Background of the Problem
It is important to notice that entrepreneurship is one of the most discussed phenomena in academic research literature. There is a great amount of studies proposing multiple theories and concepts that define entrepreneurship, yet there are still more questions than answers in this area. Designating the factors of success in this area is difficult, as each case of entrepreneurship is individual. Entrepreneurship is vital for the economy of the state. For instance, the survey conducted by Jean Yusuf among entrepreneurs determined that the entrepreneurs can alter the world by contributing to the world economy with their innovations that make people’s life more comfortable (Yusuf 120). At the same time, they are valuable not only to the economy, but to society because the innovations may improve the lives of disadvantaged people, create new decisions in curing diseases, improve the environment, and resolve the problem of poverty.
Productive ventures developed by entrepreneurs create more jobs for citizens and invest in the social and economic development of the entire nation. Nowadays as well as in the past entrepreneurs change the world, including its economy, technology, societal, and environmental development. For example, Thomas Edison introduced electric light bulb and phonograph as well as creating multiple other discoveries that became a breakthrough in the area of science. It is possible to claim that such technological geniuses as Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, as well as Steve Jobs managed to change the world by introducing Facebook, Windows, Google, and Apple, the companies that had altered the way people today communicate, transfer and search for the information, and work.
As it was mentioned, there are a great variety of factors defining the entrepreneurship, but it is difficult to choose a single one that will be the most appropriate. In general, entrepreneurs are individuals who identify the demand in the market and manage the supply by creating a unique product or service that was not proposed earlier. While it is quite a simplistic definition, it identifies the most important qualities that enable the entrepreneur to express their urge to create, innovate, and bind the rules existing in the market. It was admitted by Estrin et al. that “entrepreneurs are people who not only present innovations, but transform the professional fields serving as the driving force of a progress” (Estrin et al. 480).
Often, the process of entrepreneurship is embodied in identifying the area of need, investing in it, building the company, and if necessary repeating this process. Some literature implies that such people are born with the specific innate features enabling them to create and innovate. Others believe that there are factors directly affecting their chances for success, like environment, upbringing, and availability of resources in early years. Furthermore, even a tragic accident can influence the capabilities of the entrepreneurs by indurating their character. At the same time, there is no consensus among experts regarding the question of what it takes to become entrepreneur. However, it is possible to argue that entrepreneurship is a multilayered issue that has multiple factors contributing to the success, which can be individual in each case. Impact of entrepreneurs on the world and society also can be embodied in different ways as well, where each of them contributes to at least one professional area.
Upbringing & Inheritance
Several studies admitted that usually, entrepreneurs express their extraordinary abilities in the childhood. Specifically, this specificity is both the contribution of the upbringing or innate features of character. For instance, it was evidenced that parents may contribute to the entrepreneurship skills of their child by supporting his/her creativeness in the early age (Klein and Bullock 430). One of the examples of entrepreneurs who expressed their abilities in the early age was Jeff Bezos, one of the most successful businessmen in the modern world.
Technological advancement produced great opportunities for the entrepreneurship in this area, where Jeff Bezos has occupies the place of the greatest innovators, business magnates, and investors. He was a key player in in the development of e-commerce by becoming the creator of Amazon, which is still remains the biggest internet retailing stores in the world as well as some media groups, like The Washington Post. According to the resources, during Bezos’s school years, the educators admitted his unique abilities, as Jeff was different from the other students (Stone 31). They find him not only incredibly different, but also particularly driven. It was revealed that he became interested in computers in the early age and managed to educate himself how to design programs. At the same time, as his parents were afraid that he will become a social pariah due to his love to various sciences, they decided to put him in variety of sports. In the result, during his school years, Bezos was playing baseball and football, though as he said, he was not interested in these activities (Stone 34).
As the result, his incredible competitiveness, friendliness, and the ability to concentrate attention on one specific goal, produced the roots of the first venture he had initiated. Further on, he managed to create not only a successful business venture that would sell everything, but to innovate the inner governance of the company. Bezos came up with the idea of creating small groups outs of the company’s employees that have to compete with each other in terms of productiveness, creativity, and effectiveness (Stone 36). In addition, he insisted that each of these groups will be closely monitored and evaluated by him. While the regulatory policy in Amazon was quite harsh, the results were immediate, as the company revisited its policies and improved the relationship with the customers. As his colleagues and friends claimed, the Amazon founder put his entire attention on his goal without being distracted by the other things or people, which made him at some point particularly driven. Yet, Amazon expands and grows every year destroying its competition.
