Entrepreneur and Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurs play a vital role in the economic development of a country. Economic development of a country depends primarily on its entrepreneurs. An entrepreneur is often considered as a person who sets up his own business or industry. He has initiative, drive, skill and spirit of innovation who aims at high goals. The entrepreneur is the individual that identifies the opportunity, gathers the necessary resources and is ultimately responsible for the performance of the organisation. Entrepreneurs are action-oriented, highly motivated individuals who take risks to achieve goals. Entrepreneurship is the purposeful activity of an individual or a group of associated individuals, undertaken to initiate maintain or aggrandize profit by production, or distribution of economic goods and services. Entrepreneurship is very often associated with adventurism, risk-bearing, innovating creativity etc. It is concerned with making dynamic changes in the process of production, innovation in production, new usage for materials etc. It is a mental attitude to take calculated risks with a view to attain certain objectives. It also means doing something in a new and better manner.

Concept of Entrepreneur

The story of defining entrepreneur and entrepreneurship will sound like the story of six blind men describing an. elephant. There is hardly any commonly agreed upon definition among economic pundits.

The word “entrepreneur” is derived from the French word entreprendre which means to initiate or undertake. In the early sixteenth century, the Frenchmen who organised and led military expeditions were referred to as “entrepreneurs”. The term entrepreneur was applied to business in the early eighteenth century by French Economist Richard Cantillon. According to him, the entrepreneur buys factor services at certain prices with a view to sell their products at uncertain prices in the future. Richard Cantillon conceived of an entrepreneur as a bearer of non-insurable risk.

Another Frenchman, J.B. Say, expanded Cantillon’s ideas and conceptualised the entrepreneur as an organiser of a business firm, central to its distributive and production functions. Beyond stressing the entrepreneur’s importance to the business, Say did little with his entrepreneurial analysis. According to J.B. Say, an entrepreneur is the economic agent who un-ties all means of production, the labour force of the one and the capital or land of the others and who finds in the value of the products his results from their employment, the reconstitution of the entire capital that he utilises and the value of the wages, the interest and the rent which he pays as well as profit belonging to himself. He emphasised the functions of co-ordination, organisation and supervision. Further, it can be said that the entrepreneur is an organiser and speculator of a business enterprise. The entrepreneur lifts economic resources out of an area of lower into an area of high productivity and greater yield.

The New Encyclopedia Britannica considers an entrepreneur as an individual who bears the risk of operating a business in the face of uncertainty about the future conditions. Leading economists of all schools, including Karl Marx have emphasised the contribution of the entrepreneurs to the development of economies, but Joseph A. Schumpeter who argues that the rate of growth in an economy depends to a great extent on the activities of entrepreneurs, has probably put greater emphasis on the entrepreneurial function than any other economist.

In the words of Joseph A. Schumpeter, “The entrepreneur in an advanced economy is an individual who introduces something new in the economy – a method of production not yet tested by experience in the branch of manufacture concerned, a product with which consumers are not yet familiar, a new source of raw material or of new markets and the like”. The function of an entrepreneur according to him is to “reform or revolutionise the pattern of production by exploiting an invention or more generally, an untried technological possibility for producing a new commodity”. According to Schumpeter, an entrepreneur is an innovator, who introduces something new in the economy. Innovation may be: (a) introduction of a. new product, (b) introduction of new methods of production, (c) developing new markets and finding fresh sources of raw materials, and (d) making changes in the organisation and management.

Knight described entrepreneurs to be a specialised group or persons, who bear uncertainty; and uncertainty is defined as the risk which cannot be calculated. The entrepreneur, according to Knight, is the economic functionary who undertakes such responsibility which, by its very nature, cannot be insured or salaried. He also guarantees specified sums to others in return for assignments made to them.

