Did you know that the word entrepreneur originates from the French word »entreprendre«, which means »to do something« or »to undertake«?
This is the earliest definition, found in 13th century, which later emerged to refer to someone who undertakes a business venture. In the 1730, the notion of a risk was added to its definition by the economist Richard Cantillon, who understood that sole engaging in a business promises no assurance of derived profit. Further development of the term entrepreneur didn’t stop there, of course, but to this day it also hasn’t reached its defining end. We could say there are as many definitions as there are people. Just ask yourself how would you define an entrepreneur and then compare your answer to those of your friends’ or collegues’. Pay attention to the emotional connotation of their answer. Do they see entrepreneur as someone who has no other life than his own business, who works late hours, who is always stressed and in a hurry? Or do they see him as an adventurer, as someone who is not afraid of taking risks, and is driven by his strong need for achievement?
The reason I am mentioning this is because here in Slovenia the word entrepreneur (»podjetnik«) is often taken a bit negatively. Many people see entrepreneur as someone who has accumulated a great amount of wealth by cheating and deceiving others. Indeed, this may be true in some cases, but certainly not in all.
So… who is an entrepreneur?
From my point of view he or she is definitely the person who perceives the market opportunity and then has the motivation, drive and ability to mobilise resources to meet it. To be successful, entrepreneur must often be highly confident in the face of difficulties and discouraging circumstances, inovative in his or her approach to solving problems, and as mentioned before must be ready to take quite a few risks. Also, being multi-skilled and results-orientated helps a lot along with the total commitment and prepardness for hard work.
Can anyone be an entrepreneur or do you have to be born as one?
I believe all of us have at least the potential to be one. That’s why I think teaching enterpreneurship should become an option in every school. After all, there is a saying that the world depends on the young. And so does the economy and GDP.