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The Entrepreneurial Process: Skills, Attributes, and Social Context

To navigate the intricate landscape of entrepreneurship, one must possess a formidable arsenal of knowledge, expertise, and skills. At its core, understanding entrepreneurship hinges on grasping the essence of an entrepreneur.

Commonly, entrepreneurs exhibit a set of key attributes, such as creative problem-solving, a penchant for independent decision-making, proactive inclinations, and an innate ability to identify and seize opportunities. The research pins three pivotal attributes in the realm of entrepreneurship: role orientation (defining expectations and goals), a blend of rational and intuitive thinking to tackle challenges and generate ideas, and the unwavering motivation to translate ideas into action. It is this motivation that distinguishes potential entrepreneurs from those who actualize their visions.

In the past decade, our perception of these attributes has evolved significantly. Entrepreneurship now demands a broader spectrum of skills—seventeen, to be precise. These proficiencies can be neatly categorised into four distinct groups: managerial skills, technical skills, entrepreneurial skills and personal maturity skills.

Managerial Skills

  1. Management – encompassing planning, organizing, supervising, directing, and networking.
  2. Marketing/Sales – involving the identification of customers, distribution channels, and supply chain management.
  3. Financial – encompassing resource management, accounting, and budgeting.
  4. Legal – addressing organizational structure, risk management, privacy, and security.
  5. Administrative – focusing on interpersonal relations and advisory board interactions.
  6. Higher-order – emphasizing continuous learning and problem-solving.

Technical Skills

  1. Operational – the skills vital for the production of products or services.
  2. Supplies/Raw Materials – the proficiency in sourcing essential materials.
  3. Office or Production Space – the ability to align needs with available resources.
  4. Equipment/Plant/Technology – the competence to identify and acquire necessary tools.

Entrepreneurial Skills

  1. Business Concept – embracing business planning and presentation skills.
  2. Environmental Scanning – the ability to identify market gaps and capitalize on opportunities.
  3. Advisory Board and Networking – achieving a balance between self-reliance and seeking external assistance.

Personal Maturity Skills

  1. Self-Awareness – the ability to reflect and be introspective
  2. Accountability – the ability to take responsibility for resolving a problem
  3. Emotional Coping – the emotional ability to cope with a problem
  4. Creativity – ability to produce a creative solution to a problem

Autonomy, independence, and an entrepreneur’s network and connections play a pivotal role in the entrepreneurial process. Attempting to define entrepreneurship in isolation, divorced from its social context and without acknowledging the interconnectedness of entrepreneurs, proves challenging.

Entrepreneurship, as it emerges, is an intricate web intricately woven into the social and contextual surroundings of the entrepreneur. It is the quintessential embodiment of complexity, where the entrepreneur’s social and contextual milieu shapes the very essence of this dynamic and transformative journey.

Insights by: Dr Jay Wasim