Responsible-minded, creative, and innovative – entrepreneurs are the world changers of the modern age. But what exactly is an entrepreneur? In its traditional sense, entrepreneurship means doing business, so an entrepreneur is essentially a bus...
Responsible-minded, creative, and innovative – entrepreneurs are the world changers of the modern age. But what exactly is an entrepreneur? In its traditional sense, entrepreneurship means doing business, so an entrepreneur is essentially a businessperson. However, this explanation isn’t entirely accurate. There is a fine yet decisive difference between a simple businessperson and an entrepreneur. Decades ago, economist Joseph Schumpeter, who coined the term entrepreneurship, already argued that entrepreneurs are not just founders, but also innovators and visionaries – and thus important cornerstones of transformation.
Entrepreneurs: trendsetters and role models
Entrepreneurship pursues one goal above all: to make an impact. For the visionaries of today, it’s not really about simply setting up a successful business. Instead, their focus is on changing the market and society as a whole. Social business and sustainable entrepreneurship are just some of the buzzwords describing the motivation behind true entrepreneurship.
A famous example of the impact of entrepreneurship is the story of Anita Roddick, founder of British cosmetics brand “The Body Shop”. She was one of the first leaders in the commercial cosmetics industry to actively stand up against the use of ingredients tested on animals, thereby inspiring numerous other brands to follow suit.
What qualities do entrepreneurs have?
Entrepreneurship offers enormous potential for changing both the business world and society on a long-lasting basis. Although sustainability, for example, was seen as a niche topic for a long time, sustainability aspects are now a top priority for more and more brands – regardless of their original business model. But how do entrepreneurs achieve this kind of effect? And what can digital leaders of the future learn from them? When you take a look at world changers and unconventional thinkers like Roddick as well as Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk, certain characteristics stand out:
Their actions are goal-oriented and motivated by the desire to change something or create something good. They stand for their ideas and don’t let setbacks throw them off track.
They come across as confident. Entrepreneurs are only rarely willing to bow down to authority.
Creativity and innovation are among their special strengths. Thanks to their ingenuity and their questioning of established concepts and structures, they come up with novel ideas and at the same time discover a niche that hasn’t been served by the market yet.
Entrepreneurs are pioneers of an enthusiastic vision, positive thinkers, and also decision-makers.
They are able to make their visions a reality using the right strategies.
Last but not least, they have a high risk tolerance. Instead of always taking the safe route, they focus on the opportunities of establishing something visionary and are open to change.
Entrepreneurship as a management approach: systematic originality
Entrepreneurship is in more demand than ever before. And for good reason: entrepreneurs combine financial success with revolutionary ideas and in doing so help solve social and societal challenges. For this to work, they have to think outside the box. In light of this aspect, entrepreneurship can also be understood as a management approach – or as an impetus for spotting business opportunities. Agile working and agile methods, such as design thinking, Kanban, and Scrum, have proven effective in this context. The various methods provide an alternative to the rigid hierarchies that frequently still shape the way we work, and therefore offer an approach for devising new business concepts.
Entrepreneurship: a recipe for success (not just for founders)
In view of social change as well as the digital transformation, the 21st century is an era of revolution. Therefore, if you want to stay ahead of the competition on the market, you don’t just need a strong will, but increasingly also an innovative business idea and the right strategy to implement it. Entrepreneurs (and their mindsets) encourage startups and brands to find and serve market niches. By demonstrating the courage to break away from conventional ways of thinking with your brand and being open to new approaches, you will have a good chance of making your company viable on the market in the future and contributing to the revolution.
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