Davidsson defines entrepreneurship as a procedure of establishing anything divergent with importance, by indulging the essential moment and endeavor. It also encompasses assumption of associated economic, mental, and public risks; and getting the consequential rewards of monetary and own satisfaction1. This aggressive behavior moves market course and is usually successful or manipulative.
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Entrepreneurs are able to see opportunities during scarcity times and create remarkable changes in market trends, be it micro or macro- level of business industry. Entrepreneurs are vital stimulants to financial systems since they create viable markets, disband monopolies, and generate revenue. According to Druckers, recent outburst of ICT has led to a significant size enlargement of entrepreneurs2.
They also indicate that innovation is a multifaceted progression whereby personalities of businesses change ideas into upgraded processes, production systems or services for development purposes, competition, and to distinct themselves in market arena. It is remarkable that innovation has association with entrepreneurship.
People endowed with this gift are competent to stand high up and excel in world of business, even if there is shortage of capital. They have unique abilities and values from rest of the masses. Both entail victorious utilization of original ideas.
This paper analyses entrepreneurial life of Richard Branson, a world’s renowned entrepreneur who is the sole creator of Virgin companies. The flamboyant Britain entrepreneur was born in the year 1950 in UK, Shamley Green village, in “Surrey Stockbroker belt”3. Richard has immense aspiration for establishing new business opportunities internationally.
His industry’s brand dubbed “virgin” nearly spans all sectors of service and consumer goods. Some areas covered now include credit cards, music industries, and flight industry. He developed these entrepreneurial skills at an early age, then serving as a student magazine publisher at an age of sixteen.
Dearlove indicates that despite the fact that he hardly attended any graduate school, Branson established virgin brand in1970, as a discount record that he worked on with a friend4. He then developed the virgin records in1972, an opportunity that granted him a powerful springboard as he started it with hit record.
The triumph in trade had just started. V2 records followed in establishment in the year 1996 and this resulted into a major sale of great albums. As stated by Dearlove, Virgin brand has managed to cover several goods and utilities, especially in the United Kingdom. Some nations that the brand currently reached include US, Australia, Canada, Asian countries, Europe, as well as various parts of Africa.
Richard Branson has shown typically the outlook of an entrepreneur. Kumar states that an entrepreneur has capacity to spot opportunities when nobody is able to5. This innovative characteristic is evident in virgin empire that he has molded ever since 1970. He likes taking risks in investing in the new fields.
This is evident in his fruitful endeavors to create the virgin brand in almost all industries within the UK and extend it to the entire world. Recent ventures that comprise virgin airlines show unique trait of risk taking in business.
There is evidence that virgin will continue exploring into other fields; given that Branson has established a website where the public submit innovative ideas he is ought to venture. To achieve these one needs to be open to external ideas, to re-evaluate and define relevant options from them. This demonstrates that he is a real business trendsetter and risk taker.
Branson from an early age, believed in challenges, to him or to other persons. Dearlove indicates that Branson always chose on something bigger. He believes that choosing on someone bigger or more dominant gives an upper hand6. Virgin uses ideas that have seen it succeed in many of its ventures. The initiation of the virgins into the airline industry was a great and bold step for the entrepreneur.
In addition, virgin production has collaborated with great celebrities from across globe for their song production and release. Excellent negotiation skills and approaches have made Branson to thrive in commercial sector. He has successfully influenced and negotiated with big business partners and various states into partnerships in business.
Dearlove also suggests that an entrepreneur must have sharp negotiation techniques to make deals and handle crisis in a better way7. There is an expert approach applied to handle conflicts and disputes within the business and with other partners. This is a trait well utilized by Branson.
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Kumar outlines innovation as a vital trait in entrepreneurship8. This is portrayed in Branson right from young age when he begun with the student magazine. He also founded a non-profit student advisory body that provided psychosocial support to students. His progression from the virgin productions to V2 also illustrates his innovation. Branson believes in expanding his business empire crossways the continent.
Virgin track from time of its establishment within the UK up to now covering the almost the whole world, shows an aspect of continual discovery and expansion into new markets. This is a perfect eminence of entrepreneurship. The entrepreneur works tough. Branson insinuates that people should make their work be fun so that they highly achieve their targets and objectives.
Although he hardly attended graduate school, Branson resorted into trade and excelled due to unending effort he had. He also believes in protection of an entrepreneurs’ public image. This has helped him to defend and uphold his brand, hence its continuity in market. An entrepreneur without good morals will destroy his entire business domain within a short period.
Public associations and excellent media image are essential aspects of entrepreneurship. According to Branson, a smile to a camera sells the whole package of virgin brand across continent. Entrepreneurs thus, at whatever level should have good rapport and relations with media and the public. Entrepreneurs do not pilot the ship but get the best from individuals by challenging them.
Immediately you start treating persons like sheep, you deny them opportunity to imagine and make preference. Production, originality, and innovation suffer comprise. This is what entrepreneurs should avoid, because sometimes it is all about getting ideas from one another.
