What is an Entrepreneur and What is Entrepreneurship?
All About Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurship
With job scarcity, low pay, and restrictive work hours becoming the norm in the 9 to 5 world, it’s no wonder that many people are deciding to go it alone nowadays.
All over the world, people of all ages are starting their own income-generating projects, coming up with new ideas for services and products, or selling their services to the highest bidder.
These folks that are making their own way in life and business are known as entrepreneurs, but what does this mean and, more importantly, have you got what it takes to embark on this free-wheeling lifestyle.
What is an Entrepreneur?
In the simplest terms, an entrepreneur is someone who earns money from their own resources instead of working for someone else.
Although many entrepreneurs go about setting up formal businesses from the start, some simply wing it until they’re earning enough to start considering the trappings of the business world such as offices and employees.
However, there’s more to being an entrepreneur than simply starting any old business. You need a certain frame of mind and skillset to succeed at it too.’
What Does it Take to Become an Entrepreneur
Some individuals are natural entrepreneurs who seem to come up with a never-ending stream of good cash-generating ideas, but that’s not to say that they are necessarily strong in the business sense. Others evolve into entrepreneurs over time thanks to their hobbies, interests or talents.
Some examples of entrepreneurs may be:
- A plumber who leaves their formal employment to start their own plumbing company;
- A soccer player, swimmer or even a triathlete who ventures into coaching and eventually ends up with dozens of clients and a team of other coaches working for them;
- Somebody who comes with up an idea for goods and services that are in demand and starts a business selling them;
- A seamstress, who sets out to become a fashion designer by attending courses to improve their skills and starting a fashion label;
- People at the local markets selling produce, crafts, or art.
There’s a fine line between freelancing and entrepreneurship but the main difference is that entrepreneurs can make money in their sleep, freelancers do all the work themselves.
You needn’t think up some grand new idea to be an entrepreneur. If you can find a new way to give people what they need affordably and reliably, you’ve already got your foot in the door.
What is Entrepreneurship
It’s not easy to abandon preconceived notions of working for someone else and branch out on your own. Entrepreneurs take all the risk for their business on their own shoulders and have to get used to the idea that payday doesn’t arrive on its own anymore either.
It turns out, coming up with an idea for something everyone needs is often the easy part. Real entrepreneurship involves going through the process of setting up a business to earn a profit from your services or products. Naturally, this formalization of your entrepreneurial endeavors can be the difficult part.
Some of the challenges that entrepreneurs face when starting out include:
- Fighting through the red tape of bureaucracy
- Hiring help
- Securing finance
On average, 20% of small businesses fail within their first year and that number goes up to 50% after 5 years. With that in mind, it’s easy to see why financial and government institutions are hesitant to throw funding at a start-up.
However, there are many informal lenders who believe in supporting small businesses. Alternative sources of financing are crowdsourcing, private investors, and family and friends.
If you have a job, you can also operate your business as a side-hustle until you’re earning enough to quit your day job. When you can prove that your business is earning money, it’s much easier to get financing and licenses as well as afford more qualified personnel.
Start small, think clearly, and never give up. Don’t worry about taking a step back every now and again to rethink your strategy.
How to Succeed as an Entrepreneur
For any business to succeed, you need more than a great idea, finances and the relevant paperwork. Some of the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs are:
- A clear understanding of what you have to offer and where it fits into the market
- The courage to take calculated risks
- Social networking skills
- Basic money management skills
Another aspect that can really help you on the road to success is support.
Get in touch with other entrepreneurs in your area so that you may share ideas and motivate each other. Encourage your friends to support your business and spread the word about your products and services and bookmark our website so you can stay in tune with the latest in the world of entrepreneurship.
We regularly add more information and inspiration for entrepreneurs all over Africa.