An Assessment of the Critical Qualities and Traits for Intending Entrepreneurs Essay

1. 0INTRODUCTION Over 510 million young women and 540 million young men live in the world today according to United Nations (UN) estimates. This means that approximately one person in five is between the ages of 15 and 24 years, or that young people comprise almost 18 percent of the world’s population. Although the proportion of youth in the world is dwindling (by 2025 it is forecast to fall to 16 percent) their absolute numbers have increased and will continue to do so well in to the twenty-first century.

The majority of young people, 85 percent, live in developing countries, with approximately 60 percent in Asia alone. By 2020, the number living in developing countries will grow to about 89 percent. The importance of education and training for an entrepreneurial society has been underlined on several occasions through United Nations Declarations and Conventions. ILO Recommendation No. 189, adopted in 1998, refers to entrepreneurship education as a way of promoting a positive enterprise culture. 1. 1State the process of exploring opportunities

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Process opportunity is a favourable challenge posed by the environment which may lead an entrepreneur to enjoy differential advantages such as profits, survival, potentials etc. It is just a set of business conditions waiting to be perceived and conditioned by someone. Dynamic prospecting for environmental opportunities may lead an entrepreneur to start producing a new product, install a new method of production, open up a new market, discover a new source or uses of raw materials, reorganize an existing enterprise etc.

Nigerian business environment is saturated with lots of challenging opportunities. Opportunities are not in short supply, rather, entrepreneurs capable of capitalizing on existing business or of creating new ones are in short supplies. Opportunities are always ever there waiting to be plucked. To take advantage of them, someone must hunt or prospect for them, perceive, capture and realize them. In the words of Carlin (1965), “Opportunity offers itself to men in direct proportion to their ability, will for action, power of vision, experience and knowledge of business”

The ability of an individual to create money-making ideas and / or designs, formulate processes / product / service, is the greatest single power he possesses. Money making requires that opportunity be identified, selected, captured, capitalized and realized by organization to pursue what is captured; retain the organizations; maintain them and sustain their growth and success. Willing entrepreneurs must go through the following process in order to capture attractive investment opportunities, take advantage and make a success of them. 1. Recognize needs for running a venture: A venture must be fully recognized. The very propelling influence, need, motive or drive that is responsible for the entrepreneur’s eventual mindset to want to run a venture. 1. 3Conduct self-approval Define your values, competitive strength, behaviour, resources and other capabilities (personal capability analysis). Prospective entrepreneurs must analyse themselves and see if they possess the occupational, professional and entrepreneurial competence needed to run an enterprise being contemplated.

Capability and value assessments are technically referred to as “enterprise or company profile” 1. 4Scan the environment and industry This will enable the entrepreneur to understand the force, institutions and actors that are currently and potentially germane to organization’s activities and performance. Environment of business may be domestic or international, immediate or remote, external or internal, absolute or comparative. To understand the environment,, the following are paramount; •Environmental canning •Environmental forecasting •Organizational adaptation to environmental changes 1. 5Analyze Business ideas / opportunities Possible business idea / opportunities should be analyzed to enable the Venturer to determine the interest or otherwise of the idea / opportunity and capability and competence or the financial viability of the project; technical or production pre-feasibility of the project; marketing, commercial or economic viability of the project as well as social desirability.

Investment appraisal of the project(s) or ideas may be conducted first, through a pre-feasibility study which highlights the prospect of the project(s) and second through a comprehensive feasibility study that provides critical, technical, economic, and financial and management of the project(s). 1. 6Select the best idea / opportunity / project This stage is an investment decision stage. Criteria for accepting or rejecting the project, called selection factors, are put in place. Such selection factors may be objective (quantitative) or subjective (behavioural, qualitative or judgmental).

Capture / implement the idea / project The business ideas are bodies of thought and reflections about the nature and structure of business and what should then be the guiding principles on which to build the business. It guides the direction of the enterprise; idea tells the entrepreneur what to do and what not to do. For the contemplative entrepreneur not to remain a dreamer, he has to be on the alert to start something. He must have courage and self confidence in his ability to run and manage an enterprise.

The first step of the implementation process is to start with a comprehensive business plan, which marshals, allocates and deploys resources needed for the actualization of the business. Demonstrate High Sense of Innovation, Creativity and Independence An enterprise operates in an economic and political system; and as such the entrepreneur should cultivate attitudes conducive to change. Understanding these attitudes can help entrepreneurs cope with change more effectively ? Being Flexible and Receptive: These traits are direct opposites to obstinacy and a closed mind.

