Everybody is talking about ‘Entrepreneurship’ and ‘Innovation’
Economic development is highly associated with entrepreneurship by means of creating new wealth, contributing employment creation and socio-economic change in all settings. That is why ‘entrepreneur’ and ‘entrepreneurship’ as a term become so prominent in the last decades. Traditionally, the entrepreneur is often defined as the one who starts own new and small business. The essential act of entrepreneurship is new entry which can be accomplished mostly through launching a new venture. But not every new small business is entrepreneurial or represents entrepreneurship.  
Think about a family initiative to open another restaurant serving traditional cuisine in their region. Should we consider this as an entrepreneurial initiative?… No; considering all they do is what has been done many times before and they do not create a change through creating a new satisfaction or new consumer demand. Looking from this perspective this is not an entrepreneurial venture rather just a new venture.
Uber, however, is an entrepreneurial venture. It did not invent a totally new product or service, but designed a new model of private transportation. They become a threat for traditional taxi business by satisfying new age customer needs. This model surely represents entrepreneurship.
What differentiates the traditional model of entrepreneurship from the new one, as exemplified above, is ‘innovation’. Innovation, as main concept of applying new or improved solutions in the market which better satisfy consumer needs, is key to today’s entrepreneurship concept. And what make today’s entrepreneurs different than new venturers are thinking differently and innovating by use of various attributes.
Change starts with Innovative Entrepreneurs
It is noncontestable that innovation based entrepreneurs play important role in flourishing and boosting economies in all over the world. Although they come from different backgrounds and environments, they have many things in common such as; traits, motives and competencies. In addition to these, they are known to have a strong educational background and work experience of 5-10 years prior to launching their first venture. They are;
- Determined and persistent; they do not give up easily and try as many times as they can in order to reach their goals.
- They tend to be passionate for success.
- They are curious and adventurous, like to go beyond the usual things with a clear vision by taking risks.
- They are proactive in taking initiatives.
- They are energetic and constantly in action, looking for new opportunities in the market.
- They have a holistic view over the company and are good at cooperative work and listening to others.
- They are excellent learners; they learn by doing, they learn from errors, observations and other people.
“Being innovative means to be open to change and not just open to change but proactively seeking change so it is always asking the question of what is next, what can we do better, what can we do differently and not just for the sake of doing it differently but to create more value than it’s currently created.”
An entrepreneur from UK
What motivates innovative entrepreneurs are materializing new ideas/developing new technologies, which satisfy needs in the market, and being financially independent but making more money than paid jobs. In most cases, they prefer to work in an environment where continuous learning and self-development is possible.
They believe that some of the entrepreneurship competences, which are deadly important for innovative businesses, can be gained post facto. Creative thinking, problem solving, leadership and team management, innovation management, agile management, strategic planning, risk management, business model development and rapid experimentation are the major trainable competences for entrepreneurs.
For more details about innovative entrepreneurship characteristics visit recent research findings @INNOGROW Web Site.
The best method to check whether you have what it takes to be an innovative entrepreneur is the use of self-assessment tools designed in this concept. Self-assessment is a useful method for potential entrepreneurs to test themselves compared to other entrepreneurs and draw a learning path according to the results. This approach promotes a shift towards learner-centred training in which learners define their own goals and the steps required to meet them.
Let’s talk about the ideas to adapt this methodology either in entrepreneurship field or other fields, as we have the expertise in both self-assessment and learner-centred training approach. Contact us to bring this methodology into your initiatives / projects: firstname.lastname@example.org
by Merve Gül BARUT, Consultant
 Drucker P. F., 1985, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Elsevier
 Lumpkin G.T. and Dess G.G., 1996, Clarifying the Entrepreneurial Orientation Construct and Linking it to Performance, Academy of Management Review, Vol. 21, No. 1, 135-172.