Successful entrepreneurs should be swift at identifying and exploiting opportunities. Branson has developed excellent short decision-making procedure to allow him seize opportunities for trade expansion and establishment. There is always stiff competition out there and it calls for swiftness and speed than that of a speeding bullet.
According to Dearlove, entrepreneurs think great and act simple9. Branson agrees that size constantly does not limit anyone. An entrepreneur is keen to monitor his steps and stride towards his greatness or expansion. To him, he believes that huge things begin with minuscule. Entrepreneurship also requires capability to launch and deal with effectual multiparty ventures.
Branson has caused virgin to rise majorly by cooperative ventures. This illustrates that business world needs good interpersonal and social skills to help you join and negotiate deals with others.
Delegation of administration and other business duties to a small and lean team is an important gesture in entrepreneurship. Branson argues that the leaner the team, the better. Indeed, through his business initiatives, he has shown important qualities that all aspiring entrepreneur would want to acquire.
Sense of discipline in Branson has prepared him to focus on improving and expanding his virgin empire. For an ideal entrepreneur to succeed he must be self-disciplined and respectful, this enables them to move consistently towards improvement and achievement of their goals. Branson has also exuded confidence in his business ventures.
This courage to take risks has enabled him to enlarge his business to the entire globe. He has succeeded in scores of business sectors and dealt with big industries and institutions. Only risk takers would do this. For him, every situation has been a business opportunity, he stresses on this by arguing that people buy from people, this shows that he is open-minded and would readily accept challenges and ideas from external people.
Entrepreneurs are self-starters and upbeat. They wait for no help nor support from any external source. Branson solely established virgin records after working for a student magazine with a friend. Since then, he has endeavored in setting up additional enterprises in diverse sectors as well as the airline.
Macgregor describes various qualities of an entrepreneur. To her, they are competitive. Branson prefers competitive business conditions. He readily accepts challenges and utilizes them to fabricate his business domain. In an extremely dominated trade situation, it takes only spirited entrepreneur to be triumphant.
Macgregor again outlines determination, perseverance, and creativity as essential attributes of an entrepreneur10. Although born in a financially unstable family, he showed creativity and determination to start enterprises and ensured their achievement. In order to work efficiently with many people, an entrepreneur has to have sound people skills.
Branson has shown this by effectively delegating duties to his employees and mangers and also by collaborations and business ventures across the continent.
Passion is a vital attribute of any triumphant entrepreneur. Like Branson, genuine entrepreneurs treasure their roles and develop tough job ethics since their love of work goes beyond money they get. There is energy and self-motivation that they obtain from their duties.
There is then the ability to guide others and ensure completion of objectives through them. Entrepreneurs ensure timely completion of tasks and are good leaders and administrators. Branson owns virgin company with several workers and mangers. These qualities have enabled him to excel and expand further. In addition, time management is also an important aspect of fine entrepreneurship.
The entrepreneur is able to sort out the duty schedule and pay attention to every work detail at correct time and place. Without this trait, Branson would not have managed to be a triumphant entrepreneur. Common sense and self-reliance are again vital attributes of any winning entrepreneur.
Branson in his business has competence to effective decisions on his daily encounters. He is also responsible for his actions and relies on his resources and capabilities to manage business. This is a practice of autonomy and excellent ruling based on experience and reality.
Entrepreneurs encounter many constraints in their businesses. From Richard Branson’s replies in one of the interviews featured in the Billboard magazine, one can easily note uncertainty as one major challenge. He sights that one can never tell although the industry feels fine (Billboard Vol. 115, No. 52 ISSN 0006-2510). This shows a state of uncertainty that most of entrepreneurs have to go through.
Neergaard, and Ulhøi illustrate an entrepreneurship paradigm that describe how different factors interlink to influence entrepreneurs in different ways11. Of significance is how certain factors in environment act. Competition is one of the threats that distress entrepreneurs.
Branson has likely encountered hard competition since there are other market players. He admits that the virgin Atlantic experienced stiff rivalry from British Airline. The company has instead persevered and become much stronger.
Inadequate resources and government policies are also sources of challenge to entrepreneurs. Neergaard, and Ulhøi have indicated these two conditions as outer influences on entrepreneurship. It is right that some national guidelines do not favor entrepreneurs.
The virgin businesses also face such challenges, especially in the foreign nations where there are inflexible government policies on markets, investments, and taxes. Other entrepreneurs are likely to have inadequate capital to establish their business ideas. Martins also accentuate some constraints that are universal to all entrepreneurs.
Amongst these, include developing business idea, foundation capital, location of the business, frequent transformations in trends, and finding right customers12. Young entrepreneurs find it hard to align with frequent changes in technology and business systems. On relating these to the foremost business initiative of Richard Branson, it is evident that his magazine business flopped because he became a casualty of these factors.
He however could never sigh up, but continued with other ventures up to the time of establishment of the virgin records that became a break through. Other problems as Martins observes may include choosing the right employees and dealing with doubts and risks. Virgin group faces such constraints though there are protocols and standards for employee hiring13.
