We very often come across the term "Entrepreneur". Entrepreneurship is generally defined as the process of setting up a business, taking financial risk in anticipation of profit. An entrepreneur is also someone who sees a problem and starts thinking or comes out with a solution that earns him a profit. However, today entrepreneurs are idealized as being the cornerstones of a successful capitalist economy.
Let’s take a walk back in time to learn how entrepreneurship first began. Who were the early entrepreneurs? The first entrepreneurs were working even before the advent of money. It has been found that the earliest known trading took place nearly 20,000 years ago. Around 17,000 BCE humans in New Guinea were exchanging obsidian a type of volcanic glass which was used for making hunting tools) for other good like, hunting tools, skins and gathered food. This kind of entrepreneurship continued for millennia, where hunter-gatherers would trade for goods from others from different part of their respective regions for the benefit of their tribe or group.
However, things really started changing once humans began settling down and started practicing agriculture which occurred about 12000, years ago. Once humans started to domesticate plants and animals they became stationary at one location as they no longer needed to forage and hunt that kept them moving from place to place. This also channelized their energy towards working on their farms which in turn yielded better production of food grains and animal products. This was the fundamental shift in human history. Settlements around fertile land took shape of villages and towns. Most importantly there was no longer the necessity for every individual to be involved directly into food production. The long hours spent hunting and gathering food by every individual was a thing of past and a small number of farmers were able to manage the food production while others focused on other jobs that needed attention. This was also the start of specializing in different professions, and members of community who specialized in other areas traded their valuable goods for food. These people were the earliest entrepreneurs. Different individuals started working o different aspects of livelihood, some specialized in hunting and gathering, while some took to fishing, while yet another specialized in tool making that these hunters and gatherers required. Some worked on building shelters and some other took to making clothes. As farming helped people to grow more than they consumed themselves they started bartering these surpluses for various other necessities. Thus one person no longer managed the whole gamut of stuff but started relying on specialized services within the community to meet their requirements. As time went by these specialist became better at what they did. The tricks of their work were passed down to the other family members. As they got better in their unique roles, they brought increased benefits for the entire community.
With all the changes small settlements turned into villages and then into bigger towns. As the population increased, dependable sources of food became the pivotal reason for people to build permanent settlements and homes. People started building social institutions within their areas of permanent settlement like places of worship, markets, courts etc. These provided more business opportunity for the entrepreneurs to explore. Standard of living also kept getting better and better with time and this also brought about new areas of entrepreneurship like, pottery, carpentry, yarn making from both plants and animals, masonry. The entrepreneurs were constantly at the forefront of new innovations. If there was a problem, these entrepreneurs recognized that these problems if solved would bring them profit.
From the time of Agricultural Revolution to 2000 BCE, cities started to appear all around the world. People started to venture out and seek out new places. This only gave rise to better business prospect. These entrepreneurship thoughts amongst individual gave rise to the many popular trade routes that we are familiar with now. The Romans started trading salt from Africa, The Chinese paper making technique process became known all over the world. People started venturing out to distant land. The most important change came with the invention of money. Barter system had its limitations, known as “coincidence of wants”. This majorly limited the scope of trade and entrepreneurship during the time of barter, but money changed that completely. Money too went through many changes till we reached coinage and now paper money. However, money or currency gave entrepreneurs few very important things like, it facilitated long distance trade. It was a medium of exchange and unlike barter the “coincidence of wants” was no longer applicable as money provided both the entrepreneur and the buyer the option to store value. This was also the time when banking came into practice. The concept of banking, and borrowing money to start a business greatly influenced the entrepreneurs, as did the Industrial revolution. Fast forward with the technology advancing by leaps and bounds the whole scenario of entrepreneurship has changed. Today big entrepreneurs are highly regarded in the society, not just because of the wealth they have for themselves but because an entrepreneur throws open the doors of employment. An entrepreneur always feeds more than just one family. Entrepreneurs also have a great role to play in a country’s economy.
With technology being a great support these days we keep hearing a term “start-up” which is nothing but a brilliant business /entrepreneurship idea which needs no physical place to operate as such. These are brainchild of some very brilliant thinking entrepreneurs. People who were bold to not just about thinking out of the box, but going ahead and proving their mettle.
How does now become a successful Entrepreneur? The most important quality required for an entrepreneur is the right attitude towards the business, to have great patience and determination and foresight. Business does not start in a day, hence to be a successful one has to have the grit, determination, the confidence, discipline and creativity along with very good people skills.
Depending on the type and scale of business one can earn a great profit by being an Entrepreneur. However, an entrepreneur also does a great service to the society where he belongs by means of employment. One necessarily does not need to be a business school graduate, to be a successful, however many colleges and universities have courses that are dedicated to business management.
One can also take advice from the Career counselors to get a sound idea about the courses. There are several Career Counselors that one can go to including Online Career Counseling as well.
Apart from these there are many Career Guide Services available online and one can go through those websites to get a good understanding of the Course. Many Career seminars also are held to help students select the course most suitable for them. The counseling also helps students understand their strengths and weaknesses and can work accordingly to better themselves.
One can log on to the links listed below which will provide one with a good understanding of the courses available and how to go about cracking the exam:
By: Madhuchanda Saxena
Posted By - Assistant Editor