There are several inquiries claiming that parenting strategies in the early age can have opposite effect on the skills of a child, as they can both suppress the talent or expand it (Bhandari 134). It was also admitted that if parents have the acumen for entrepreneurship, their children will more likely to have at least necessary business skills for their further development (Bressler, Campbell, and Elliott 138). Such results emphasize the impact of parenting skills in the early age. However, it may also point to the inherited features that help new entrepreneurs to grow. As the research in genetics and inheritance of the personal features is still in the first stage of its development, it is impossible to guarantee that each child of famous entrepreneur will follow the same path and vice versa. Yet, the evidence support the impact of upbringing on the success in entrepreneurship, which may help to develop the skills needed for their development.
There is some evidence showing that a lot of entrepreneurs had difficult experience in their life which affected their skills and predetermined success. One of such examples is Howard Hughes, which has become one of the greatest innovators in aviation industry and film making. In his adolescence Hughes lost both of his parents. During his life, he developed love to the aviation industry and Hollywood. According to the recourses, Hughes was close to his parents and suffered deeply after they passed away. “Howard did not spend a night away from his mother until he was ten years old” (Barlette and Steele 12). During this time, he starts to express his innovative ideas and support several initiatives that would help people in need.
Hughes supported several industries and had designed a great number of constructions by helping science and aviation. He became one of the most successful pilots in the history of aviation winning several prizes and making huge accomplishments in this area. He has been known for his passionate involvement and determination to change the world, especially in the areas he loved. It was one of his obsessions and constant subjects of perfection, which he gained in several industries. This may lead to the conclusion that Hughes was shocked by his mother’s death that he became obsessive. However, his loss inspired and influenced him on building medical centers and helping people in need.
Hughes had a huge impact on several industries while aviation was affected the most due to numerous inventions created by him. In addition, as a film producer, Hughes mastered several techniques for shooting the motion pictures. He also became a patron of sciences by supporting several industries including medicine. Nowadays, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute is an American second largest charity in this field. It is one of the largest research centers established by Hughes himself and it conducts the research in bio-medical area since the 1950s.
Another example of a person who managed to overcome serious difficulties was Ruth Handler. She is an inventor of one of the most popular toy in the world, a Barbie doll, and an innovator in toy industry. Since her early years, Handler encountered with the financial and personal difficulties by living in poverty and managed to start working since she was an adolescent (Welter 158). Poor conditions of living, being a tenth child in a family, and brought by her sister, Handler gained independence quite early.
People who knew claimed that she had a lot of vivid features making her a driving force in anything she started. While Handler has never revealed her acknowledgement of her parents’ poor upbringing skills, it is rather clear that Ruth was wounded by the fact that she was the only of 10 children who did not live beside her mother. At the same time, when she has met her future husband at the age of nineteen, she did not hesitate to get married against her parents’ will. Also, it can be assumed that she tried to escape dependent life on her sister’s family, as neither she, nor her husband-to-be had any finances to support themselves.
She and her husband established the now well-known company Mattel that produced revolutionary toys. Despite the skepticism of her managers, Ruth implemented her idea of a new doll and as after that the company was overwhelmed with the orders and constantly multiplying clients, Ruth managed to create different ways of promoting her inventions. She promoted TV shows and Mattel has become the first company that marketed its products on TV. Further on, Ruth noticed that it is possible to create different versions of her doll and introduce new outfits for it. She had the ability to see the perspective and see the demand in the practical experience. For example, Ruth claimed that she noticed her daughter wanted to play only with the adult toys, which affected her decision creating a Barbie doll the way it is now. Also, Ruth’s ability to see the demand and the ability to produce the supply made her a particularly creative innovator in the toy industry. Since then, Barbie has become the most wanted toy for the majority of girls.
