animals in cages splashing in their own excrement. I had only really caught a glimpse of these children while in deep conversation with family and friends at my parents’ house, however the images returned to my mind with huge feelings of both compassion and helplessness. I kept saying to myself “It’s impossible. What can I really do that will make any difference?” No sooner had I thought those thoughts, than the most powerful of emotions entered my soul. Feelings and thoughts that had a penetrating punch. I began to feel as if I was one of those children, amongst them, somehow inside their heads; they were saying to themselves “I wish someone would come and take away my pain. Why won’t they come? Could someone please come and help?”
This was not a passing fit of passive pity, it was a defining moment, a revelation of what the Creator sees and feels everyday. Emotions so cutting that the pain would not leave, echoing through my soul, forcing out the tears and moving me to aggressive action, shifting me out of the feelings of helplessness to becoming their advocate, and attempting to do my small part in relieving the pain of these children.
‘To Romania with Love’ was a mission that eventually resulted in a shipment of food, medical supplies, clothing, and teddy bears being sent. This was not without experiencing the extreme frustration of trying to convince people to take action and give a piece of their lives in the form of money or other provisions, taking some responsibility for what was going on in our global village.
I then led a team of twelve doctors, nannies, and volunteers on a trip to Romania to a large castle housing over 300 children to give what love, affection, or meaning we could. We flew to Amsterdam to pick up the supplies that the Dutch had donated, then drove for three days to find ourselves at the gates of the castle I had seen on the BBC World News. Because communication was impossible, we had no way of making contact with the orphanage and had no idea if they would let us in. It was madness looking back. We were hundreds of thousands of miles from home with no guarantee of entry.
On arrival I asked to speak to the doctor in charge, and was led through the chilling hallways of what can only be described as a death camp. The doctor was a gracious man doing his best, powerless and humiliated by years of watching helpless children die of all kinds of diseases, including Aids. With a few pain-killers as his only medicine, and little more than weak tea and soup for their daily diet, the doctor could do little but watch the children die or go mad. When he finally allowed us to enter, we found children rocking back and forth, softly hitting their heads against the walls to pass the time of day. Other kids were drinking their own urine from pots placed on the floor used as a kind-of-toilet. The effect was devastating and it made me feel sick to the stomach.
These children had no father or mother, and for years before we arrived they were caged and left naked in their cells that looked like pigpens. To add to their nightmare, the stronger, more aggressive kids would roam around, biting or smashing the other kids against the wall, punching and scratching them at will. I will never forget one day taking a group of kids outside the walls of the castle for the first time in their lives. We were visiting a group of dentists who had arrived from England to attend to the raw nerve endings protruding from the children’s rotten teeth. It was a sunny day; the sky was blue and the grass long and green. However these kids were huddled together in the middle of a field, obviously frightened by their new surroundings and afraid, not knowing where they might be going next. Their home was a picture of hell itself.
That day we talked through our interpreter to some older children who were complaining about a predator in their midst. A man who appeared to be in his late twenties, of rugged appearance who spoke to us with an arrogant tone in his voice was molesting them every night. I must admit that that night we plotted ways by which to kill him, which I guess wasn’t that charitable of us, considering we weren’t even going to give him a proper trial.
Although the orphanages throughout Romania had been equivalent to death camps, things were radically changing because of the international aid and huge compassion of truly outstanding people from around the world who had come to help. Every one of our team spent weeks, even months, in mourning after our visit, with times of deep sobbing and eyes filling with tears at the faintest memory of these children.
This experience radically changed the direction of my life. I firmly believe that every business needs to be involved with social entrepreneurs in the growth and development of our communities.
For over ten years, I joined friends to ride motorcycles across the deserts of Baja Mexico, a lot of fun, but also the catalyst of our involvement with building homes for families trapped in poverty.
Since then Global Tribe has moved beyond New Zealand into many of the poverty hot spots of the world, focused on assisting those humiliated by poverty. This was until the realization that the only way to make-poverty-history was to focus on the development of what I called economic engines or healthy small businesses at the heart of these poor communities.
All of this was only made possible because of a life long friend, Wesley Campbel, a truly great business entrepreneur, starting out in the United States with an unknown Rock Band from Australia and a few hundred dollars in his pocket. It was on the back of their global success that News Boys and many other bands promoted Global Tribe teams and raised money to help build houses for the poor of Mexico, Hatai and Africa.
It was Wesley that encouraged me to use the equity in my home to purchase my first commercial building. Something we eventually partnered on in order to house ZEAL, the cafe for young people mentioned earlier.
Like it or not, most great companies or community organizations where started by an entrepreneur, or in many cases more than one. This is the person(s) who plants the seed idea, establishes the root, and grows the initial fruit.
It is one thing to know all there is to know about business (marketing, accounting etc); you may even have the best product or service on earth, but without some basic disciplines, you are doomed to fail. The art of being an entrepreneur is more about strong character and discipline than skill alone. Characteristics such as being a hard worker, creativity, patience, perseverance, self-control, passion...
This pillar, The Entrepreneur, is the most fundamental issue to the creation of any enterprise, because it’s about the quality of character and the disciplines of the person or persons who lay the foundation and culture of the new enterprise.
So time taken to establish the person at the root of the enterprise, makes this the most important section of the book and the reason this section takes up over half of it’s content.
We need to focus on caring for the goose that lays the golden eggs, and not simply fall in love with the gold. Who we are is the foundation of what we do and how we will operate. Build the person and you build the business.
The creation of a great enterprise, no matter what it is, is more about character than talent, and about learning an art-form than acquiring know-how.
Albert Einstein said, “Most people say that it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong, it is character.”