Sunday, March 31, 2013

Assessment of My Own Potential to be an Entrepreneur

This is my Assignment for Plymouth University about Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneur.

1. Introduction 
There is generally no accepted definition of entrepreneurship or entrepreneur. Different countries have different objectives through entrepreneurship so no proper definition would satisfy all. Entrepreneurship is defined as the assumption of risk and responsibility in designing and implementing a business strategy or starting a business . An entrepreneur is one who creates new business in the face of risk and uncertainty for the purpose of achieving profit and growth by identifying opportunities and assembling the necessary resources to capitalize on them. (Zimmerer and Scarborough, 2002, p.4). The evolution of the concept has generated many definitions. Robert Ronstadt (1984) captures Entrepreneurship is the dynamic process of creating incremental wealth. This wealth created by individuals who assume the major risks in terms of equity, time, and/or career commitment of providing value for some product or service. The product or service itself may or may not be new or unique but value must somehow be infused by the entrepreneur by securing and allocating the necessary skills and resources (p. 187). An entrepreneur is a person while entrepreneurship is the process of its actual working.

My name is Sandun Fernando and I am from Negombo in the west coast of Sri Lanka. I grew up in medium-sized family with 3 siblings and I am the middlest one. I am a person with a lot of ideas . I love photography and internet . Watching films is another hobby of mine. What's more I love basketball and hanging out with my friends a lot . I got married with my wife who is really considerate and kind. I really feel grateful to have my family and my wife. They are very supportive on my decision of doing my further study in Masters. Once I completed my Bachelor of Science Degree, I worked as a Temporary Demonstrator for 2 years and promoted to Network Administrator at the University. During my studies, I was actively involved in curriculum especially in sports and arts. Now I am a post graduate student at the University of Kelaniya and reading my Masters Degree. Each semester also has its values that I have learned and gained like entrepreneurship, leadership, communication skills, knowledge, values, and etc. These all are like reflecting my destiny in this earth and guiding me to take up another challenge.

 2. Analysis of the Factors that Make People Entrepreneurship 

 Entrepreneurship has been recognized as one of the four mainstream modern economic factors. Many people who have the knowledge, creativity, innovative, skillful and intelligent. They all are not entrepreneurs. Entrepreneur succeeds factors include from the environment and his or her personality traits.

2.1 Trait Theory 

Current researches have also shown that entrepreneurs have some special traits of human supported. They identified some common traits of those entrepreneurs which made them entrepreneurs. Those traits were categorized under few main categories as given below,
• Personal characteristics
• Culture of Soceity
• Educational background
• Personality traits

Personal characteristics 
This can be associated with personal environmental factors like Age, family status, gender and Ethnical groups have a relationship with entrepreneurship. In the Sri Lankan context men are more likely to be involved in entrepreneurial activity than women . Sri Lankan people think the society is not built on the women but on the men. The men should be the main provider and he should responsible for the financial guarantee of the family. Hence, he always tries to be employed. They do not have job satisfaction in his present jobs either because of the job itself, insufficient salary, conflicting with leadership. This will encourage that individual to enter business. To become entrepreneur. However, it could be noticed that there is a high potential for people who having business owning family to become entrepreneurs. Immigration is often an significant factor of entrepreneurship. Immigrants cannot easily find employment of their destination and therefore begin themselves in new business. There is a relation between ethnicity and entrepreneurship. Some cultures are naturally more entrepreneurial compared to others. This could also be seen in the Sri Lankan context. Muslim community is more self employed that the other ethnic groups. They are sometimes forced by the community and there are more favorable opportunity structures to be entrepreneurial like capital, infrastructure and supportive environment. Personal qualities common in successful entrepreneurs.

Culture of Soceity 
Our culture values are formed by the influence of the Sinhalese Buddhist civilization. In the Western colonization created class identity, rules and regulations. Family, social status, education, class, caste and religion in Sri Lankan society, which have different structures. Sri Lankans think society is built on the family not individual. Individual behaviour embedded inherent cultural and social contexts. Most entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka made by their family.

