keeping acct


The term entrepreneurship, of French origin, was first attributed to a French economist circa 1700. His basic definition alluded to the organization and/or operation of a business or businesses. Several management, economic and business writers from 1700 to 2013 have offered alternative definitions as business creation, ownership and economies have developed.


Entrepreneurs are non-fixed income earners who pay known costs of production but earn uncertain incomes.  (Jean-Baptiste Say)

Entrepreneurs are innovators who use a process of shattering the status quo of the existing products and services, to set up new products, new services. (Schumpter)

An entrepreneur is a person with a high need for achievement. He is energetic and a moderate risk taker. (David McClelland) 

An entrepreneur searches for change, responds to it and exploits opportunities. Innovation is a specific tool of an entrepreneur hence an effective entrepreneur converts a source into a resource. (Peter Drucker) 

Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled. (Howard Stevenson) 

Entrepreneurs take initiative, accept risk of failure and have an internal locus of control. (Albert Shapero) 

An Entrepreneur is someone who commercializes his or her innovation. (Ronald May) 


These writers have all focused on and captured varying, but nonetheless critical aspects that define who entrepreneurs are and what they are about. Early on in this discourse we are forced to acknowledge the following:

1. Entrepreneurs by nature of attitude and focus will own small and medium-sized businesses, but all small business owners are not and need not be entrepreneurs.

2. Entrepreneurship, as defined by its attributes of innovation, need for achievement and a need for change, dictates that such behaviour should also be embraced within organization.

Governments, economists and other leaders the world over have suggested that entrepreneurship and small business ownership ought to be engines for economic recovery and growth. While they must all be commended for this thought process, what remains to be articulated is what must be done and by whom to make this a reality.

Similar comments have been made locally, including on several occasions by this writer; so let us examine in the context of any economy, but specifically of Barbados, what is required to bring entrepreneurship and its tenets to the forefront of our economic growth and expansion.


The ecosystem – Our entrepreneurial development landscape is characterized by several public and private agencies whose role ranges from some form of mentorship to provision of finance to lobbying and negotiating (BIDC, SBA, BYBT, YES, EGFL, BEF). Unfortunately, when taken objectively, what we don’t currently possess control of is a cohesive approach to all areas of entrepreneurial development. Any cohesive ecosystem will cater to and address the needs of business start-ups, microbusiness, and small businesses through their expansion to medium-sized companies and large enterprises; and our attention to framework and structure in this regard is critical.

Entrepreneurs often possess a great idea first and foremost as the output of their innovative thought processes, and the proposed definitions above support this. However, the predominant challenge highlighted by entrepreneurs is access to finance, followed by access to good marketing. While there is truth to these challenges, I suggest that the ecosystem does not require as much focus on access to finance, but rather more focus is needed in the areas of training and mentorship for existing and prospective entrepreneurs.

It is often lack of business acumen that leads to the challenges in accessing finance, as there is often an undue perception of the level of risk and naturally lack of confidence as a result.

We need a joint public-private approach to the creation of this cohesive ecosystem for the growth and expansion of our entrepreneurial class locally. Here are a few thoughts:


1. A radical reorganization of our agencies is essential to create focus through speciality and centres of excellence. At each stage of its growth, businesses require and demand different things, and these variations require unique attention as they are critical to success at that stage. The centres of excellence would consist of a network of resource centres where access to services, training, mentorship and other development mechanisms would be made available, with each centre focusing on an industry or sector that is vital to our economic growth and development.

(a) Startup and microbusiness focus (for example, Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme; UWI SEED programme).

(b) Small and medium-sized entity focus
(for example, Small Business Association, BIDC).

(c) Large enterprise focus (for example, Enterprise Growth Fund).

2. Creation of alignment within our educational system to provide the educational assets that prospective and existing entrepreneurs require. There should be a mix of formal and informal approaches to this education, and it must incorporate practical components. Business ownership, entrepreneurship and innovation at a minimum should be incorporated into any learning outcome across our education system, remembering that an entrepreneurial mindset benefits employees and their organization.

3. Formation of public-private partnerships
to address challenges from access to finance and marketing, legal and other challenges in a meaningful way. This does not exclude any efforts separately by each group, but rather places additional emphasis and resources to address this issue.


The entrepreneurial approach – In conclusion, I quote one of the suggested definitions above that in my opinion capture not only what we as entrepreneurs seek to achieve, but articulate an approach that would serve our private sector, public sector, Government and others well to adopt.

The lack of cohesion, the stunted growth and approaches reflect or rather confirm our inability and unwillingness to forget the status quo and through innovation determine the actions in the best interest of our current position and future desired position.

Entrepreneurship is a viable concept that once entrenched in our psyche is indeed a key vehicle for our future growth and development. Next week I will provide an in-depth view of access to finance.


Entrepreneurs are innovators who use a process of shattering the status quo of the existing products and services, to set up new products, new services. (Schumpter)

One Response to Entrepreneur!

  1. Peter Boos June 3, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    Thanks for this helpful explanation of Entreeneurship David.



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