Entrepreneurship is important for the economy of any country. The creation of wealth and economic dynamism depends upon the competitiveness of firms. This competitiveness relies fundamentally on the capabilities of entrepreneurs and managers (Cuervo, Ribeiro and Roig, 2007). Entrepreneurship processes are essentially driven by the desire to start a new venture, or to reinvent or radically transform an existing company. Entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial managers seek to shape the future of their businesses by visualizing and implementing new imaginative ventures and models. The desired outcome is organizational genesis, growth and rejuvenation underpinned by new competitive advantages leading to new profitable opportunities (Audrestch, Dagnino, Faraci and Hoskisson, 2010). Entrepreneurship then has emerged as one of the most potent economic forces in the world. With that emergence has come a strong increase in the field of entrepreneurship education. The recent growth and development in the curricula and programs devoted to entrepreneurship and new-venture creation have been remarkable (Kuratko, 2005).
The entrepreneurial function implies the discovery, assessment and exploitation of opportunities. In other words, it is about: new products, services or production processes; new strategies and organizational forms and new markets for products and inputs that did not previously exist (Shane and Venkataraman, 2000).
We have to say that the definition of entrepreneurship in academia remains controversial. A wide definition establishes that “Entrepreneurship is a dynamic process of vision, change, and creation. It requires an application of energy and passion towards the creation and implementation of new ideas and creative solutions. Essential ingredients include the willingness to take calculated risks—in terms of time, equity, or career; the ability to formulate an effective venture team; the creative skill to marshal needed resources; and fundamental skill of building solid business plan; and finally, the vision to recognize opportunity where others see chaos, contradiction, and confusion” (Kuratko and Hodgetts, 2004: 30).
More “precise” approaches to the concept ot entrepreneurship can be: Entrepreneurship as the mobilization of resources in pursuit of opportunity (Kirzner, 1985); Entrepreneurship as the scholarly examination of how, by whom, and with what effects opportunities to create future goods and services are discovered, evaluated and exploited (Shane and Venkataraman, 2000); Entrepreneurship is shaped to focus primarily on the dimensions of opportunity obsession, a holistic nature, and leadership balance (Timmons and Spinelli, 2004) or, Entrepreneurship as a mindset and skills set that can be applied to any type of organization (Greene and Rice, 2007).
As we see, entrepreneurship is described in different ways. Entrepreneurial opportunities exist because different agents have differing ideas of the relative value of resources or when resources are turned from inputs to outputs. Entrepreneurship can be also conceptualized as the discovery of opportunities and the subsequent creation of new economic activity, often via the creation of a new organization (Reynolds, 2005).
Enrique Cortés Alonso, Ph.D.
Top Management Strategic Advisor.