The person who is receptive to new ideas, who responds to the forces of change as they occur, is able to adjust to changing conditions. Read current trade magazines and literature and as well as observing similar businesses for ideas. ?Being Self-confident: Self-confident entrepreneurs can accept change with the determination to overcome obstacles, compensate for deficiencies, and strengthen abilities. Being afraid of one’s inadequacies and afraid to try something new for fear of failing very often prevents growth and eventually leads to failure. Being Optimistic and Enthusiastic: By focusing on the positive aspects of change instead of the negative ones, the event can be viewed as challenging instead of threatening. The rewards can be played up and the costs played down. When we become enthusiastic about doing something, it is easier to invest our time and effort and money to bring about the desired effects. ?Being Decisive and Self-controlled: Coping with change requires clear thinking and, in many cases, deliberate action. Circumstances surrounding change are often unexpected, unfair, frustrating, disappointing, frightening, upsetting, or unpleasant.

Emotions have to be controlled while decisive action is taken to cope with the change. ?Being Competitive and Creative: Being competitive means searching for a better way to improve upon the present situation. Improvement is one factor that always has to be considered when planning change. ?Being Curious and Experimental: Not every new idea is a good idea. To find the ones that are good ideas, you will probably look at many possibilities. People who enjoy trying new things can take disappointment because they balance it against the occasional thrill they get from implementing a really good idea. . 0Why should you generate business ideas? ?You need an idea – and a good one at that – f or business (both new and existing) ?To respond to market needs ?To respond to changing fashions and requirements ?To stay ahead of the competition ?To exploit technology – do things better ?Because of product life cycle ?To spread risk and allow for failure 2. 1Sources of Business Ideas ?Hobbies / Interests ?Personal Skills and Experience ?Franchises ?Mass Media (Newspapers, magazines, TV, Internet) ?Exhibitions ?Surveys ?Complaints ?Brainstorming ?Creativity 2. 3Creativity Creativity is the ability to design, form, make or do something in a new or different way. ?The ability to come up with creative solutions to needs / problems and to market them often marks the difference between success and failure in business. It also distinguishes high growth or dynamic businesses from ordinary, average firms. ?To be creative, you need to keep your mind and eyes open. 2. 4Entrepreneurial Traits ?Hardworking ?Self-confident ?Builds for the future ?Profit-oriented ?Goal-oriented ?Persistent ?Copes with failure ?Responds to feedback ?Demonstrates initiatives Willing to listen ?Sets own standards ?Copes with uncertainty ?Committed ?Builds on strengths ?Reliable and has integrity ?Risk – Taker 2. 5Feel and Think Like an Entrepreneur ?Think along non-traditional and non-conformist lines ?Think about starting small ?Think realistically about finances ?Think always about viable business ideas ?Think about what people are willing to buy ?Think about doing things for yourself ?Think about cost-benefits of business involvement ?Think about doing things differently ?Think about family and people who can support and help you ?

Think like an achiever ?Think clearly about complex problem situations 2. 6Behave and Act Like an Entrepreneur ?Have a good product or service that is of value to other people ? Utilize the skills, experience and abilities you have ?Adopt and use the language of achievement ?Move ahead and do things at your own pace ?Have a positive attitude and compete with yourself ?Be determined and motivated in whatever you do ?Lead and guide other people ?Develop plans on what you want to do ?Initiate activities in no matter what situation ?Maintain hope and never give up easily Dress well to gain attention and respect ?Be healthy, active and enthusiastic ?Unconditionally accept your own worth. 2. 7Elements of Entrepreneurship ?Observing the environment ?Identifying something an individual can do to get financial benefits ? Generation of Venture Ideas ?Identifying and exploiting the basic human needs for food, shelter, clothing, and leisure (Maslow, 1958 cited in Adegbite, 2007) ? Gathering the necessary physical and psychological tools needed to accomplish the activity ? Acquiring the needed resources (money, equipment, energy, skills, knowledge and time) ?