Branson gives five tips for any aspiring entrepreneur, which Heydt describes in an article featured in the consumer goods service. According to him, the key step is to unearth the good group14. Virgin businesses excelled because he sought for a perfect management team that had focus and interest to serve. Entrepreneurs should collaborate with or employ personalities who care for those they supervise and for customers.
Secondly, the entrepreneurs should take the employees’ welfare at heart. They are the dynamic might at the back of a business’ success. Moreover, a united team with focus never lets down the business owner. The third factor is to endeavor to find the best out of those around you.
Problems should also be platforms into other opportunities and additional knowledge. Challenge those around you and get the best out of them rather than confrontation. In addition, workers who shine should receive appreciation for motivation. He also warns entrepreneurs not to appear too serious and instead embrace enthusiasm and add joy to their work.
This, he says, will magnetize lots of clientele especially in the airline section. Finally, he tells entrepreneurs to have confidence and be great risk takers in trade ventures. That failure in any venture is not a reason to quit trying as an entrepreneur. He verified this when his magazine business flopped and he had to venture into another field.
The OECD in their policy commendation provides an array of changes that are appropriate for governments and institutions to uplift entrepreneurship success amongst populations. Some of their suggestions incorporate strengthening entrepreneurship instruction in institutions of advanced learning. Additionally, promote expansion-oriented entrepreneurship and integrate practical dexterities15.
This will instill into young entrepreneurs the various traits and knowledge to establish successful enterprises in various sectors of choice. There are further suggestions for relevant institutions to enhance informal learning sources to enhance entrepreneurship skills acquisition in youthful entrepreneurs.
Strengthening of restricted ability ecosystems, reinforcing trainings on small-scale enterprises, and advancement of integrated training programs including vocational trainings are also other recommendations from OECD. All these will stimulate the capabilities involved in firm creation or in realizing a new product, service, or activity16.
Entrepreneurship is about readiness to encounter risks of a fresh venture when there seems to be an outstanding probability for gains. An industrialist thus should be novel enough to develop an original idea and market it. There needs to be active research and studies to find and address recent transformations that have occurred with globalization and technical advances.
Availing these, information will help to acquaint upcoming entrepreneurs with expertise skills to confront situations and prosper in business. It costs one fortitude and positive aspects to be victorious in entrepreneurship.
The triumph stories from great entrepreneurs like Sir Richard should be an example and motivation source for upcoming innovators. It is also imperative for institutions and governments to encourage and provide incentives for aptitude edifice and supporting the population to adopt free enterprise attributes. This is because entrepreneurship is important in ensuring financial sustainability.
Davidsson, P, Researching entrepreneurship, Springer, New York, 2005.
Dearlove, D, Business the Richard Branson way: 10 secrets of the world’s greatest brand builder, John Wiley and Sons, West Sussex, 2007.
Drucker, P, & Drucker, P, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Butterworth-Heinemann, Massachusetts, 2007.
Heydt, A, Richard Branson on the Team Factor & Entrepreneurial Success, Consumer Goods Club, 2010. Web.
Kumar, S, Entrepreneurship Development, New Age International, New Delhi, 2008.
Macgregor, L, Choosing a career as an entrepreneur, The Rosen Publishing Group, New York, 2001.
Martins, A, 10 Business Challenges of Starting a Small Business from Scratch, The strategic Business Group. 2010. Web.
Neergaard, H, & Ulhøi, J, Handbook of qualitative research methods in entrepreneurship, Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, 2007.
Nielsen Business Media Inc., Billboard, 2003, Vol. 115, No. 52, p, 1-172.
OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Studies on SMEs and Entrepreneurship SMEs, Entrepreneurship and Innovation,’ OECD Publishing, 2001.
1 P Davidsson, Researching entrepreneurship, Springer, New York, 2005, p. 1.
2 P Drucker, & P Drucker, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Butterworth-Heinemann, Massachusetts, 2007, p. 10.
3 D Dearlove, Business the Richard Branson way: 10 secrets of the world’s greatest brand builder, John Wiley and Sons, West Sussex, 2007, p. 8.
4 Dearlove, p. 12.
5 S Kumar, Entrepreneurship Development, New Age International, New Delhi, 2008, p. 2.
6 Dearlove, p. 21.
7 Dearlove, p. 53.
8 Kumar, p. 3.
9 Dearlove, p. 135.
10 L Macgregor, Choosing a career as an entrepreneur, The Rosen Publishing Group, New York, 2001, p. 43.
11 H Neergaard, & J Ulhøi, Handbook of qualitative research methods in entrepreneurship, Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, 2007, p. 29.
12 A Martins, 10 Business Challenges of Starting a Small Business from Scratch, The strategic Business Group. 2010.
14 A Heydt, Richard Branson on the Team Factor & Entrepreneurial Success, Consumer Goods Club, 2010.
15 OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Studies on SMEs and Entrepreneurship SMEs, Entrepreneurship and Innovation,’ OECD Publishing, 2001, p. 181.
16 OECD, p. 182.