What is Entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurship is defined as “the capacity and willingness to develop, organise and manage a business venture along with any of its risks in order to make a profit.”

Today, the business atmosphere is more competitive than ever. This statement does not imply that entrepreneurship should be called into question but that it should be effective. Things should be done in a timely manner and properly! For a business to succeed, aspiring entrepreneurs should gain or develop key skills and competencies. An entrepreneur does not only plan the business but also has to manage time and teams, customers and operations, budget and investors. An entrepreneur needs management skills. 

In the early stages of a business, an entrepreneur is almost always rather alone. While their friends who graduated in the same year are going up the corporate ladder, entrepreneurs are desperately seeking funding or networking opportunities. There comes the importance of enthusiasm and resilience. Entrepreneurs should be awakened and clear in their mind. They need to have clearly defined objectives, a realistic business plan and people who believe in them. Capacity for self-criticism coupled with good leadership skills are what an entrepreneur needs.

In an increasingly competitive market, a vulnerable start-up may have a higher probability of defeat. Creative-thinkers and risk-takers are those able to differentiate themselves in the market and maybe create their own category.

Entrepreneurial skills


Succeeding in becoming a strategic leader is probably the missing step of failing start-ups. Promising entrepreneurs remain vigilant from the beginning of their business and avoid moving headlong towards their vision. When necessary, they are able to question their own assumptions. Once they come to a decision, they really possess it, though. A good leader is an individual ready to take responsibilities in exchange for some freedom. An inspiring leader is an entrepreneur who has ceased being a “problem-finder” and has become a “problem-solver” to maintain success and stability within the organisation. Only a problem-solver can overcome internal crises amongst people.  But how can a leader possibly make sure employees are, and remain, committed? The answer to such a question is “respect”. A leader is an entrepreneur who has the required integrity to create and establish the needed respect!

Personal Attitude: ENTHUSIASM

Maybe, one of the most “visible” attributes of entrepreneurs is their common “enthusiasm”. Enthusiasm is a precious resource but at the same time a “double-edged sword” as mentions the serial entrepreneur Jonah Lupton in his “The Most Valuable (and Dangerous) Quality an Entrepreneur Can Have”. Enthusiasm has a tremendous power in business which can be dangerous for the business itself; enthusiasm does not always perceive the barrier between a great idea and a real business. Wanna-succeed entrepreneurs should avoid being over-enthusiastic about their potential project. Enthusiasm should rather support a rational action. Enthusiasm is the engine of success.


What happens when enthusiastic individuals known for their excellent leadership skills fail in the first weeks, months or years of their business? The answer lies in these individuals’ resilience. Entrepreneurship rhymes with hard work, loneliness, high pressure and ordinary every-day tasks. An entrepreneur has more reasons to lose hope than to remain courageous. Resilient entrepreneurs are humble individuals who learn from their mistakes. They do not give up when they are facing difficulties and are grateful for what they have no matter what happens. When a business is started, every small achievement is a great success itself. Determined individuals are strong in their minds. Whatever the situation, they have a positive-attitude and are reacting accordingly. They are not afraid about taking decisions and acting.

Personal Attitudes: RISK-TAKING and RISK-SEEKING

Self-employment in today’s society is a risk on its own. Consequently, an entrepreneur is always somehow a risk-taker. Yet, an aspiring entrepreneur is a strategic risk-taker. There is a difference!

Successful entrepreneurs first estimate their own risk-tolerance and identify the different types of risks they are willing to bear. They then welcome challenge and uncertainty! Entrepreneurs are ready to intentionally take risks so that their business grows or gains a competitive advantage. This may mean contracting important loans in the early stages of a business or managing the day-to-day life of a business with uncertain cash flow. In the long run, such an attitude pays off.  A risk-seeker is a devoted person ready to sacrifice personal time for their business. But there is a warning - Blind risk-seekers (those who take risks without proper awareness of the potential impact) face a harsh wake up call!


“Real entrepreneurs move from imagination to execution” writes Racquel Porter, writer for Hearpreneur.com. An entrepreneur needs imagination before action. As businesses are born with ideas, ideas are results of one’s imagination.   Imagination is a constant in the life of entrepreneurs and is what makes them successful for it is a prerequisite in problem-solving. Most people are able to see, understand and solve the “obvious” while creative-thinkers are able to go beyond. Albert Einstein says “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”


The American politician Frank A. Clark writes “Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man's growth without destroying his roots”. An entrepreneur with a clear self-perception is not a pessimist but is self-critical.

The capacity for self-reflection provides the future entrepreneur with strength and success. There is no doubt that confidence is an essential ingredient for an entrepreneur to possess. Yet, being overconfident only results in unexpected problems. Here comes the importance of the virtuous balance. Each individual is endowed with certain abilities of which they need to know the limits. Especially, entrepreneurs must avoid being confident about a skill they do not even have! In order to achieve a certain level of self-criticism, the first step consists of assessing honestly the skills you have. Future entrepreneurs should make a list of their strengths and weaknesses, already existing and to be acquired.


Design thinking and entrepreneurship

Implemeting Design thinking method at UPTA

Ressources on entrepreneurship and migration