ECONOMIC FACTORS

Economic environment exercises the most direct and immediate influence on entrepreneurship. The economic factors that affect the growth of entrepreneurship are the following :

1. Capital: Capital is one of the most important perquisites to establish an enterprise. Availability of capital facilitates for the entrepreneur to bring together the land of one, machine of another and raw material of yet another to combine them to produce goods. Capital is therefore, regarded as lubricant to the process of production. Our accumulated experience suggests that with an increase in capital investment, capital-output ratio also tends to increase. This results in increase in profit which ultimately goes to capital formation. This suggests that as capital supply increases, entrepreneurship also increases. France and Russia exemplify how the lack of capital for industrial pursuits impeded the process of entrepreneurship and an adequate supply of capital promoted it.

2. Labour: The quality rather quantity of labour is another factor which influences the emergence of entrepreneurship. Most less developed countries are labour rich nations owing to a dense and even increasing population. But entrepreneurship is encouraged if there is a mobile and flexible labour force. And, the potential advantages of low-cost labour are regulated by the deleterious effects of labour immobility. The considerations of economic and emotional security inhibit labour mobility. Entrepreneurs, therefore, often find difficulty to secure sufficient labour. They are forced to make elaborate and costly, arrangements to recruit the necessary labour. The problem of low-cost immobile labour can be circumvented by plunging ahead with capital-intensive technologies, as Germany did. It can be dealt by utilizing labour-intensive methods like Japan. By contrast, the disadvantage of highcost labour can be modified by introduction of labour-saving innovations as was done in US. Thus, it appears that labour problems can be solved more easily than capital can be created.

3. Raw Materials: The necessity of raw materials hardly needs any emphasis for establishing any industrial activity and its influence in the emergence of entrepreneurship. In the absence of raw materials, neither any enterprise can be established nor an entrepreneur can be emerged. Of course, in some cases, technological innovations can compensate for raw material inadequacies. The Japanese case, for example, witnesses that lack of raw material clearly does not prevent entrepreneurship from emerging but influenced the direction of entrepreneurship. In fact, the supply of raw materials is not influenced by themselves but becomes influential depending upon other opportunity conditions. The more favourable these conditions are, the more likely is the raw material to have its influence of entrepreneurial emergence.

4. Market: The fact remains that the potential of the market constitutes the major determinant of probable rewards from entrepreneurial function. Frankly speaking, if the proof of pudding lies in eating, the proof of all production lies in consumption, i.e., marketing. The size and composition of market both influence entrepreneurship in their own ways. Practically, monopoly in a particular product in a market becomes more influential for entrepreneurship than a competitive market. However, the disadvantage of a competitive market can be cancelled to some extent by improvement in transportation system facilitating the movement of raw material and finished goods, and increasing the demand for producer goods. D.S. Landes holds the opinion that improvement in transportation are more beneficial to heavy industry than to light industry because of their effects on the movement of raw materials. Paul H. Wilken claims that instances of sudden rather than gradual improvement in market potential provide the clearest evidence of the influence of this factor. He refers to Germany and Japan as the prime examples where ‘rapid improvement in- market was followed by rapid entrepreneurial appearance. Thus, it appears that whether or not the market is expanding and the rate at which it is expanding are the most significant characteristics of the market for entrepreneurial emergence.

5. Infrastructure: Expansion of entrepreneurship presupposes properly developed communication and transportation facilities. It not only helps to enlarge the market, but expand the horizons of business too. Take for instance, the establishment of post and telegraph system and construction of roads and highways in India. It helped considerable entrepreneurial activities which took place in the 1850s. Apart from the above factors, institutions like trade/ business associations, business schools, libraries, etc. also make valuable contribution towards promoting and sustaining entrepreneurship’ in the economy. You can gather all the information you want from these bodies. They also act as a forum for communication and joint action. Of late, the importance of business and industry associations have increased tremendously. In the fast changing world of business, entrepreneurs have to move-collectively in order to be more effective and more efficient. They need to constantly check and influence the Government’s thinking and decision-making.