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  • The visionary – the great one …. Are you an entrepreneur?

The visionary – the great one …. Are you an entrepreneur?

02 March 2021

Buddhi Pathiraja, Associate Director - Corporate Finance and Advisory |

“If you do not build your dream someone will hire you to help build theirs”- Tony Gaskins

Do you remember how you tried to trade your Christmas gift to your neighbor or friend in school for a better gift – maybe not better in quality or price of the gift you already have but to obtain what you really want? If one stops to count the number of such “deals” you have been successful in, you would be able to know if you have what it takes to stand on your own and build your dream. To be … an entrepreneur!

Entrepreneurs are leaders willing to take risks and exercise initiative, taking advantage of market opportunities by planning, organizing, and employing resources, often by innovating or improving existing products. “Entrepreneur” is originally a word from the French language. It is defined as an individual who organizes or operates a business or businesses. The Irish-French economist Richard Cantillon in his book “Essay on the Nature of Trade in General” saw the entrepreneur as a risk-taker while the French economist Jean-Baptiste Say considered the entrepreneur as a "planner".

According to Joseph Schumpeter, an entrepreneur is willing and able to convert a new idea or invention into a successful innovation. Entrepreneurship employs what Schumpeter called "the gale of creative destruction" to replace in whole or in part inferior offerings across markets and industries, simultaneously creating new products/service lines and new business models.

Theorists Frank Knight and Peter Drucker defined entrepreneurship in terms of risk-taking. The entrepreneur is willing to put his or her career and financial security on the line and take risks in the name of an idea, spending time as well as capital on an uncertain venture.


Challenges faced by entrepreneurs

Many traits in a human are important to for one to become an entrepreneur. However, the path to success is often treacherous.

1. Difficulty to obtain external funding  

Lenders and investors are still slow to grasp the risks associated with such businesses into their risk portfolio. Often, entrepreneurs fail as they are unable to seek substantial economic stability from external sources. The system also is not geared to lend to an entrepreneur while nurturing within a banking system.


2. Social acceptance

Further, family and friends may not understand the real benefit of been an entrepreneur as they tend to only see the dark patches in the Profit and Loss Account.

In many Asian countries, where employment is one consideration for marriage – self employment as an entrepreneur is commonly referred to as, is a strong minus point.


3. Dilution of profits when seeking expansion

Entrepreneurs tend to capitalize on their personal skills. There have been so many success stores vanishing into thin air upon expansion of the business.


How to be the Great One – the ultimate success story …  

1. Self funding

Focus on initiating with available funds and to expand using retained earnings. If initial capital is also borrowed, the cost will be too much on the bottom line.


2. Do not specialize

Capitalise on personal skills which can be sought easily from the market or which could be passed on to another.

 3. Market Survey

A market survey or market research give an indication about the available market opportunities. A further study of the industry will paint a clear picture of the future of the business.

Understanding the market conditions will arm the entrepreneur with the skills to be ready to handle situations without any surprises. Many global giants have had humble beginnings. For an entrepreneur to stand out from the crowd – one fact is important -  market yourself. If you yourself do not have the confidence to talk about yourself, why should others have faith in your business? Confidence is the key to success.