An entrepreneur identifies a business idea and takes the risk to provide capital to fund a business venture. He also controls and monitors all business activities. He may be a sole proprietor, partner or just the owner of majority shares in an incorporated business. Renowned economist Joseph Alois Schumpeter (1885-1950) regards entrepreneurs as people who are not necessarily profit motivated, but rather those who see it as a success and achievement measuring standard. He also discovered that these people value self-reliance and are great optimists striving for distinction by excelling in their various fields.
A classic example of an entrepreneurial legend is Microsoft Corporation’s chairman and co-founder Bill Gates. The 57 year old American billionaire is ranked by Forbes magazine as America’s richest man and second richest man on earth with a net worth of $ 66 billion dollars. Mr. Gates, who happens to be a Harvard dropout has been able to run a successful and profitable venture, Microsoft Corporation, and has also been a great force in the evolution of the personal computer.
Microsoft’s success is a perfect exemplification of Gates entrepreneurial skills, but his leadership skills and managerial roles are also contributory to his success. While he recognized his role as a visionary for Microsoft, he was not blinded to the point of autocracy. Instead, his leadership style has always been participative, actively involving his subordinates in critical decision making for the company. He is also flexible and though now retired from active duty at Microsoft, Bill is still involved in key decision making and is available whenever needed for consultation. Other contributory factors to his success are his enthusiasm, energetic nature, motivating power and near perfect judgment skills. He is also a strategic thinker, an economist and capitalist who has always managed to oust competitors, some who even offer superior products, through innovative marketing and distribution strategies such as partnering with hardware vendors to distribute computers with software pre-installed. His aggressive nature can thus be said to be phenomenal in contributing to Microsoft’s success.
Away from Microsoft, Bill has always given back to society and Forbes Magazine describes him simply as the world’s most generous person, having given more than $28 billion through the Melinda & Gates Foundation. His philanthropic goals are to help in research and development of medication to cure fatal diseases in the world, develop a better education system in America as well as other continents like Africa.
It is therefore evident that Bill Gates is not only an entrepreneur who has made it to the top echelons of society in terms of power and wealth, but is also a great revolutionary who spurred the growth and evolution of the personal computer and software market creating a globally competitive industry that we simply cannot survive without. His social responsibility also portrays outstanding ethical behavior by his desire to give back to society part of what he has learned and earned. He is thus in my opinion a perfect example of a legendary entrepreneur.
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- The early 1990s that growth curve had made Mr. Gates the world's richest man. It had also given Microsoft a sinister sheen in the minds of. "Bill Gates News - The New York Times." Times Topics - The New York Times. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2013. http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/g/bill_gates/index.html
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