Entrepreneurship seems to have gained its due attention in both the business and academia since the time Nobel prize was conferred to Muhammad Yunus. There have been numerous articles and publications authored especially in the recent past on the Entrepreneurship  discipline, with some going to the extent of arguing on who is an entrepreneur. In particular Social Entrepreneurs and Micro Entrepreneurs seem to occupy much of the the mind-space today.

For me, entrepreneurship has been the single most interesting and exciting subject since last couple of years. In fact it was the pursuit of gaining more insights into this discipline that took me to ISB. However, even after attending the best of lectures on entrepreneurship and interacting with many entrepreneurs, I have not managed to understand of who an entrepreneur is, let alone get a holistic perspective on the subject.

Looking at the informal sector of India, which comprises 90% of the economy, I wonder whether our country is the biggest haven of entrepreneurial spirit. Can the numerous people - like the street hawker, vegetable vendor, road-side food seller, neighborhood kirana store owner - who we interact and carry on small transactions with on a day-to-day basis be termed as entrepreneurs? Would the French economist Jean Baptist  who defined entrepreneur as someone who shifts economic resources out of an area of lower and into an area of higher productivity and greater yield, qualify a cycle-rickshaw driver as an entrepreneur? (On a side note, as per the ridiculous Delhi law the driver of the rickshaw has to be its owner. So, in fact most of the drivers have made the necessary capital investment of as much as INR 10,000) While these people in our neighborhood seem to have the entrepreneurial spirit of identifying a commercial opportunity – whether a material, product, service, or business – and organize a venture to implement it, I wonder whether they, as Schumpeter calls propagated a"Creative Destruction" of any kind.

Though I'm usually not the one who would get obsessed with definitions, this is one thing that I'm quite not able to let go. It is somewhat gratifying though to see the Nobel Prize winners Phelps and Yunus seem to offer different view of entrepreneurship.

(More on Social Entrepreneurs and Micro-Entrepreneurs in the coming posts)

~ Santosh


12/14/2007 03:29

You Pessimistic blooger!! You are yourself lost in definition!
On one hand one can define you as a Pessimist and on the other you put forth a view point of definitions not playing an influence on you...
What are you trying to express?
Should any act have any definition for that matter?

12/14/2007 06:01

Let us take the debate of I being a pessimist offline :)


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