The Value of Entrepreneurs – An Investigation

Entrepreneur – noun – Someone who exercises initiative by organising a venture to take benefit of an opportunity and, as the decision maker, decides what, how, and how much of a good or service will be produced.

Entrepreneurship has never been more important than it is today. Humankind is younger than it has ever been, with more than half of the world’s population under the age of 25. There is a youth bulge of 1.8 billion people, with 87% living in developing countries and around 66% of them under-utilised. There is a crisis that the world’s leaders in government, business and civil society all agree on – that crisis is youth unemployment. This crisis has serious social, economic and political implications that must be addressed immediately.

Now, more than ever, entrepreneurs are essential to create jobs, economic growth and wealth, as well as to address the growing set of global challenges our society is facing. Studies from organisations such as the OECD, the World Bank and the World Economic Forum have consistently illustrated that entrepreneurs and young businesses are the leading source of job creation and sustainable growth. Countries around the world have increasingly focused on entrepreneurship and innovation as the way forward for building new knowledge and creative approaches, increasing global competitiveness, addressing the growing challenge of increasing unemployment, and creating new jobs. However, far more focus and emphasis must now be placed on developing entrepreneurial thinking, and ecosystems that foster entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurial thinking is a 4-stage process that is driven by seven overarching ‘mindsets’. The entrepreneurship process is:

  1. Identify a problem
  2. Create a sustainable commercial solution to the problem
  3. Identify who values the solution
  4. Take action

The Seven ‘Mindsets’ of Entrepreneurial Thinking

  1. Passionate, Inspired & Energetic

“Choose a job that you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life” – Confucious

  1. Empowered, Confident & Willing to Take Opportunities

“Luck is where preparation meets opportunity” – Seneca

  1. Ownership Mentality

“The best way to predict the future is to create it” – Peter Drucker

  1. Fast Decision Making & Risk Taking

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” – T.S. Elliot

  1. Leadership

“Leadership is taking responsibility whilst others are making excuses” – John C Maxwell

  1. Disciplined & Hard Working

“Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration” – Thomas Eddison

  1. Learning, Adaptive & Dynamic

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” – Nelson Mandela

Here’s a short video to inspire the youth of today to think of an entrepreneurial idea and take action!

Adapted from Jeremy Liddle, President G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance Australia and Grasshopper.

Soichiro Honda – A Short Entrepreneurial Film

Soichiro Honda was a Japanese engineer and industrialist. In 1948, he established Honda and oversaw its expansion from a wooden shack manufacturing bicycle motors to a multinational automobile and motorcycle manufacturer.

Honda was born in Tenryū, Shizuoka, a small village under Mount Fuji near Hamamatsu on November 17, 1906. He spent his early childhood helping his father, Gihei, a blacksmith, with his bicycle repair business. At the time his mother, Mika, was a weaver. Honda was not interested in traditional education, his school handed grade reports to the children, but required that it will be returned stamped with the family seal, to make sure that a parent had seen it. Soichiro created a stamp to forge his family seal out of a used rubber bicycle pedal cover. The fraud was soon discovered when Honda started to make forged stamps for other children. Honda did not realize that the stamp had to be mirror-imaged. His family name was symmetrical when written vertically, so it did not cause a problem, but some of other children’s family names were not.

Even as a toddler Honda had been thrilled by the first car that was ever seen in his village and often used to say in later life that he could never forget the smell of oil it gave off. Soichiro once borrowed one of his father’s bicycles to see a demonstration of an airplane made by pilot Art Smith, which cemented his love for machinery and invention.

At 15, without any formal education, Honda left home and headed to Tokyo to look for work. He obtained an apprenticeship at a garage in 1922, and after some hesitation over his employment, he stayed for six years, working as a car mechanic before returning home to start his own auto repair business in 1928 at the age of 22.