Peter F. Drucker, in his book “Innovative Entrepreneurs” defines entrepreneurs as innovators. Entrepreneurs search for change and exploit opportunities. According to him “Innovation is the specific tool of entrepreneurs, the means by which they exploit changes as an opportunity for a different business or a different service. It is capable of being presented as a discipline, capable of being learned, capable of being practised. Entrepreneurs need to search purposefully for the sources of innovation, the changes and their symptoms that indicate opportunities for successful innovation. And they need to know and to apply the principles of successful innovation”. He further said that an entrepreneur is one who always searches for changes, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.

Cunningham and Lischerson in their recent work have described six possible schools of thought on entrepreneurs. The first school of thought i.e. ‘Great Person School’ says that an entrepreneur is born with an intuitive ability – a sixth sense and this sense helps him in start up stage. The second school of thought, i.e. ‘Psychological Characteristics School’ explains that entrepreneurs have unique values attitudes, and needs which drive them and help them especially in start-up stage. The third school, i.e. ‘Classical School of Thought’ says that central characteristic of entrepreneurial behaviour is innovation. This characteristic helps the entrepreneur much in start-up and early growth. ‘Management School’ is the fourth school of thought and it says entrepreneurs are organisers of economic venture and they organise, own, manage and assume its risk. Such functional orientation helps them in early growth and maturity. The fifth school of thought is the ‘Leadership School’. According to this school, entrepreneurs are leaders of people and they have the ability to adopt their style to the needs of people. Such leadership personality suits them most during early growth and maturity situations. ‘Intrapreneurship School’ is the sixth school of thought. Intrapreneurship is the act of developing independent units, to create, market and expand services within the organisation. Intrapreneurship is needed by an entrepreneur during the situation of maturity and change.

Whatever be the definition, across the world entrepreneurs have been considered instrumental in initiating and sustaining socio-economic development. There are evidences to believe that countries which have proportionately higher, percentage of entrepreneurs in their population have developed much faster as compared to countries which have lesser percentage of them in the society, discover new sources of supply of materials and markets and they establish new and more effective forms of organisations. Entrepreneurs perceive new opportunities and seize them with supernormal will power and energy, essential to overcome the resistance that social environment offers. In sum, the concept of entrepreneurs is intimately associated with the three elements-risk bearing, organising and innovating.

Features of Entrepreneur 

If we go through the business history of successful entrepreneurs in our country, we come across the names of Tata, Birla, Gulshan Kumar, Modi, Kirlosker, Dalmia and others who started their business with small size and made good fortunes. The scanning of their personal features shows that there are certain characteristics of entrepreneurs which are found usually prominent in them. Successful entrepreneurs are action-oriented, they have the ability to visualise the steps from idea to actualization. They are both thinkers and doers, planners and workers, get involved-they adopt a hands-on approach, can tolerate ambiguity-enterprise always consists of action in uncertainty, accept risk but understand and manage it; overcome rather than avoid mistakes – they don’t admit they are beaten, see themselves as responsible for their own destiny they are dedicated, setting self-determined goals and believe in creating markets for their ideas, not just in responding to existing market demands.

An entrepreneur is a job-giver and not a job-seeker. This means that he is his own boss. The characteristics which make him his own boss are given below :

(a) Strong achievement orientation.
(b) Unwavering determination and commitment.
(c) Self-reliance and independence.
(d) Hunger for success.
(e) Self-confidence and self-faith.
(f) Sustained enthusiasm.
(g) Single-mindedness.
(h) Strong reality orientation.
(i) Willingness to accept responsibility.
(j) Courage.
(k) Ability to survive defeat.
(l) Become wealthy and stay humble.

An entrepreneur is a highly achievement oriented, enthusiastic and energetic individual.

Entrepreneur vs. Manager

The entrepreneur is a person who is motivated to satisfy a high need for achievement in innovative and creative activities. His creative behaviour and innovative spirit which forms a process of an endless chain is termed as entrepreneurship. It is not enough for the entrepreneur to buildup the process, but equally important task for him is to manage the business. He performs entrepreneurial vis-a-vis managerial functions. The entrepreneur enters at a transitional stage in which what is initially with innovation becomes a routine for him the transition from an entrepreneurship to management. Also, the emphasis switches from techniques and analytical methods to insight and to involvement with people. The entrepreneur perceives and exploits opportunity, and the subsequent steps necessary for organisation are pertinent, to management.

