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Question:

Discuss about the Entrepreneurial Attributes.
 
 

Answer:

Introduction:

Entrepreneurs start new business ventures and are driven by their profit earning motives, risk taking capabilities and capacity to capitalise on new business opportunities. These are some of the characteristics which make an entrepreneur embark upon a new business venture instead of taking up a job or profession. Experts look upon entrepreneurship as positive because entrepreneurs bring along with them innovation, create job opportunities, new products and economic development in the economy (Colombelli, Krafft & Vivarelli, 2016).  Some experts argue that entrepreneurial businesses are often small and have limited resources. However, it can be pointed out that some of the biggest multinational companies of today like Microsoft, Facebook and Apple started their journey as small entrepreneurial ventures. The assignment is a study of the ideal entrepreneurial attributes taking Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft as an example. The first section introduces Bill Gates and his venture Microsoft. The next section delves into the entrepreneurial attributes of Gates and draws lessons from the literature of entrepreneurship. This is followed by a section which summarises the learning obtained from the entrepreneurial attributes of Bill Gates. The assignment also draws knowledge from an interview of Gates. The final section states the impact of the interview on the approach towards the project.

 

Bill Gates and his entrepreneurial ventures-Microsoft

Microsoft is one of the biggest software and technology manufacturers in the world today. Gates along with his friend Paul Allen devised an interpreter which worked flawlessly and MIT agreed to distribute their new innovative product. Allen and Gates founded Microsoft on April 4, 1975 and the latter became the CEO. Gates is often hailed as one of the most innovative and successful entrepreneurs of all times.  The next section studies the attributes of Gates based on the entrepreneurial theories and tries to throw light upon his virtues as an entrepreneur.

The Key entrepreneurial theories to understand the traits of Bill Gates:

The main theories of entrepreneurship on whose basis the various aspects of Bill Gates will be studied are:

Economist view of entrepreneurship:

Experts say that entrepreneurial ventures grow when the market conditions are favourable. Favourable conditions like easy available of raw materials, market opportunities and government support act as motivators for an entrepreneur to start a venture. Risk is an indispensible form of every successful business venture and is directly proportional to profit.  Risk is the propensity of the entrepreneurs to undertake business ventures to exploit a challenging situation which might also lead to failure. Risk taking power is one of the traits which make a person become an entrepreneur. This capability sets an entrepreneur apart from employee and is yet being studied by scientists (Carland, Carland & Stewart, 2015). The Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS) featured microcomputer. Gates envisioned the machine as a new opportunity in the market and created an interpreter. MITS allowed Gates to showcase his interpreter and decided to distribute it as Altair Basic. Gates has the propensity to recognise positive market movements and work towards capitalising it.

 

Resource based theories:

An entrepreneur who wants to earn profit and has the propensity to take risks can capitalize on market opportunities to earn profits. They use their resources to take advantage of the market opportunities. Gates felt the need to make computer available to all round the world. He used his knowledge, innovative skills and social network. Gates in an interview opined that sustainable energy sources should be used by the industries. The interview shows that Gates has the power to recognise the future shift in raw material trend of the market (businessinsider.in, 2017). It is this quality of Gates to recognise scopes and mobilise resources which makes him one of the most successful entrepreneurs today.

The theory of Innovation:

Innovation gives rise to new ideas which encourages the entrepreneurs to start new businesses. These people start new businesses driven by new ideas which often cater to new needs of the society. Entrepreneurs prefer to start their own businesses in order to work on their creative ideas. Joseph Schumpeter emphasises that innovation as one of the driving forces behind new market opportunities and economic development (Audretsch, 2015). A study of the qualities of Bill Gates reveals that innovation is a very important part of his journey as an entrepreneur. Bill Gates as the CEO of Microsoft stressed on technology and service innovation and has created several structural models. He led the company towards innovation in all fields like product designing, personnel allocation and internet promotion. It is his innovative qualities that led to launch of Bing as the new search engine by Microsoft (microsoft.com, 2017). Today, his innovative power is one of the driving forces which has placed Microsoft in its top position in the world (Yoffie & Cusumano, 2015).

Need for Achievement:

McClelland pointed out to two characteristics of the entrepreneurs, improvising on the present designs and making decisions under challenges and risks. He also asserted that people with high orientation for achievement are more likely to become entrepreneurs. They perceive profits are a measurement of success and achievement (Woodside, Bernal & Coduras, 2016). The study of the qualities of Gates proves that he has all those qualities. He wanted to make machines which will make work of every man easy at affordable prices. Today the softwares and hardwares of Microsoft find usage all over the world which has made Gates among the top entrepreneurs. The high profit and top market position of the company are the achievements of Gates as an entrepreneur and CEO.

 

X efficiency theory:

Entrepreneurs use the resources available to start new business ventures and produce new products. They use the financial, human resources and material resources to exploit the available market opportunities. They take the risks and tough decisions to deal with market challenges abd make profits. Risk is an indispensible form of every successful business venture and is directly proportional to profit.  Risk is the propensity of the entrepreneurs to undertake business ventures to exploit a challenging situation which might also lead to failure. Risk taking power is one of the traits which make a person become an entrepreneur (Carland, Carland & Stewart, 2015). Bill Gates took the risk of leaving Harvard University to pursue his dream of creating a personal as a useful tool for everyday use.  He took the risk of starting his entrepreneurial venture towards creating personal computer which was a new idea. This capability to use the resources available and take the risks associated with new ventures is the attributes which sets entrepreneurs apart from employees and professionals. The risk taking capacity of Gates makes him one of the biggest entrepreneurs of today (Brachert & Hyll, 2014).

