Entrepreneurship is defined as the recognition of opportunities (needs, wants, problems, and challenges) and the use or creation of resources to implement innovative ideas for new, thoughtfully planned ventures. Perhaps this is obvious, but an entrepreneur is a person who engages in the process of entrepreneurship. We describe entrepreneurship as a process because it often involves more than simply coming up with a good idea—someone also has to convert that idea into action. As an example of both, Google’s leaders suggest that its point of distinction “is anticipating needs not yet articulated by our global audience, then meeting them with products and services that set new standards. This constant dissatisfaction with the way things are is ultimately the driving force behind the world’s best search engine.”1http://www.google.com/intl/en/corporate/tenthings.html (accessed October 15, 2008).
Entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship are the catalysts for value creation. They identify and create new markets, as well as foster change in existing ones. However, such value creation first requires an opportunity. Indeed, the opportunity-driven nature of entrepreneurship is critical. Opportunities are typically characterized as problems in search of solutions, and the best opportunities are big problems in search of big solutions. “The greater the inconsistencies in existing service and quality, in lead times and in lag times, the greater the vacuums and gaps in information and knowledge, the greater the opportunities.”2J. Timmons, The Entrepreneurial Process (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1999), 39. In other words, bigger problems will often mean there will be a bigger market for the product or service that the entrepreneur creates.
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