The entrepreneur differs from the professional manager in that he undertakes a venture for his personal gratification. As such he cannot live within the framework of occupational behaviour set by others. He may engage professional manager to perform some of his functions such as setting of objectives, policies, procedures, rules, strategies, formal communication network. However, the entrepreneurial functions of innovation, assumption of business risk and commitment to his vision cannot be delegated to the professional manager. Failure to the professional executive may mean a little more than locating a new job perhaps even at a higher salary, whereas failure of an entrepreneur in his efforts would mean a devastating loss to his career. The professional manager has to work within the framework of policy guidelines laid down by the entrepreneur.

This distinction between entrepreneur and the professional (traditional) manager is presented in Table I.

Types of Entrepreneurs

Schumpeter made the entrepreneur the adventurous innovator who acting on his own account, introduces changes that others do not dare to experiment with. Other writers have, however, identified some other categories of entrepreneurs.

Arthur H. Cole distinguishes between empirical, rational and cognitive entrepreneurs. The empirical entrepreneur hardly introduces anything revolutionary and follows the principle of rule of thumb. The rational entrepreneur is well informed about the general economic conditions and introduces changes that look more revolutionary. The cognitive entrepreneur is well informed, draws upon the advice and services of experts and introduces changes that reflect complete break from the existing scheme of things.

In a study of American Agriculture, Clarence Danhof classifies entrepreneurs into four types-innovative, imitative, fabian and drone. The innovating entrepreneur is one who assembles and synthesises information and introduces novel combinations of factors. He is an aggressive figure and an industrial leader. The imitative entrepreneur is also known as the adoptive entrepreneur. He simply adopts successful innovations introduced by other innovators. The fabian entrepreneurs is timid and cautious. He will imitate other innovations only if he is certain that failure to do so may damage his business. Finally there is the drone entrepreneur. His entrepreneurial activity may be restricted to just one or two innovations. He refuses to adopt changes in production even at the risk of reduced returns.

This classification of Danhof brings into focus two important aspects:

(a) It shows that an economy which is making a lot of technical advancement has in its ranks a large number of innovating and adoptive entrepreneurs and less number of fabians and drones.

(b) Technological advancement may not take place even if innovators are present, if the actual control and ownership of production is in the hands of fabians or drones.

Another classification of entrepreneurs is between private and public entrepreneurs. Private entrepreneur is motivated by profit and as such would not enter those sectors of the economy in which prospects of monetary rewards are not bright. In general, infrastructure industries fall under this category. For example electricity generation and distribution is Government owned. This forces the Government to take the initiative to start enterprises in these sectors. Thus, we have the category of public entrepreneurs. In the less developed countries the entrepreneurial functions of the Government has greatly widened due to the lack of sufficient private entrepreneurs.

Another classification based on the scale of enterprise is between small scale and large scale enterprises. This classification is specially relevant in the less developed countries. Private enterprise is usually found in households, small scale and medium scale industries. The small entrepreneur does not possess the necessary talents and resources to initiate large scale production and introduce revolutionary technological changes. In the developed countries most entrepreneurs deal with large scale enterprises. They possess the financial wherewithal and the necessary expertise to initiate large scale enterprises and introduce novel technical changes. The result is the developed countries are able to sustain and develop a high level of technical progress. It is this classification which has led to the wide technological gap between the developed and the less developed countries.

In the initial stages of economic development, entrepreneurs tend to have less initiative and drive. As development proceeds, they become more innovating and enthusiastic. Similarly, when entrepreneurs are shy and humble the environment is underdeveloped. Business environment becomes healthy and developed when entrepreneurs are innovating.

