For several times now, we have been using the word “entrepreneur” to refer to people who run their own business. Start-up newbies are likewise regarded as budding entrepreneurs. But what do business people actually perceive the term? I stumbled upon an article, which reports that many business owners have different associations with the word “entrepreneur”. Sam Grace reported in a press release the following interesting findings of the Sage’s research on business people in the UK: (Read full story.)
1. “Entrepreneur” is a less preferred identity word.
We may be taking the word for granted in the context of how business owners want to call themselves. I thought that being called an “entrepreneur” stands as a fundamental identity that someone whose heart is really into running his own business. Well, I now learn that my assumption is not necessarily true.
Grace reported “that the overwhelming majority of people on the front line of this revolution feel no connection with the term. The Sage Omnibus of more than 1,200 business minds found that ‘business owner’ (53%), ‘self employed’ (26%) and ’businessman/woman’ (15%) are the most popular terms people use to describe themselves, underlining the very gritty and real nature of running a business in 21st century Britain.”
2. Clear vision and mission are keys to success.
We have read about this several times. So many articles, blogs and commentaries have been written, underscoring a clear vision and mission, being important factors, to propel a business to success. What do business owners think?
“The survey, which explored how business owners perceive themselves and the qualities needed to succeed, also found that over two out of three participants (70%) see a person’s vision and drive as key attributes for success and 14% cite numerical or business acumen as the critical requirement”, reported Grace.
3. Entrepreneurs and innovation are strongly associated with each other.
To reiterate my point, I use the word “entrepreneurs” quite loosely to mean people who came up with some awesome business ideas and turned such concepts into running businesses. The Sage’s study offers another interesting finding:
“The research also highlights the strong link between entrepreneurs and innovation in the mind of 21st century business owners. Almost half of all respondents (44%) believe that an entrepreneur is someone who has ideas that bring innovations to business – a central component to succeed for 14% of those surveyed, but just one in four (25%) associate the term with someone who sets up or runs their own business.”
Quoting Lee Perkins, Managing Director of Sage’s Small Business Division, Grace cited:
“The survey suggests that the current crop of business owners find it hard to relate to the term entrepreneur. They think of an entrepreneur as someone who has innovation in their DNA, but not necessarily the drive or basic business skills to succeed. Ideas are vital, but for a business to discover its true potential the company must be grounded in reality and guided by an owner with a sound understanding of financial information.”
4. Entrepreneurs are ideas generator.
I believe that generating concepts is one essential trait of an entrepreneur. But the mere ability to conceptualize does not guarantee a successful business career. I find it striking when the study also revealed that:
“In addition to the economic factors leading to changing business perceptions, there is a feeling amongst respondents that the term entrepreneur describes someone who is an ideas generator and somewhat removed from their business. Whilst Sir Richard Branson and Sir James Dyson are seen as hugely successful entrepreneurs, they could also be seen as a barrier to most people identifying with the term entrepreneur.”
A lot of concepts take on different meanings as the 21st century world continues to evolve. Entrepreneurship is a concept, and it’s interesting that what may be in the dictionary as the true meaning that business people hold, the findings that we have seen above are quite different.