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Entrepreneurs start a business for a variety of reasons. Sometimes their progress is blocked at the company, for which they work, or they see a better way to do something, or they just want to see whether an idea will work.

Some entrepreneurs have started their business after taking a course in entrepreneurship in the university or Business school.

Still, others want to own their own businesses. After World War ll, Masaro Ibuka started a company in a rented room of a bombed-out department store in Tokyo with S1, 600 of his own savings and seven employees – but with no idea what the business will be. After weeks of brainstorming, he and his workers decided to produce a rice cooker and his team persisted in spite of failure. Their company is known as Sony Corporation.

There are countless small and large businesses in Africa and Nigeria in particular that have become highly successful due to the entrepreneurial knowledge and hard work by their owners.


Entrepreneurs are varied as the kinds of businesses they start. For every characteristic of behaviour that defines one successful entrepreneur, another successful entrepreneur who displays completely different characteristics and behaviors can be found. There are many paths to entrepreneurship. We shall consider the following categories.

Home-Based Entrepreneur

Many of these kinds of business hobby businesses, consulting, and freelance type of businesses, but many others are entrepreneurial ventures that compete in the same arena as brand-name businesses with large facilities.  Technology has made it possible to do business from virtually anywhere, so entrepreneurs don’t have to work in traditional office spaces to start or run a business. Moreover, home-based businesses owners can tap into more resources than ever from their desktops to locate help for any problem they are facing, from finding business forms to seeking legal advice to learning how to start and run a business.

Many entrepreneurs with aspirations to grow starting from home to save on overhead and reduce the risk of a start-up. Once the concept has proved itself, they often move out to acquire facilities that will support the growth of the company and the addition of employees. Some entrepreneurs choose never to have office space, but rather to employ the ability to move around. Such is often the case for the next type of entrepreneur – The Cyber Entrepreneur

The Cyber Entrepreneur

The birth of the commercial Internet gave rise to the cyber entrepreneur, who takes pride in the fact that he or she does not have a bricks-and-mortar operation.  Cyber entrepreneurs transact all their business with customers, suppliers, strategic partners, and others on the internet and deal in digital products and services that do not require bricks- and – mortar infrastructure  ( such as warehousing and physical distribution).

David Babatunde was tired of being a road warrior, travelling all, over the country helping engineers and scientists win government grants. He decided to do an experiment and launch his grant -writing consulting firm on the internet. He knew that his customers used the internet a lot. In fact, when it came time to design his site, he used a designer whom he had never met face-to-face. He absolutely refused to print brochures, opting instead for a total cyber mentality. This gave his company the advantage of looking bigger than it really was. The strategy worked and has been able to attract bigger clients.

The Serial Entrepreneur

Many entrepreneurs enjoy the pre-launch phases so much that when those activities are over and running the business takes centre stage, they become impatient to move on to the next start-up. It’s the thrill of starting a business that keeps them going; they prefer to leave the management issues to someone else.

Consummate entrepreneur Wayne Huizenga is a classic serial entrepreneur. He started with a single garbage truck and grew his company truck by truck to become Waste Management Inc., the largest garbage haulier in the world. Huizenga then went to tackle the video rental business with Blockbuster Entertainment and the used-car industry with Auto Nation.

The Non-profit Entrepreneur

Today, many enterprising people are turning to non-profit types of ventures to realize their entrepreneurial dreams. Non-profit, socially responsible businesses typically focus on educational, religious, or charitable goals. They generally seek tax-exempt `status so that they can attract donations from companies and individuals who believe in their mission. Contrary to popular belief, non-profit businesses can make a profit, but that profit must stay within the company rather than being distributed to their owners.


The Corporate Venturer

Entrepreneurs can choose to start a new venture from scratch, buy an existing business and build it, or start a venture inside a large existing organization.  The choice is a function of the type of business, the opportunity, and the support for such a venture inside the existing organization if such a fir is involved.

For example, when capital markets make it difficult to find funding, entrepreneurs are less likely to start new ventures from scratch, By contrast, they are more likely to start new ventures on their own when the incentives inside large organizations are weak or non-existent, when the opportunity requires individual effort, and when the normal scale advantages and learning curves do not provide advantages to the large organization.

Entrepreneurs also choose the start-up process when industry entry barriers are low when the environment is more uncertain, and when the opportunity they seek to exploit involves a breakthrough or disruptive technology that will make previous technology obsolete.

Increasingly, large organizations are finding it necessary to provide for entrepreneurial activity to remain competitive. Other companies attempt to encourage corporate venturing or entrepreneurship inside the structures of their existing organization.  This approach difficult at best b to achieve because of bureaucratic structures of most large organizations – deep organizational charts, their inherent avoidance of risk, and strict budgets – all challenge even the most enthusiastic corporate entrepreneur.

Bernard Taiwo

I am Management strategist, Editor and Publisher.

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