1. Innovating entrepreneurs : Innovative entrepreneurship is characterised by aggressive assemblage of information and the analysis of results derived from sound combination of factors. Persons of this type are generally aggressive in experimentation and cleverly put attractive possibilities into practice. An innovating entrepreneur sees the opportunity for introducing a new technique or a new product or a new market. He or she may raise money to launch an enterprise, assemble the various factors, choose top executives and set the organisation going. Schumpeter’s entrepreneur was of this type. Such an entrepreneur introduces new products and new methods of production, opens new markets and re-organises the enterprise.

Among the different types of entrepreneurs, the innovating entrepreneur is the most vigorous type of entrepreneur. Innovating entrepreneurs are very commonly found in developed countries. There is dearth of such entrepreneurs in underdeveloped countries. A country with little or no industrial tradition can hardly produce innovating entrepreneurs. Such entrepreneurs can emerge and work only when a certain level of development is already achieved and people look forward to change and progress. Innovating entrepreneurs played the key role in the rise of modern capitalism through their enterprising spirit, hope of money making, ability to recognize and exploit opportunities, etc.

2. Adoptive or imitative entrepreneurs: This kind of entrepreneurs are characterised by readiness to adopt successful innovations created by innovative entrepreneurs. These type of entrepreneur are revolutionary entrepreneurs with the different that instead of innovating the changes themselves, they just imitate the technology and techniques innovated by others. These entrepreneurs are most suitable for developing countries because such countries prefer to imitate the technology, knowledge and skill already available in more advanced countries. The Cochin Shipyard is a good example of the result of imitative entrepreneurship. The Shipyard has been constructed using the innovative technology provided by the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Imitative entrepreneurs are most suitable for the underdeveloped nations because in these nations people prefer to imitate the technology, knowledge and skill already available in more advanced countries. In highly backward countries there is shortage of imitative entrepreneurs also. People who can imitate the technologies and products to the particular conditions prevailing in these countries are needed.

Sometimes, there, is a need to adjust and adopt the new technologies to their special conditions. Imitative entrepreneurs help to transform the system with the limited resources available. However, these entrepreneurs face lesser risks and uncertainty than innovative entrepreneurs. While innovative entrepreneurs are creative, imitative entrepreneurs are adoptive.

Imitative entrepreneurs are also revolutionary and important. The importance of these humbler entrepreneurs who exploit possibilities as they present themselves and mostly on a small scale must not be under-estimated. In, the first place, such adaptation requires no mean ability. It often involves what has aptly been called subjective innovation that is the ability to do things which have not been done before by the particular industrialist, even though, unknown to him, the problem may have been solved in the same way by others. By western standards, an imitative entrepreneur may be a pedestrian figure, an adopter and imitator rather then a true innovator. He is more an organiser of factors of production than a creator. But in a poor country attempting to industrialise, he is nevertheless a potent change producing figure. He can set in motion the chain reaction’ which leads to cumulative progress. This humbler type of entrepreneur is important in under developed countries for another reason. These countries are placing great emphasis in their economic planning on small scale industries and decentralised industrial structure.

3. Fabian entrepreneurs : Entrepreneurs of this type are very cautious and skeptical while practicing any change. They have neither the will to introduce new changes nor the desire to adopt new methods innovated by the most enterprising entrepreneurs. Such entrepreneurs are shy and lazy. Their dealings are determined by custom, religion, tradition and past practices. They are not much interested in taking risk and they try to follow the footsteps of their predecessors.

4. Drone entrepreneurs: Drone entrepreneurship is characterised by a refusal to adopt and use opportunities to make changes in production methods. Such entrepreneurs may even suffer losses but they do not make changes in production methods. They are laggards as they continue to operate in their traditional way and resist changes. When their product loses marketability and their operations become uneconomical they are pushed out of the market. They are conventional in the sense that they stick to conventional products and ideas. The traditional industries of Kerala are characterised by drone entrepreneurs. The coir and bamboo industries are still in the hands of laggards who refuse to innovate.

The concept of Entrepreneurship 

Like other economic concepts, entrepreneurship has long been debated and discussed. It has been used in various ways and in various senses, while some call entrepreneurship as ‘risk-bearing’ others view it innovating and yet others consider it ‘thrill-seeking’.

