Sunday, November 18, 2007

Who can be an entrepreneur? Part I

Lately I've been reading on 'who' can be/ is an entrepreneur. Perhaps a better way to phrase it would be - what normally/ usually is the profile of a person who becomes an entrepreneur? Is it an 'in-the-mind' phenomenon? How much do external factors influence? What roles are played by family, upbringing, education, society and others?
And finally, which of these factors influence success? And what is 'success' in the first place?

Whew! quite a few questions in one breath and none new. I'm sure these have already been dissected and studied elsewhere to the minutest details - I'm also learning, my way. I'd first attempt to review some articles written by different people and analyze them and then maybe, over a period of time try and answer at least some of the questions I'd started with.

I'll start with this recent interesting article that appeared in the businessworld magazine written by none other than the Nobel laureate and founder of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh - Muhammad Yunus.
Here is the link to the online version of the article.

Muhammad Yunus provided me a really wonderful insight - entrepreneurship is innate in almost every human being! Whats even more interesting about this 'gyan' is that it is a demonstrated fact and not a mere management-guru rhetoric. And demonstrated at a scale that should silence even the staunchest shadow critics - 90,000 'part time beggars' transformed into entrepreneurs with nothing more than 20$ worth of seed funding in each. Excellent!

Two things worth pondering
1. Definition of success. It shows success is relative. (I guess the happy beggar is in his own way as happy as Bill Gates - at least almost ;-) )

2. Incentive for the investor. I cannot but accept the fact that one common thread that runs through most entrepreunial stories - someone who acted as the catalyst - supplying either the push or the money and expecting something in return. All such catalysts also set their sights on 'returns' to be rightly expected. Will all investors be satisfied with the kind of returns that say, 'the Bangladesh experiment' brings, coupled with the higher level of micro-management that might be involved - I don't know. Again, the 'success' criterion on returns are different for different investors.

Thats all for now, part II continues this journal focusing on a different article.

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