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"An entrepreneur is someone starting or growing a business who distinguishes themselves with their ambition and achievement (Steve Parks, 2006). A skill is defined as "an ability and capacity acquired through deliberate, systematic, and sustained effort to smoothly and adaptively carry out complex activities or job function involving ideas, things, and/or people" (Business Dictionary, nd)
An entrepreneur skill can be defined has a competency that someone has to acquire and that will help him to create an original business. Everyone can be an entrepreneur because actual entrepreneurs are not born as they are: they have learnt how to become one.
It is accessible to anyone despite the background, qualification or knowledge because this is not what determines a successful entrepreneur.
"Entrepreneur skills" is a really an important topic because there are some many false visions of what makes a successful entrepreneur. This will help to break stereotypes.
It is also significant because we need to develop skills who will give us competencies in order to makes our career a success.
The objective of this research is to determine the most relevant characteristics, skills and attributes of an entrepreneur from primary to secondary skills.
This paper has been divided into five parts: each paragraph enumerate a main skill that a future entrepreneur have to improve to be successful and shows relevant examples of actual entrepreneur with these skills.
I/ An entrepreneur has to show leadership and self-confidence
A leader is "a person who influences a group of people towards the achievement of a goal" (Vtaide website, nd)
In other term, the leader is someone that will push forward a project and will do anything that is possible to achieve it. Being a leader involved many things.
On the first hand, the leader has to believe on his ideas, capacities, and be self confident because nobody will believe in them for him. It will also help him to overcome failures.
This self confidence can allow him to sell his project to potential partner or sponsor during negotiation. But most important thing, it will allow him share his ideas to his own team. That is important because the team will look up to him and there has to be cohesion, and an understanding of the main goal in order to motivate the team towards his realisation.
On the second hand, the leader is responsible. Steve parks (2006) suggested that an entrepreneur recognizes his own mistakes and do not blame others for making them.
Also, the leader is thoughtful and knows how to take the best decisions for the good of his future company. He surrounds himself with competent people and if he esteems that he does not have the capacity to achieve one special task he knows how to delegate the work.
To finish with the characteristics, the leader plans his activities, manages and controls them in order to see the actual progress (Guirdham M. and Tyler K., 1992).
That way it can be reactive if something does not go as planned. One good example of an actual leader, it is Jean Paul Herteman. Jean Paul Herteman is the chairman of the management board of Safran, one of the biggest French group specialized in aerospace, aeronautical, defence and security. The group creates and produces aero engine. On an interview with Challenges, He retraces his career with the testimonies of his colleagues and partners.
At first, we can see that he is not a typical entrepreneur. Like demonstrated in the introduction, there are false visions and stereotypes of the typical entrepreneur.
At first, Jean Paul Herteman seems a little bit naÃ¯ve when you first met him, that makes people under esteem him but appearances can be deceptive. Indeed he is got a great confidence in himself and capacities. Some says "He has strength of conviction without being characterial
Then, when J.P.Herteman became president, he reorganized all the activities of the group Safran by making disappeared some of them, centring the activities in aerospace and creating the defence and security parts. They were also some financial problem but he faced everything because he challenged himself.
People say that he managed everything calmly and that everybody knew that they could trust him.
Like a real leader, J.P. Herteman succeeds in being respected by his team. Finally, he admits making one mistake. In facts, He almost acquired another company, that he though will be profitable, without consulting anyone. He recognizes his fault without blaming anyone else.
To be a successful entrepreneur you have to be a great leader but this only the first skill to improve
II/ An entrepreneur have to create opportunities and be creative
Guirdham M. and Tyler K. (1992) defined the opportunity as "time, juncture or condition of thing favourable to an end or purpose, occasion, chance, convenience, advangeousness of site or position"
There are so many good businesses with good ideas but that have never had the success they deserved because they did not seize opportunities thinking that chance will come their way.
In fact nothing is fruit of hazard: opportunities do not come in our way, we have to create them.
It can start by looking at the external environment and by observing the market (actual offers, consumersâ€¦)
We can try to find the unsatisfied needs of the potential customers, and create a new product that will respond to it or just try to improve one who already exists.
We can also create opportunities by creating your own network. It is crucial to build contacts and maintain this relationship because they can always help you to reach a door. For example, they could give you the advices that you want, or be the person that will make your project move forward.
According to Steve Parks (2006), you create opportunities already when you select a market what where you know you got skills on it or you are passionate about.
That is why you can link opportunities to creativity. Creativity is the ability to create in innovative and different approaches.
Creativity will make the difference from the other businesses. It will also convince people to work with us. Mark Zuckerberg is the perfect example of the creative entrepreneur. Mark Zuckerberg has created the famous social network Facebook in 2004. He has founded Facebook with the help of two other students. It is a revolution because Facebook is the first social network that allowed is users to have their own profiles, to be linked with their friends and to access to various applications.
He has created a social network different than the initial ones and spread it to the world.
An entrepreneur has to take initiatives, create his own opportunities and be creative. However, there is still two other competencies to demonstrate.
III/ An entrepreneur has to take in consideration the risk and uncertainty
The risk represents a threat, that nothing will go as planned. The external environment can bring a lot opportunities but also a lot of threats. For example, a competitor with an improve ideas of our own product settles in the market and becomes really successful and known worldwide. It can also be financial problems: a bad investment (raw materials of less quality that we thought,), the lack of resources,
When planning is activities an entrepreneur has to be aware of risks and has to do everything to reduce them.
An entrepreneur can reduce the risk by planning every activity, evaluating the risk, trying to reduce it and having an emergency plan if something goes wrong.
IV/ An entrepreneur has to know how to communicate
The communication is an understanding between two persons or a group of persons. There is different ways of communicating written, oral or visual. You also have to be a good listener to others, gave back information, questioning, giving answers,
Communicating is crucial when we are working with our team. Like we said in the first paragraph, an entrepreneur has to make understand the main goals and objectives to his team in order to be effective in their work. When this internal environment is good you increase the efficiency and the productivity. An entrepreneur has to be open and listen to advices or ideas of co-workers that will probably help him to improve his own ideas.
Communicating efficiently is also significant to negotiate the better way. An entrepreneur has to be able to give value to his project in order to sell it to potential partner during meetings.
Finally, Communicating toward the client is essential. The customer also has to make understand the image, the message and the purpose of the company's product or brand to the client. They have to feel that they can rely to it and they will probably buy it. This communication will essentially take place during advertisement campaign.
Sony is a good example of bad communication. For the launching of their PSP in Italy, they did a mistake in their advertisement. They took a photograph of a young man wearing a crown of thorns accompanied with the following slogan "ten years of passions'. It evoked the movie passions of Christ of Mel Gibson but people felt like it was an insult to religion. They did not take in consideration the part of religion for Italian. It resulted by a misunderstanding from the consumer of the message of the company.
Another example of good communication is the famous company Google. Google is a famous American company of internet search. The firm is well known for offering good conditions of work to their employees. They also favour the internal communication. As a matter of fact, they encourage people to work in group. They have created spaces where people can meet each others.
They also let a certain amount of time to their employees for them to develop their own project and ideas, which they can submit to the direction. They can be rewarded for their work. Google can make evolved their company with those ideas.
Google knows by favouring the internal communication they motivate their employees to produce efficient work.
This study has shown that an entrepreneur has to develop or improve his leadership, creativity, his notion of risk and communication skills if he wants to be successful.
Like demonstrated in the introduction, the most successful entrepreneur are not born with their skills, they have learned them or improved them. It is possible to anyone to become a successful entrepreneur.