According to Higgins, “Entrepreneurship is meant to be the function of seeking investment and production opportunity, organising an enterprise to undertake a new production process, raising capital hiring labour, arranging the supply of raw materials, finding site, introducing a new technique and commodities, discovering new sources of raw materials and selecting top managers of day-to-day operations of the enterprise”. In this definition entrepreneurship is described as the function of handling economic activity, undertaking risk, creating something new and organising and coordinating resources.

At a conference on entrepreneurship in the United States, entrepreneurship was defined as an attempt to create value through recognition of business opportunity, the management of risk-taking appropriate to the opportunity, and through the communicative and management skills to mobilize human, financial, and material resources necessary to bring a project to fruition. This definition recognizes that entrepreneurship is both an art as well as a science which involves the fusion of capital, technology and human talent and is a dynamic and risky process.

However, it is a young or immature science. In order to build the body of knowledge that underlies the art of entrepreneurship, we must create academic models that can successfully be applied in industry. The art and science of entrepreneurship are complementary to each other and, therefore, require simultaneous advances in both theory as well as practice.

According to Diamond, “Entrepreneurship is equivalent to enterprise which involves the willingness to assume risks in undertaking an economic activity particularly a new one ____. It may involve an innovation but not necessarily so. It always involves risk-taking and decision-making, although neither risk nor decision-making may be great significance”. In this definition, entrepreneurship is used to refer to the qualities required to innovate, start a new enterprise, accept the challenge and bear the risk. Few individuals have these qualities and, therefore, entrepreneurs are found in limited numbers in any society.

According to A.H. Cole “Entrepreneurship is the purposeful activity of an individual or a group of associated individuals, undertaken to initiate, maintain or aggrandize profit by production or distribution of economic goods and services”.

Jaffrey A. Timmons defined entrepreneurship as “the ability to create and build something from practically nothing. Fundamentally, a human creative activity, it is finding personal energy by initiating, building and achieving an enterprise or organisation rather than by just watching, analyzing or describing one. It requires the ability to take calculated risk and to reduce the chance of failure. It is the ability to build a founding team to complement the entrepreneur’s skills and talents. It is the knack for sensing an opportunity where others see chaos, contradiction and confusion. It is the know-how to find, Marshall, and control resources and to make sure the venture does not run out of money when it is needed most”.

According to Peter F. Drucker, “Entrepreneurship is neither a science nor an art. It has a knowledge base. Knowledge in entrepreneurship is a means to an end. Indeed, what contributes knowledge in practice is largely defined by the ends, that is, by the practice”. In Drucker’s view, entrepreneurship is considered less risky, if the entrepreneur is methodical and does not violate elementary and well-known rules.

In all above definitions, entrepreneurship refers to the functions performed by an entrepreneur in establishing an enterprise. Just as management is regarded as what managers do, entrepreneurship may be regarded as what entrepreneurs do. In other words, entrepreneurship is the act of being an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship is a process involving various actions to be undertaken to establish an enterprise. It is, thus, process of giving birth to a new enterprise. Innovation and risk-bearing are regarded as the two basic elements involved in entrepreneurship.

Though the term entrepreneur is often used interchangeably with entrepreneurs, yet they are conceptually different. The relationship between the two is just like the two sides of the same coin as depicted in the following table.

Thus, entrepreneurship is concerned with the performance and coordination of the entrepreneurial functions. This also means that entrepreneur precedes entrepreneurship.

What entrepreneurship involves?

Entrepreneurship involves the following :

– Confidence in an idea and a willingness to accept the hard work necessary for turning the creativity of dreams into reality.

– Seeing the opportunity presented by change that others have not had the courage to act on.

– Taking controllable risks rather than gambling or relying on sheer luck.

– Costs other than money; time, energy, reputation, emotional drains.

– Reality testing : recognizing realistic limits imposed by the economy or physical resources available.

– Knowing and understanding customers and their needs.

– A basic understanding of business and products or services.

– Keeping and interpreting business records.

– Careful planning to reduce risks.