Implementing the activity when the entrepreneur is ready to do so ? Receiving the rewards (intrinsic and extrinsic). 2. 8Rewards of Entrepreneurship in Business Rewards in entrepreneurship consists of the following: ?Self-actualisation ?Feeling of freedom and independence ?Satisfaction derived from the empowerment of investors, suppliers, sub-contractors, work force, customers, income for workers, profits or dividends for shareholders etc. ?Other satisfaction derive from the provision of economic goods such as products or service. 3. 0Who is an Entrepreneur? Entrepreneurs have been defined in terms of the characteristics, traits or competencies which they posses. ?The following traits are the most relevant: need for achievement; innovations, creativity and initiative; opportunity seeking; propensity for risk taking; self confidence and internal locus of control; goal setting and proactiveness; independence and autonomy; commitment and persistence; information seeking; systematic planning and monitoring; networking and persuasion; demand for efficiency and product quality and commitment to work (UNDP & UNCTC, 1986 cited in Adegbite et. l. , 2006) In summary, entrepreneurs exhibit some of the following traits: ? They look for and exploit viable business opportunities ?They are risk takers (calculated risks). They are not gamblers. ?They are innovative and committed to their business ?They are proactive and persistent in the pursuit of their dream ? They set achievable goals ?They are hard working and self-confident ?They respond to feedback from the environment, demonstrate initiative and are always willing to listen. 3. 1Types of Entrepreneurs There are different types of entrepreneurs (Adegbite, et. al. 2007). These include: ? “Independent” entrepreneurs who set up their own businesses and are self-employed. ?“Intrapreneurs” (Internal or In-House Entrepreneurs) who carry out entrepreneurial activities within an existing organization (public or private). Intrapreneurs posses the initiative to turn large, ailing organizations around through technological innovations, product orientations or structural changes in corporate financing and decision making. ?“Professional” or “Serial” entrepreneurs are those who establish series of manufacturing industries with high technology content.

They are mostly educated risk-takers who are predominant in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector in advanced and emerging economies (Hupalo, 2001 cited in Adegbite, et. al. , 2007). ?“Necessity-driven” entrepreneurs are those who starts a business out of frustration, unemployment, underemployment, retrenchment or out of necessity. They are mostly engaged in non-productive commercial enterprises such as trading, buying and selling and rent-seeking activities with no value addition (Dozie, 2005). 4. 0Entrepreneurship Development & Economic Growth The supply of entrepreneurs is determined by the “opportunity” and “willingness” to become an entrepreneur. ?“Opportunity” is the possibility to become self-employed. The primary factors affecting opportunity include intrinsic entrepreneurial ability, starting capital, ease of entry into the market and the general macro-economic environment (Praag, 1995). ?“Willingness” is the relative valuation of work in self-employment compared with options for paid-employment. In terms of opportunity cost, willingness is positive whenever self employment is perceived as the best available career option (Praag, 1995). “Willingness” is also affected by the anticipated market incentives that are available for would-be entrepreneurs in terms of profit and economic benefits (Praag, 1995). ?The supply of entrepreneurs is also dependent on both “individual level” factors and “general economic” factors. 4. 1Resources Entrepreneurs need to implement Ideas ?Money ?Equipment ?Energy ?Skills ?Knowledge ?Time 4. 2Hiring and Orienting New Employees A. Hiring Process * Sources of employees *Selection procedures B. Orientation Process *Rules or orientation *Preparing new employee orientation C. Employee Considerations *Play plans Fringe benefits * Employee relations *Working conditions 4. 3Importance of Business Location 1. Why is location important to business success? 2. Two basic aspects of selecting a location: a. deciding on a particular community b. deciding on a particular site within that community 3. Why is location more important for some businesses that for other businesses? 4. Factors to consider when selecting a location: a. economics b. population c. competition 5. Location factors based on type of business a. retail firms b. wholesale firms c. service firms d. manufacturing firms 4. 4Qualities of Successful Entrepreneurs:

Park has identified a number of personal characteristics associated with entrepreneurs. These includes: ?Initiative: he is ingenious, resourceful and alert to opportunities. ?Attitude: he must have a positive outlook towards people, showing a friendly interest in a pleasant and polite manner. ?Leadership: he should not only be acceptable but also be able to inspire confidence and loyalty among his employees and business associates. ?Responsibility: the small businessman must be willing and capable of assuming complete responsibility for the operation and success of his enterprise. Organizing Ability: he must be capable of perceiving and arranging fundamental issues in a logical order. ?Decisiveness: he must be able to react quickly and accurately when decision are required. ?Perseverance: he must remain steadfast in working towards his goal and not be easily discouraged by obstacles. ?Physical Energy: he must be well above average in terms of maintaining a high level of energy. ?Industriousness: he must be capable of working hard for the long hours required in an independent business. 4. 5GAUGING YOUR ENTREPRENEURIAL READINESS CriteriaDescriptionWeight