Educational background 
Sri Lankan education system are mostly based on western theories. It aims to prepare students for government employment (Nanayakkara, 1984). There is a positive sign of being entrepreneurs among low educated people in Sri Lankan context. Further, there are more and more such successful entrepreneurs in less educated. In Sri Lankan context distance between teacher and student are very high. It encourages student to respect to the teacher. The education system does develop self-discipline. Entrepreneurship has been identified as an important part of the national economy. However, this area has been not still identified by the Sri Lankan government. In this context, it is important to examine how far entrepreneurship have been recognized to be developed by the education system.

Personality traits 
Personal qualities are highly responsible for entrepreneurship. It is discussed under this category some personality types and attributes and try to relate them with the entrepreneurship. It says that the entrepreneurs are having a need for achievement while some argue against. Especially, when we analyze the people who started new ventures and succeeded, they have a high need for achievement. For an example, we may take Mr.Hettigoda who is well succeeded as an entrepreneur in Sri Lanka started a Indigenous Herbal Cream in very small scale and became a export brand. He emphasis the fact that he had a strong ambition/commitment or need for achievement. Being Creative is one other trait that most of the entrepreneurs have. They like to be differentiated from others. Hence, they make their offerings to the market in a different manner. Always add an additional value to the product. Try to create something new. There was not any such reliable herbal cream in the market when Mr.Hettigoda comes with a unique product. He created a new market. Trait theory further says that these entrepreneurs are likely to take risks. It is obvious that it comes with the creativity. They try innovations or rather creative things. This will automatically follow the risk because they do not know whether these innovations/creative things will be success in the market or whether those concepts are realistic in the real environment. Finally, it identified that the inner locus people have more potential to be entrepreneurs. They concentrate on their own behavior or relatively permanent characteristics. They correct if there is anything wrong with them or if they need any improvements to their present qualities. They do not blame or depend on others. Most of the entrepreneurs are keen on every aspects of the business and most probably they involve with those activities. They try to manage everything by themselves. Sometimes it will be the biggest barrier for their growth.

2.2 Cognitive Model 

Cognitive Model tries to identify the facts that make people entrepreneurs from a different perspective. They explain that the entrepreneurship occurs with the following conditions.
• When a person has sensitivity to it
• When environmental possibilities are exist
• When there is a social support

This model further discuss that individuals who believe in their own abilities/skills could become successful entrepreneurs. It is about positive attitudes and thinking. This is a good evident because we have experienced that two different persons see the same thing in two different ways. May be their perception. One person could see the same thing as an opportunity whereas other person takes it as a threat. Finally model says that self motivated people are more likely to be entrepreneurs. This may be due to the interest they have on the business. They are not only interested on their business but also they enjoy the business itself and its success.

3. Assessment of My Own Potential to be an Entrepreneur 

It is advisable to have an assessment on my own potential on entrepreneurship. Especially, with this kind of educational background, exposures to different business areas and even to the functional areas of the organization. The assessment done by our own is the best evidence whether I could be an entrepreneur or not because of the facts known by myself from every stage of the life. However, the assessment could be done through the following aspects as a framework.

3.1 GET Test and Skills Wheel Result 

GET Test by the Durham University 

The General Enterprising Tendency (GET) has been designed to bring together and measure a number of personal tendencies for enterprising person. I am partially agree with the GET test as it generates unacceptable evaluation to me and all other colleagues in our group in the class. There is obviously a need to develop to Sri Lankan context. GET has generated interest amongst academics and researchers for its potential as both an educational and research tool by continent. But its not tested successfully in our country of Asian continent. I am a person who is creative and a team player. However, I get lowest score of 5 for Section5. I need to develop the self confidence to work independently like most of the entrepreneurs do. I need to focus on take advantage of opportunities and believe in controlling my own destiny. Note : I have attached a copy of the GET test done at the class in Appendices

