Once a footwear manufacturing company wanted trod set up a unit in an undeveloped country. The company engaged two independent investigators to explore the possibilities of manufacturing and selling of footwear’s in that country.
The first investigator reported that no one uses footwear in that county and there is no reason why a footwear unit will be set up there, showing a gloomy future of the proposal.
The second one provided a different scenario altogether by stating that there is a vast opportunity of manufacturing and selling of footwear in that country as it is an untapped market.
A felt need for wearing footwear’s can be created in the minds of consumers and these needs can be fulfilled through the selling of footwear’s.
This is the attitude of an entrepreneur, who can be able to identify the opportunity, exploit the opportunity to a business venture and to generate profit out of this venture.
Entrepreneurs are people who have the ability to see and evaluate business opportunities, to gather the necessary resources, to take advantage of them and to initiate action to ensure success.
An economic man who tries to maximize profit by undertaking innovational activities.
The word ‘entrepreneur’ has been taken from the French word ‘entrepreneur’ which means ‘to undertake’. In the early 16th century it was applied to persons engaged in military expeditions.
It was extended to cover construction and other civil engineering activities in the 17th century. It was only in the 18th century that the word was used to refer to economic activities. Richard Cotillion, a French banker, applied the word entrepreneur to mean a person who bears uncertainty and risk.
There is no unanimity about the definition of an entrepreneur. Various experts have defined it in different ways. Some of them are given below:
“An entrepreneur is the agent who buys factors of production at certain prices in order to combine them into a product with a view to selling it at uncertain prices in future”.
“An entrepreneur is the economic agent who unites all means of production – land of one, the labor of another and the capital of yet another and thus produces a product. By selling the product in the market he pays rent of land, wages to labor, interest on capital and what remains is his profit”. J.B.Say.
“An entrepreneur is an economic man who tries to maximize his profits by innovation. Innovations involve problem solving and the entrepreneur gets satisfaction from using his capabilities in attacking problems”. E.E. Hagen.
Thus, the entrepreneur thinks of something different from others.
“An entrepreneur is one who always searches for change, responds to it and exploits it as an opportunity. Innovation is the specific tool of entrepreneurs, the means by which they exploit change as an opportunity for a different business of service”. Peter F. Drucker.
“The person who is going to establish a successful new business venture must also be a visionary leader – a person who dreams great dreams”. Robert D. Hirsch.
“Entrepreneur is the economic functionary who undertakes such responsibility which cannot be insured or salaried”. F.H.Knight.
“An entrepreneur is
(a) Decision maker under uncertainty, and
(b) The one who does things in a new and better way.
David C. McClelland:
“Entrepreneurs are people who have the ability to see and evaluate business opportunities; together the necessary resources to take advantage of them; and to initiate appropriate action to ensure success”. “International Labor Organization.
“Entrepreneur is one who undertakes an enterprise, especially a contractor-acting as intermediary between capital and labor”. Oxford Dictionary.
Combining the essence of all the above definitions an entrepreneur can be defined as visionary who dreams of innovation through the opportunities in the environment, who converts the dream into reality by assembling factors of production and who undertakes the risk and handles the uncertainties involved in a business venture.