Challenges, especially what concerns the financial difficulties, usually motivate individuals and stimulate their entrepreneurial abilities, which become one of the ways out of their socio-economic difficulties (Welter 166). There are a lot of examples of the successful entrepreneurs who managed to become particularly successful after living in challenging conditions, including Kenny Troutt who established Excel Communications, Oprah Winfrey, billionaire Francois Pinault, and Starbucks’ founder and CEO Howard Schulz (Business Insider). The majority of these entrepreneurs realized that difficult conditions are not the barrier in success in business.
It is possible to notice that different entrepreneurs were stimulated by various factors in their path of becoming successful in business. While some of them lived in advantageous conditions and were affected by well-managed upbringing, the others had to strive for the financial success, which was the first motivation of the entrepreneurs. Despite such factors, all of them managed to gain success in several professional fields. Such differences in their past and the beginning of the careers raise a question if all entrepreneurs have at least several similar features or their destiny had nothing to do with the entrepreneurship and the success depended on their inner personality features.
At this point it is possible to imply that all entrepreneurs are particularly creative, determined, and concentrated on their goals despite the circumstances. The stimulus for the entrepreneurship may be different, from the low economic status to the personal tragedy that empowers for the future progress. It will be incorrect to claim that entrepreneurs are driven only by financial gains, they are eager to innovate, to bring about the changes in the world, and to express their ideas by implementing them into something worthy.
Factors contributing to the success of entrepreneurs also relate to their ability to manage their companies. Such skills as creativity, leadership, effective time-management, adaptability, persistence, integrity, and natural intuition were emphasized by several studies that evaluated the productivity of the entrepreneurs. For instance, one of the study conducted by Rogoff, Lee, and Suh among the group of entrepreneurs determined that such skills as persistence, flexibility, and adaptability were distinguished as the strongest factors contributing to entrepreneurial success; also, scholars revealed that the majority of these skills are learned throughout the educational training (Rogoff, Lee, and Suh 369).
Krishnan and Kamalanabhan, who surveyed female entrepreneurs, found out that competence and attitude of the entrepreneurs designate their success and productivity, which usually are embodied in effective leadership and time management (Krishnan and Kamalanabhan 45). For example, in one of the interviews Richard Branson, a founder of Virgin Group, implied that time management was his main trump card, where he “conducted meetings standing as it was much quicker way of getting down to business, making a decision, and sealing the deal” (Walter). Andy Grove, a former Intel president, emphasized that he usually went home when he is tired, not when he is done, which emphasizes the need to relax in order to work more productively (Walter).
As high-quality education is usually admitted as the main indicator of entrepreneurial success, the study conducted among the group of businessmen by Ramana, Raman, and Aryasri revealed that the quality of education does not play essential part (Ramana, Raman, and Aryasri 119). Moreover, their research implied that entrepreneurs are not always good managers, where their main prerogative is to create and innovate, while the execution and application are usually performed by their employees (Ramana, Raman, and Aryasri 119). For example, according to his employees, Jeff Bezos was very ineffective in building communication, which had to be delegated to his executives (Stone 212). At the same time, there are few studies that support this claim, which points to the possible limitations in the similar research.
The investigation conducted by Corzine and Hood who implemented a quantitative survey among the entrepreneurs researching their ways of handling the conflicts, recognized that the most successful participants used the styles of integration and compromising when dealing with the difficulties (Corzine and Hood 118). It emphasizes their flexibility and integrity as the main success factors. Overall, researchers tend to agree that quick adaptation to the difficulties, effective time-management, and persistence usually define a successful entrepreneur. The studies indicating that the managerial qualities do not matter are in minority, which can be a result of limitations.
It was revealed in the course of the research that it is impossible to give the precise answer identifying the keys to success for the entrepreneurship. However, it is possible to claim that such things as the financial factors, personal determination, difficult conditions, and personal tragedy can create the opportunity for an individual to become a successful entrepreneur. Simultaneously, while examining the case studies, the conclusion claims that all entrepreneurs investigated have similar features that identified their success. First of all, it is ultimate creativity; secondly, all of them had particular belief in their success; thirdly, all entrepreneurs felt they want to change something. At the same time, such experience made everyone to crave for the same purposes. All entrepreneurs were eager to obtain freedom from financial status, family, or personal drama that poisoned their life. Each of them succeeded one way or another. Their impact on the world was also incredible, which made them accountable and responsible for their inventions.
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