It appears that there is renewed interest in various institutions and public opinion to encourage entrepreneurship, considering it a determining and invigorating factor in the context of the coming economic scenario, given the increasingly well-founded expectations of a halt in the traditional corporate system and the resulting decreased employment.
First, let’s consider a few negative opinions of entrepreneurship:
- People turn to entrepreneurship and self-employment because they have no other option. Ted Turner, television magnate and founder of CNN said, “My son is now an ‘entrepreneur.’ That’s what you’re called when you don’t have a job.”
- Entrepreneurship is reserved for geniuses and enlightened individuals such as Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, privileged people who are especially gifted.
- It’s something for rich people, “spoiled brats,” people with resources or access to financing, who can afford to start an entrepreneurial journey and assume the risks involved.
- In successful entrepreneurial actions, the people who end up making the most are the investors who provide money and speculate on businesses.
- It is very difficult to find an innovative business and make a place for oneself in a very saturated market; everything has been invented before, the competition is fierce, and in all sectors big firms end up eclipsing newly founded companies.
- An entrepreneur’s career is full of obstacles: cumbersome processes, high investment, legal and fiscal demands, financing challenges, private and institutional incentives and aid, etc. This is a set of circumstances that would discourage even the most daring. And there is also a lack of confidence and fear of failure.
Except in the case of the last statement, where opinions seem to coincide most, it is evident that the above are easily refuted, and there are numerous examples of great entrepreneurship that contradict these disquisitions, at least in part.
-According to the report on entrepreneurship in Spain, published in 2018 by GEM (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor), almost 70% of entrepreneurs state they became an entrepreneur because they saw an opportunity while almost 30% said they did it out of necessity. 54% believe that being an entrepreneur is a good option in Spain.
-On the one hand, 57% do it to gain more independence, while 25% do it to increase their income. 50% state they do not have any specific training and 35% believe that fear of failure is an obstacle for entrepreneurs.
What qualities will be required of entrepreneurs in 2020? All signs seem to indicate that they will need to accumulate a mix of the traditional competencies specific to entrepreneurs and aptitudes in line with the current technological and digital era.
As a matter of principle, entrepreneurs must combine healthy doses of three essential components: character (leadership, perseverance, negotiating skills), preparation (in addition to having the innovative talent to create, they must also be good managers and administrators), and passion for what they do. Without these things, the business may be weighed down from the start.
-Relaxation and negotiating skills are key and they must extend to all players operating in the field of entrepreneurship: promoters (they boost entrepreneurship and promote training initiatives), financiers (they provide financial resources), investors (they participate in the project financially), advisers (they provide support or consulting services), incubators (they get involved in the development of the new company in order to accelerate its growth), and franchisers (they transfer the brand rights).
-Appropriate collaboration among these players will contribute to avoiding several common errors committed by the creators of companies: poor selection of partners; accepting costly financing; unfortunate business location; overestimated sales projections; inaccurate cost and expenditure calculations; disconnecting from direct management; and taking on ill-advised internationalization processes.
Additionally, the entrepreneur must also have a number of essential aptitudes that have been practically thrust upon them by the current economic system: innovative mentality and technology and digital skills. These are the bases of so-called start-ups, a type of emerging company that is currently setting the trend for business creation.
Along with the traditional, technological, and digital competencies, entrepreneurs must also strengthen a number of skills and contributions that combine several of the new entrepreneur’s ideal behaviors. These can be formulated through the model proposed below: The 7 Es of entrepreneurship.
- Put yourself in other people’s shoes in order to facilitate the relationship and negotiation. Emotional intelligence.
- Differentiating touch, personal brand, contributing added value to the business.
- Be practical, flexible, proactive, accurate, specific, and decisive.
- Be passionate about what you do and transmit that passion.
- Know how to surround yourself with collaborators, delegate, strengthen, and manage talent.
- Consistent principles and behaviors with clients and stakeholders.
- Appropriately manage resources, raise awareness, and contribute to sustainable development.