– Knowing the actions, strengths and weaknesses of competitors.

– Having right location, and also right size and right price: or lease rate for that location.

– Building a team of people with complementary skills and talents.

– Sensing opportunities, while others see chaos, contradiction, and confusion.

– Finding and controlling resource (often owned by others) to pursue the opportunity.

– Having a vision and then having the passion, commitment, and motivation to transmit this.

– Vision to others (employees, partners, suppliers and customers).

– A willingness to take responsibility and ability to put mind to task and see it through from inception to completion.

Nature and Characteristics of Entrepreneurship :

Entrepreneurship is a multi-dimensional concept and it is unnecessary to consider many factors and perspectives. The distinctive features of entrepreneurship are as follows :

1. Innovation: The process of commercialising an invention is innovation. For example, Stearn as an alternative source of energy was invented as early as AD 100. Later, in 1712, when it was used to run engines then the process was called innovative. In simple words, in business activity, novelty may take any one or a combination of the following :

a) new products ;
b) new methods of production ;
c) new markets ;
d) new sources of raw material ; or
e) new forms of organisation.

Innovation is a critical aspect of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs always try to create new and different values and get satisfaction in doing so. They try to convert a material into a resource or, combine the existing resources in a new and more productive manner. The act of innovation thus provides resources with a new capacity to create wealth.

2. Motivation : Motivation comes from the word ‘motive’ (or goal). It means the urge in an individual to achieve a particular goal. In other words, it is the need to achieve that motivates a person. You may find many people with sufficient financial resources and. family support who are interested in independent ventures. Yet, very few actually start their business. Why is it so? Because they are comfortable in doing routine jobs and have no higher goals in life. They lack ‘motivation’. Entrepreneurs generally are highly active. They struggle constantly to achieve something better than what-they already have. They like to be different from others and are ready to work hard to reach their goal.

Persons experiencing constant need to achieve always try to understand their strengths and weaknesses. This enables them to seek external help whenever needed.

Let us take a look at the ‘Vadilal’ group which is household name today in Gujarat. ‘Vadialal Ice Cream’ is a premier brand in the consumer market. You may. be surprised to know that Ramachandra Gandhi and Laxman Gandhi, the two brothers who founded the Vadilal empire, could not even complete their school education. They started in a small way by selling homemade ice cream in the city of Ahmedabad. Now, Vadilal is the largest ice cream company in the country.

How did they do it? They did not stop thinking big. They had the courage to do what they wanted to. Entrepreneurial persons seek rewards or returns earned through their own efforts and do not depend upon ‘luck’. They do not like to be idle.

3. Risk Taking : Risk-taking implies taking decisions under conditions where the reward on a certain action is known, but the occurrence of the event is uncertain. While doing so, an entrepreneur becomes responsible for the result of the decision. This responsibility however cannot be insured against failure.

Imagine that you are a qualified pharmacist and that you have got a large sum of money from your parents. Which of the following options would you choose?

a) Invest in a bank deposit with 8 per cent annual interest;

b) Invest in a company with a possible return of 15 per cent;

c) Start a medical shop in your locality (because people there have to travel a long distance to get medicines) with a fairly good chance of marking an immediate return of around 10 percent. (You are also aware that the business is sustainable and can bring in more returns say 20,30 or 50% in future if you put in your time and effort);

d) Try your hick in the share market. Clearly, option ‘c’ calls for an entrepreneurial quality. Remember that successful entrepreneurs usually choose the moderate or middle path. They are not gamblers. At the same time, they are hot afraid of taking a decision if there is a reasonable chance of success. You must be aware that businessmen spend considerable amount of time in planning their enterprises. They study the market technology, examine and re-examine the demand, the prices, machinery and processes involved, make detailed enquiries about sources of finance and think about other business lines. Why do you think they do through all these processes? In order to minimize the risks involved and avoid difficulties that may arise in the future, as far as possible :

4. Organisation Building : According to Harbison entrepreneurship implies the skill to build an organisation. Organisation building ability is the most critical skill required for industrial development. This skill means the ability to ‘multiply oneself by effectively delegating responsibility to others. Unlike Schumpeter, Harbison’s entrepreneur is not an innovator but an organisation builder who harnesses the new ideas of different innovators to the rest of the organization. Entrepreneurs need not necessarily be the men with ideas or men who try new combinations of resources but they may simply be good leaders and excellent administrators.