Skills Wheel Test 

It is important to have the special personality traits as well as enterprise skills for an individual to become a good entrepreneur. Skill wheel is a self evaluation test done in order to identify the once enterprise skills. It comprises of various aspects which an entrepreneur should have. Further, it measures how much you are close to the given circle and interpreted you are strong in those areas if the self drawn line is close to the given line. Finally it gives an idea on the enterprising skills under four categories. Refering to my own skill wheel result, I could say that I am in a good mind set to be an entrepreeur as the drawn line is very much close to the given outline of the circle. However, the result proveds that my creativity aspect is in a low level as it deviated more from the out line. This is second time which proved that my creativity skill should be improved. I got the same result in the GET test too. Skill wheel result strengthened my ability of working with people. This will be an advantage for me to grow the business employing more people in the business. Finally, It warned me to develop my resources management skill. As an entrepreneur, it is highly advisable to manage the resources available and get the maximum output. Note : Please refer the Skill Wheel test result is attached in Appendices

3.2 Special Skills, Attributes and Behaviors at Sri Lanka FLUX-2012 

Through the Flux activity we learn how to put the theories that we learn in our class room into practical actions. Its a real situation we learn lot of business than lectures. It gave me business confidence. Open so many doors to open my eyes in a business world. We do assignments within our course works but we never had a practical business experience like this. Flux bridged the gap between skills, behaviors’, knowledge, experience for learning, work and life in general. Its a brilliance experience for me to evaluate myself as an entrepreneur. We learnt some new skills and tools like XING, which are quite useful especially in preparing business plans. XING enhance in team work, negotiation and presentation skills. As one of the team member (Team SPIRIT) under ‘Group A’ at Sri Lanka FLUX 2012, we had to be optimistic and come-up with an attractive business plan in order to impress the business experts. We went on a plan from the very beginning and make some control in order to achieve the set goal of presenting the best business plan. We eventually learn from them, and implementing advices we got. Having completed the meetings we use advice we collected and to revise our strategy and prepare a pitch to deliver. After the preliminary heats, three teams were chosen to compete in a final head-to-head challenge. To select top 3 teams out of over 9 teams is just unbelievable. Finally, with all these hard work we became the best team (SPIRIT) under ‘Group A’. That’s the winning journey of the FLUX 2012. Our outstanding teamwork and presentation skills made this a great final and I’m convinced that the 15 students that took part in the final represent the cream of our next generation of business leaders.

4. Conclusion 
impact of economic and political environment on entrepreneur’s business performance entrepreneur is closely related to specific society traits. According to the GET results student have a negative attitudes related to entrepreneurship. It is need of developing personal traits and skills necessary for an entrepreneur It is the task of government to implementing entrepreneurship to direct educational programmes towards developing the skills of students according to the needs of specific target groups.

5. References 

• Zimmerer, T. and Scarborough N. M. (2002). Essentials of entrepreneurship and small business management. Prentice Hall.
• Gamage, H. R. Cameron, D. & Woods, E. (2003). Are Sri Lankan Entrepreneurs Motivated by the Need for Achievement?. Proceedings of the 9th International conference on Sri Lanka Studies, University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka.
• Gamage, H. R. Cameron, D. & Woods, E. (2003). Theory, Surprise and Reality: Exploring the World of the Sri Lankan Entrepreneur. Proceedings of the 9th International conference on Sri Lanka Studies, University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka. • Jon Lean (2012), Module Tutorial, Plymouth Business School, United Kingdom.
• Nanayakkara, G. (1984) Cultural imperatives of policy science. Vidyodaya, Silver Jubilee Issue, pp 85-103.
• Rajopadhye , Kalyani and Strom , Bruce (2003). “Entrepreneurship”. University of Indianapolis. Retrieved May 06, 2012, from
• Gamage H.R.(2003). Sri Lankan entrepreneurs use sociocultural values to manage risk, paper presented at the first international conference on Business Management in developing ountries, University of Sri Jayawardenapura, Sri Lanka

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