MADE, one of the UK’s leading business events for entrepreneurship takes place in Sheffield later this month.
Now in its fifth year, MADE showcases a hotbed of seasoned business owners and emerging entrepreneurs.
It has been frequently suggested that entrepreneurs are born, not made, and that what drives individuals to become a successful business entrepreneur has more to do with nature and not through education or life experiences.
Our Apprentice Lord Alan Sugar once famously said: “It doesn’t matter which business school you go to or what books you read, you can’t go into Boots and buy a bottle of entrepreneurial juice – entrepreneurial spirit is something you are born with.”
Having personally worked with many entrepreneurs (and hotly discussed this assumption at home), I have come to the conclusion that nurture plays an instrumental part.
According to the latest Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report there are certain skills, traits and attributes which are prevalent in successful business entrepreneurs.
In its fifth year of research, the purpose of Amway’s investigation was to stimulate a discussion with global decision-makers, thought leaders and entrepreneurs in order to drive action and to create a greater support network for budding entrepreneurs.
Amway spoke with over 43,902 individuals, aged between 14-99, in 38 countries on the subject of entrepreneurship.
“Entrepreneurs play an important role in growing economies,” said Amway Chairman Steve Van Andel. “They create jobs, encourage competition and help communities grow and flourish. As the business environment has changed through the years, so have the reasons people decide to venture out on their own. We hope this report advances the discussion on entrepreneurship and leads to a deeper understanding of what can be done to encourage and better prepare more people around the world to start businesses of their own.”
And this is what they found:
1. Entrepreneurs can be made.
63% of respondents believed that entrepreneurship can be taught. Those under the age of 35 were the strongest to hold this view (70%) and there was no overall gender divide (men and women were virtually of the same opinion at 64% and 63% respectively).
2. Education is paramount.
Respondents rated the most important aspect of entrepreneurship education as “basic business skills” (42%), followed by “leadership and management skills” and “entrepreneurship in practice,” at 37%. “Schools and secondary education” were the preferred formal classrooms of choice (36%), with “special start-up programs” and “universities, higher education” at 33% and 32% respectively.
3. Positivity conquers all.
An impressive 80% of under 35’s (and 75% of respondents overall) stated that positive attitudes towards entrepreneurship were vital. Entrepreneurial potential remained high as well, with 42% reporting that they would start their own business. In countries where people were more positive about entrepreneurship, they were more likely to start up in business.
4. Freedom and fulfilment.
Money was not the driving reason for choosing entrepreneurship. 46% of respondents cited that employer independence was the primary driver and 43% identified “self-fulfilment, possibility to realise own ideas.”
Final Words: Are Entrepreneurs Born Or Made?
So there you have it, entrepreneurs can be made as well as born. Nurturing entrepreneurial spirit is positive on every level and it makes sense to encourage younger generations too.
Giving young people opportunities to experience what it is like to be part of a business start-up and to develop entrepreneurial skills as a core part of education can only help drive progress and innovation.
Article written by Rachel Furniss.
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