5. Managerial-Skills and Leadership : According to Hoselitz, managerial skills and leadership are the most important facets of entrepreneurship. Financial skills are only of secondary importance. He maintains that a person who is to become an industrial entrepreneur must have more that he drive to earn profits and amass wealth. He must have the ability to lead and manage. He identifies three types of business leadership, namely merchant money lenders, managers and entrepreneurs. The function of the first group is market oriented, that of the second is authority-oriented while the third group has a addition to these a production-orientation.

The commodity with which a money lender deals is acceptable to everyone but an industrial entrepreneur creates his own commodity and its acceptability is uncertain. Therefore, the entrepreneur assumes more risk than a trader ora money lender. Only a strong desire to make profit is not enough to succeed in entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship can develop in a society where its culture permits a variety of choices and where social processes are not rigid. The social conditions should encourage the development of enterprise. There are innumerable cases, in entrepreneurial history, of firms, which failed because their founders could not function as managers or feared to enlist the services of managers when required.

Role of entrepreneurship in economic development

The entrepreneurship has been identified by many economists as a vital force in the process of industrialisation in particular and economic development in general. Economic development essentially means a change. But, at the same time, it is very difficult to define precisely the pharse economic development’. One should realise that the term economic development does not convey the idea of total development of the society. It only focuses itself on one aspect and one dimension of general development. Economic development can be defined as a move towards even more efficient and differentiated methods of supplying people with the requirements for survival and improvement.

Many a times economic development is interpreted as synonymous with industrialisation because it is viewed by the poor regions as a superior way of life. But economic development cannot be equated with industrialisation. When economic development is anlaysed with the yard stick of extent of industrialisation, it implicitly undermines the importance of primary sector like agriculture. The high dependency ratio of people on the primary sector is not the cause of underdevelopment but the consequence of it. These two sectors are complementary to each other in the development process. Moreover, economic development is much more than industrialisation, it is an upward movement of the’ entire social system. Economic development includes increase in productivity, social and economic equalization, improved institutions, and attitudes, and a rationally coordinated system of policy measures, and removal of undesirable conditions and systems that perpetuated a state of underdevelopment.

It appears that economic development involves something more than economic growth and it includes both growth and change. Moreover, economic development is not only a quantitative phenomenon but has qualitative dimensions too.

The criterion of per capita income can be considered as a good indicator of regional variations in economic development. As the economic development is essentially a process the increase in per capita income should not appear as a temporary or short sustained phenomenon. Of course, the increase in per capita income can be considered as the primary criterion for measuring the extent of development in an area. There are other sub-criteria which have to be considered along with the primary criterion. The nature of distribution of income in the society is an integral part of the development. The secondary objectives like level of consumption, level of employment, diversification against concentration of the economy are also important. Economic development is not to be considered as an end in itself, but is a means to an end.

Economic development is concerned, ultimately, with the achievement of better nourishment, better education, better health, better living conditions and an expanded range of opportunities in work and leisure for the people. Therefore, a rise in real per capita income is a relevant criterion to judge the extent of development in a region as it is a means for the attainment of desired standards in nourishment, education, health, and living conditions.

The entrepreneur is the key to the creation of new enterprises that energise the economy and rejuvenate the established enterprises that make up the economic structure. Entrepreneurs initiate and sustain the process of economic development in the following ways :

1. Capital formation: Entrepreneurs mobilise the idle savings of the public through the issues of industrial securities. Investment of public savings in industry results in productive utilisation of national resources. Rate of capital formation increases which is essential for rapid economic growth. Thus, an entrepreneur is the creator of wealth.