Sociological theories:

The sociological theories state that the factors like social culture and expectation of the society have profound effect on the entrepreneurs. The United States in the 19670s witnessed rise in employment due to new entrepreneurial ventures. This made the entrepreneurs important people in the USA who produced new products and goods. This importance drawn by new business venture in the American society must have worked as one of the factors that motivated Bill Gates and Paul Allen to start Microsoft (Chatterji, Glaeser & Kerr, 2014). Gates used the need of new business ventures and the need for easily available computing tool prevailing in the American Society to create personal computers.

Leadership Theories:

The entrepreneurs have the power to recognise business opportunities and tolerate risks to earn profits. These entrepreneurs acquire human and financial resources to work on new and innovative ventures. The entrepreneurs lead their employees and direct them towards operating in methods they believe would lead them business success. They lead people towards their business goals and are flexible to adapt to situations. They have more decision making power than a company employee owing to their great knowledge of market risks and opportunities (Warren, 2017). Bill Gates is a great leader who led Microsoft to its present market position in spite of facing challenges from Google and Apple.

 

Learning from the Bill Gates and his entrepreneurship:

  1. The powers to make innovative products and take risk in order to earn profits motivate entrepreneurs to start new business ventures instead of working as employees.
  2. The entrepreneurs should be able to lead people towards accomplishment of their business goals. They have more decision making powers needed to take advantage of new market conditions.
  3. The interviews of entrepreneurs show that they have a deep knowledge about the macroeconomic conditions which help them to take accurate business decisions.
  4. The entrepreneurs can predict new emerging trends and can make strategies to take advantage of them.
  5. Favourable conditions like government help and increase in consumer needs encourage entrepreneurship. A journal shows that government support in Germany encouraged entrepreneurship in the country which helped it to create employment opportunities (Sternberg, 2014). The factors like lack of facilities and stiff competition creates fear among entrepreneurs. However, the fear is more among the old entrepreneurs and least among the young entrepreneurs (Hobolt & De 2015).
  6. The interview of Bill gates revealed that entrepreneurs today are concerned about sustainability and social work. Bill Gates pointed out in his interview that technology is important for the world and facilitates communication. However, he also pointed out that technology cannot solve problems like hunger and poverty. Entrepreneurs deal with problems from realistic point of view to arrive at solutions.

Impact of the interview:

The interview has a profound and reforming impact on the approach to the project, entrepreneurship. The interview of Bill Gates resonated with his deep knowledge and concern for the society and market. The projects on entrepreneurs should start with the qualities which contribute towards entrepreneurship. The projects should also speak about their human efforts and their knowledge about several things like technology, global warming and social causes.

Conclusion:

It can be concluded from the assignment that entrepreneurs play a very important role in creating new products and providing employment by starting new business ventures. They have certain qualities which on being impacted by external market conditions encourage them to start new business ventures. Their qualities set them apart from employees and professionals giving them a distinct position in the market. The entrepreneurs like Bill Gates not only aim towards earning higher profits but also towards sustaibility. The entrepreneurs master the skill of taking timely decisions to take advantage of forth coming opportunities. The international entrepreneurial ventures like Microsoft provide employment to the labour forces in their host countries. Such ventures also help the countries create employment opportunities and contribute towards global development.

 

References:

Audretsch, D. B. (2015). Joseph Schumpeter and John Kenneth Galbraith: two sides of the same coin?. Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 25(1), 197-214.

Brachert, M., & Hyll, W. (2014). On the stability of preferences: Repercussions of entrepreneurship on risk attitudes.

Business Insider. (2017). THE BILL GATES INTERVIEW: An energy miracle is coming, and it's going to change the world. [online] Available at: https://www.businessinsider.in/THE-BILL-GATES-INTERVIEW-An-energy-miracle-is-coming-and-its-going-to-change-the-world/articleshow/51110780.cms [Accessed 10 Apr. 2017].

Carland, J. C., Carland, J. W., & Stewart, W. H. (2015). Seeing what's not there: The enigma of entrepreneurship. Journal of small business strategy, 7(1), 1-20.

Chatterji, A., Glaeser, E., & Kerr, W. (2014). Clusters of entrepreneurship and innovation. Innovation Policy and the Economy, 14(1), 129-166.

Colombelli, A., Krafft, J., & Vivarelli, M. (2016). Entrepreneurship and Innovation: New Entries, Survival, Growth (No. 2016-04). Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.

Hobolt, S. B., & De Vries, C. E. (2015). Issue entrepreneurship and multiparty competition. Comparative Political Studies, 48(9), 1159-1185.

microsoft,. (2017). Microsoft Worldwide Sites. microsoft.com. Retrieved 6 April 2017, from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/worldwide.aspx

Sternberg, R. (2014). Success factors of university-spin-offs: Regional government support programs versus regional environment. Technovation, 34(3), 137-148.

Warren, T. (2017). 5 Essential Qualities for Entrepreneurial Leadership. forbes.com. Retrieved 6 April 2017, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/startupviews/2012/06/08/5-essential-qualities-for-entrepreneurial-leadership/2/#850cc4f37128

Woodside, A. G., Bernal, P. M., & Coduras, A. (2016). The general theory of culture, entrepreneurship, innovation, and quality-of-life: Comparing nurturing versus thwarting enterprise start-ups in BRIC, Denmark, Germany, and the United States. Industrial Marketing Management, 53, 136-159.

Yoffie, D. B., & Cusumano, M. A. (2015). Strategy Rules: Five Timeless Lessons from Bill Gates, Andy Grove, and Steve Jobs. HarperBusiness.

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