But anybody can be an entrepreneur if one has the thirst to achieve the goals. The era of globalization and the easy availability of information have opened up innumerable opportunities as never before. There is a considerable increase in the number of people who venture out of their comfort zones and explore new arenas to experience the challenges of entrepreneurship.
What are the factors that motivate ordinary people to do extraordinary things What are the characteristics that make people to change the way things are done and to contribute to the development of the mankind These are some very interesting questions which have been attempted to answer by people across the world. This essay focuses on entrepreneurship and characteristic features of entrepreneurs that helps them to be successful in their ventures. A general survey of the available literature on entrepreneurship and an analysis of the characteristics of one entrepreneur, in this case, Mr. Bill Gates, is included. The purpose of this essay is to understand the psychological makeup of en entrepreneur, which will be very useful to groom ourselves into entrepreneurs.
To understand the characteristics of entrepreneurs, first we should know what is entrepreneurship and who is an entrepreneur. In his publication, Carton1(1998), has taken the idea from Peter Drucker that entrepreneurship is a practice. He mentions that entrepreneurship begins with action, the creation of a new organization. This organization may or may not become self-sustaining and in fact may never earn significant revenues. But, when individuals create a new organization, they have entered the entrepreneurship paradigm. The antecedents such as the scanning of the environment for opportunity, the identification of the opportunity to pursue, the evaluation of the feasibility of the new venture, the individual traits, characteristics, prior experience, knowledge, and education of the entrepreneur, the impact of role models, environmental munificence, and societal values are considered by the entrepreneur and all of these factors influence new venture formation and should be included in the entrepreneurship paradigm. However, entrepreneurs do not just plan. They act. It is this action that distinguishes them.
Accordingly, without the creation of a new venture, entrepreneurship has not occurred. Hence, we should first understand that an entrepreneur is a person who acts. Paul Andrews2, biographer of Bill Gates, mentions that Bill Gates had the ability to look at software as a separate component from hardware. Until then, software was seen as a component of computer. Bill Gates is the Entrepreneur of the Millennium because of the way in which he built up on a new idea. The innovation makes the difference in the way people live and act across the world.
In their Personal Interest, Attitude & Value (PIAV) survey, Gavin Devereux and Evan Popplestone (2001)3 mention that the major factor that motivates people to venture out into the paradigm of entrepreneurship is the Utilitarian attitude. 79.59% of the respondents had placed it on the top and this suggests that the overwhelming motivating factor for Entrepreneurs is to utilize and gain a return on their investment of time, talent and resources. The next factor that was mentioned by most of the entrepreneurs studied was the need for individualism and this suggests that Entrepreneurs are also motivated by a strong desire to personally advance, express Individualism and be in control