2. Improvement in per capita income : Entrepreneurs locate and exploit opportunities. They convert the talent and idle resources like land, labour and capital into national income and wealth in the form of goods and services. They help to increase net national product and per capita income in the country, which are important yardsticks for measuring economic growth.

3. Improvement in living standards : Entrepreneurs set up industries which remove scarcity of essential commodities and introduce new products. Production of goods on mass scale and manufacture of handicrafts, etc., in the small scale sector help to improve the standard of life of a common man. These offer goods at lower costs and increase variety in consumption.

4. Economic independence : Entrepreneurship is essential for national self-reliance. Industrialists help to manufacture indigenous substitutes of hitherto imported products thereby reducing dependence on foreign countries. Businessmen also export goods and services on a large scale and thereby earn the scarce foreign exchange for the country. Such import substitution and export promotion help to ensure the economic independence of the country without which political independence has little meaning.

5. Backward and forward linkages: An entrepreneur initiates change which has a chain reaction. Setting up of an enterprise has several backward and forward linkages. For example, the establishment of a steel plant generates several ancillary units and expands the demand for iron ore, coal, etc. These are backward linkages. By increasing the supply of steel, the plant facilitates the growth of machine building, tube making, utensil manufacturing and such other units. Entrepreneurs create an atmosphere of enthusiasm and convey a sense of purpose. They give an organisation its momentum. Entrepreneurial behaviour is critical to the long term vitality of every economy. The practice of entrepreneurship is an important to established firms as it is to new ones.

6. Generation of Employment : At the beginning of seventh five year plan the backlog of unemployment was estimated to be around 44 million persons. At present, the number of unemployed in the country is far greater than what it was during 1985. Emphasis on modernisation which usually results in automation, use of high technology, and technology up gradation initiated during 1980s and structural changes introduced by the Government during 1990’s are likely to give much rise to capital-intensive rather than labour intensive industry. It is feared that there will be very little additional job opportunities within the fold of organised public and private sectors. Most of the job opportunities in future are likely to be emerging from informal and unorganised sectors of economy. Entrepreneurship development training which helps in strengthening informal and unorganised sector is expected to motivate enterprising people to opt for self employment and entrepreneurial career. It will therefore, help in solving the problem of increasing unemployment to some extent.

7. Harnessing Locally Available Resources and Entrepreneurship : India is considered to be very rich in natural resources. In spite of about five decades of planned development a large number of states have remained economically backward. A few large scale industries started by entrepreneurs from outside the state in an economically backward areas may help as model of pioneering efforts, but ultimately the real strength of industrialisation in backward areas depend upon the involvement of local entrepreneurship in such activities : Increased activities of local entrepreneurs will also result in making. use of abundantly available local resources.

8. Balanced Regional Growth : Medium and large scale industries can only be started with huge investment which is either available with well established industrial houses or need to be drawn from public exchequer. Also, promotion of such industries does not help in reducing disparities of income and wealth. On the other hand, an important advantage of small scale enterprises is that they can be started with meager financial ‘resources and little or no previous experience or entrepreneurial background.

9. Reducing Unrest and Social Tension Amongst Youth : Many problems associated with youth unrest and social tension are rightly considered to be due to youth not being engaged in productive work. In the changing environment where we are faced with the problem of recession in wage employment opportunities, alternative to wage career is the only viable option. The country is required to divert the youth with latent entrepreneurial traits from wage career to self-employment career. Such alternate path through entrepreneurship could help the country in defusing social tension and unrest amongst youth.

10. Innovations in Enterprises : Business enterprises need to be innovative for their survival and better performance. It is believed that smaller firms have relatively higher necessity and capability to innovate. The smaller firms do not face the constraints imposed by large investment in existing technology. Thus they are both free and compelled to innovate: The National Science Foundation, an organisation in USA found that small companies produce four time more innovations per research dollar than do bigger companies. Entrepreneurship development programmes are aimed at accelerating the pace of small firms growth in India. Increased number of small firms is expected to result in more innovations and make the Indian industry compete in international market.