By Franklin Alli
Business Insider: Now that you have become your own boss or rather, now that you are the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of your own business, are you an entrepreneur or a manufacturer?
Dr. Frank Udemba Jacobs, President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, recently clarified the differences between an entrepreneur and a manufacturer. Jacobs said: “I have been an entrepreneur; a manufacturer for over 31 years. It, therefore, gives me a great pleasure to share my thoughts on this very important topic. First, I have a strong passion for training people, especially young ones, to become entrepreneurs. That is why on assumption as the President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria in 2014, I established a Centre for Entrepreneurial Development at the MAN Resource Centre.”
According to him, the line between an entrepreneur and a manufacturer is very thin. “As a manufacturer, you are an entrepreneur although one may be an entrepreneur without being a manufacturer. However, the common denominator is that both entrepreneur and manufacturer refer to people who can identify gaps in the environment and develop such gaps into opportunities through innovation, take risks and add value,” he said.
Definition of entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship has been as the creation and management of a new organisation designed to pursue a unique, innovative opportunity and achieve rapid, profitable growth (Shane and Venkataraman, 2000). A manufacturer, on the other hand, and with all the attributes of an entrepreneur, is a person who transforms some form of raw materials into a finished or semi-finished product. Here lies the major difference between an entrepreneur and a manufacturer.
Attributes of a successful entrepreneur
A successful entrepreneur should possess the following characteristics: Initiative, opportunity seeking, persistence, information seeking; demand for quality and efficiency, risk taking and goal setting; commitment to work, systematic planning and monitoring; persuasion and networking as well as independence and self-confidence.
Factors hindering entrepreneurship development
Entrepreneurship does not emerge and grow spontaneously. Rather it is dependent upon some factors that influence or affect its growth. If these factors which are mainly environmental are positive, chances for growth are greater. These include: Individual factor, psychological factor, environmental factor and socio-cultural factor. However, since modern business is treated as a social and economic institution and is affected by the political, social and economic forces, these (political) forces cannot be over-looked.
For instance, the political environment (industrial policy, licensing policy, foreign exchange regulations, banking policy, technological development and social change) form the framework within which an enterprise has to function. Of course individual personality cannot also be over-emphasised as this would determine the perception of the potential entrepreneur and his disposition.
Other major hindrances
There is absence of a national policy on entrepreneurship. There is also poor response by financial institutions for start-up capital; and even to small scale industrialists because of perceived risks. This does not help in stimulating entrepreneurial climate. Other challenges are lack of information, demise of industrial centres or estates which were prevalent in the past in some regions in the country. Also, lack of or infrastructure deficiency creates a major hindrance to an entrepreneur who is struggling to gather money to start a small business and who would, at the same time, be looking for money to generate own electricity, construct roads, etc.
38 enterprise startups that will boom in 2017
2017 is almost here and it’s once again time to predict which startups will take the tech industry by storm. Who better to ask than the startup experts, the VCs that watch the industry, guide the startups, hear their pitches, and invest in them? So we reached out to a handful of top VCs and asked them which young or growth-stage startups will boom in 2017.
We asked them to particularly focus on enterprise startups — those that sell services to businesses, as opposed to selling to consumers. Enterprise IT is a $3 trillion industry and startups are the ones that are turning it on its head. They gave us this list that includes everything from technology that brings artificial intelligence to salespeople, to tech that is changing agriculture, financial, cyber security, and international shipping industries.