EducationLiteracy; general knowledge, especially of management and business education5 FinanceFinancial resources and readiness for the cost of running the intended business; good money management, in particular, cash flow and stock control abilities20 Management ability / experienceKnowledge in the functional areas of business, e. g. financial and policy formulation skills; expertise in managing people and organizations; relevant work experience in intended business. 20 InformationKnowledge about intended business trends, markets, activities, demands, technology, etc. 0 MindPsychological determination / the will to succeed in business. 10 BodyPhysiological readiness – physical fitness, e. g. for long hours of work, traveling rigors, etc. 10 OthersCo-operation and encouragement from bankers, lawyers, suppliers, etc; support from family; other factors depending on the demands of the particular business; human relations skills, ability to speak well, sense of humour, tenacity of action. 25 TOTAL WEIGHT 100 Source: Oshagbemi, T. A. , Small Business Management in Nigeria, Longman Group Limited, London, 1983, P. 33. 4. ENTREPRENEURIAL SKILLS Characteristics of the Entrepreneur ?Positive self-esteem ?Positive self-confidence ?Self-discipline ?Independence ?Forward looking Entrepreneurial skills Personal ?Innovation ?Initiative ?Risk taking ?Ability to deal with unknown with ease ?Accepting challenges ?Taking responsibilities ?Seeing opportunities in change Interpersonal ?Interacting with others effectively ?Communicating effectively ?Negotiating ?Influencing ?Demonstrating leadership Process ?ability to plan and organize ?ability to analyze, synthesize and evaluate ?ability to execute the plan Commitment to the community / society business based on sustainable development ?business based on immediate environmental concern ?business based on consumer concern Outcomes that the entrepreneur achieves ?creates wealth ?creates jobs ?adds value ?improves the community 4. 7KEY COMPETENCIES The competencies that must be addressed in entrepreneurship curriculum can be divided into two groups; Key competencies, which are generic, and competencies that relate particularly to entrepreneurial skills and small business. Key competencies are competencies essential for effective participation in the emerging patterns of work and work organization.

They focus on the capacity to apply knowledge and skills in an integrated way in work situations. Key Competencies are generic in that they apply to work generally rather than being specific to work in particular occupations or industries. This characteristic means that the Key Competencies are not only essential for effective participation in work but are also essential for effective participation in further education and in adult life more generally. 5. 0CONCLUSION There are enormous business opportunities which exists around our lives and communities, the ability to exploit these potentials remains our chances of becoming our own boss.

Our societal population advantages gives potential products and services possibility for attention and patronage, it is therefore imperative that quality remains the key access to consumer satisfactory and profit maximization. You can be your own boss if you desire. REFERENCES Adegbite S. A. (2009), Techno Entrepreneurship development for Economic Growth, paper delivered at the workshop on Technology Incubation: A catalyst for Regional Development. Know About Business: Entrepreneurship Education in Schools and Technical Vocational Training Institution Module 2; Why Entrepreneurship ILO, Geneva, Turin

Know About Business: Entrepreneurship Education in Schools and Technical Vocational Training Institution Module 7; How do I operate an Enterprise ILO, Geneva, Turin Know About Business: Entrepreneurship Education in Schools and Technical Vocational Training Institution Module 6; How do I organise an Enterprise ILO, Geneva, Turin Know About Business: Entrepreneurship Education in Schools and Technical Vocational Training Institution Module 5; How do I find a good Business Idea ILO, Geneva, Turin

Know About Business: Entrepreneurship Education in Schools and Technical Vocational Training Institution Module 3; Who are Entrepreneurs ILO, Geneva, Turin Know About Business: Entrepreneurship Education in Schools and Technical Vocational Training Institution Module 8; What are the Next Steps to Becoming An Entrepreneurs? ILO, Geneva, Turin Training Manual on Entrepreneurship Education For Polytechnics and Monotechnics in Nigeria, EED 126; Introduction to Entrepreneurship; submitted by Hamitte Consults Nigeria Limited, December, 2007 for the National Board for Technical Education (N.

B. T. E), Kaduna. Training Manual on Entrepreneurship Education For Polytechnics and Monotechnics in Nigeria, EED 216; Practice of Entrepreneurship; submitted by Hamitte Consults Nigeria Limited, December, 2007 for the National Board for Technical Education (N. B. T. E), Kaduna. SEED WORKING PAPER NO. 59 (Series on Youth and Entrepreneurship). Facilitating Youth Entrepreneurship, Part I: An Analysis of Awareness and Promotion Programmes in Formal and Non-formal Education, ILO, Geneva. UBOM, E. E. (2006) Entrepreneurship, Small and Medium Enterprises, Ikeja, Sedina, Limited Publisher


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