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The Entrepreneur in Market Economies

Lesson 12.The aim of the lesson is to learn to test your qualities and abilities of becoming a successful entrepreneur in a democratic society and comment upon them.

1. Read the following statements aloud and underline the key words that describe the qualities of an entrepreneur.

There are two things that entrepreneurs have that others do not. One is a kind of visionary imagination to spot a commercial opportunity where others simply do not see it. And the second is the ability to persevere in the face of scepticism or criticism or even the fear of failure.

Entrepreneurs perform the function of creative distraction. They rethink conventional assumptions and discard those that no longer apply. They reform or revolutionise the pattern of production by exploiting an invention or an untried technological possibility for production, by opening up a new source of supply for materials or a new outlet for products, by reorganising industry.

2. Drawing upon some of the key words and phrases used above to describe entrepreneurs, write a definition of an entrepreneur. Consider such a definition from at least the following two points of view: (a) an outside observer, a layman, (b) a person working for a business. Identify the challenges and rewards of entrepreneurship. Do you think it is preferable to be solely responsible for a business or to share responsibility with a partner or within a corporate structure? Compare your definitions with those of your partner. Share them with the teacher drawing on your partner’s definitions.


3. Before you read the article “Against all odds: Barbara Proctor, Millionaire”, look through the following questions: What obstacles did Barbara have to overcome? What personal qualities did she possess to overcome such obstacles? Barbara Proctor stated that she would not accept any client whose product demeans blacks or women. Should personal convictions influence business decisions? Read the article and answer the questions explaining your standpoint.


4. Entrepreneurial Skill Survey. Working independently, complete the following survey. Then join with your desk-mate and discuss your ratings. Report on your conclusions.


Do you have the personal characteristics that might help you become a successful entrepreneur? Read each question on the Rating Scale below. Place a check mark ( ) on the line at the point where you believe successful entrepreneurs would rate themselves. Explain your decisions.

Repeat the exercise for yourself by placing an “X” closest to the point that best describes you. The check mark need not be placed directly over one of the suggested answers of your rating lies somewhere between two answers. Be honest with yourself. How do the ratings compare?



Are you a self-starter? I do things on my own. Nobody has to tell me to get going. If someone gets me started, I can keep going all right. Easy does it. I don’t work hard unless I have to.
How do you feel about other people? I like people. I get along with anybody. I have a few good friends and that is enough. Most people bother me.
Can you take responsibility? I like to take charge and be responsible. I’ll take over but I’d rather not. I do not want to be in charge.
How good an organizer are you? I like everything planned. Usually I am the boss. If things get too complicated, I lose interest. I just take things as they occur.
How good a worker are you? I can keep going as long as necessary. I like working hard. I’ll work hard for a time, but when I’ve had enough, I’ll stop. I can’t see that hard work gets you anywhere.
Can you make decisions? I can make up my mind in a hurry and my decisions are usually good. If I have to make decisions fast, I regret them later. I don’t like to be the one to decide things. I might make mistakes.
Can you stick with it? Once I decide to do something I don’t stop. I usually finish what I start. If a job isn’t going right, I give up.
Can you keep records? Since they are necessary, I’ll keep records. I can, but it’s more important to get the work done. I would rather hire someone to keep records.


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