With everything modern technology has to offer, and the incredible levels of communication and information access that we now take for granted, there’s no doubt that entrepreneurship is a viable option to more people that ever before.
Despite this, there are countless definitions and interpretations of what entrepreneurship actually is. One website describes how ‘The French word entrepreneur first appeared in the French dictionary in 1723 to describe a person who organizes and operates a business by taking a financial risk’, while by 1975, Harvard professor Howard Stevenson defined it as “the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled.”
More simplistic, everyday notions of entrepreneurs will include American children selling homemade lemonade from wooden stands, arrogant people in suits being fired from The Apprentice, and just about everything in between.
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There are, however, a few common understandings. Entrepreneurs want to make something new, or do something different; they are prepared to invest money, time and effort in order to do so; are not averse to taking risks; and accept that nothing comes easy or as a guarantee.
There are also various common motivations for people who undertake this approach to their working lives, despite the fact that it isn’t straight forward, and often lacks certain benefits of a traditional nine to five job.
For many people entrepreneurial ventures come from passions, either because they want to work in a certain field, or in a certain way. Often it is as much a life dream as a career decision. something, and want to make a positive change. Other reasons include the need or want to make a change, often in an area they feel they have a unique understanding of, and therefore an opportunity to do some good.
whatever the reason, entrepreneurs usually share certain traits, including: a resilient personality; a positive, creative attitude; some sort of aptitude for business and people skills; and plenty of drive and ambition.
For these reasons, although not all entrepreneurial ventures lead to success, they are usually positive and admirable undertakings, and are certainly worth exploring. South West College has always supported entrepreneurship, and next week hosts a variety of events and talks to celebrate Global Entrepreneurship week.
The launch of the SWC Tenner Challenge takes place on Monday. The event sees students being given ten pounds at the start of the week and being asked to put their entrepreneurial skills to the test to make as much profit on this as possible. (Requires pre-registration. For more info or to register, visit www.swc.ac.uk/tennerchallenge)
Elsewhere, the Great British Barber Bash event will take place in Omagh, showcasing the creative techniques used in modern barbering; and on Tuesday, the SWC Enterprise Challenge, which is for secondary schools, will see students presented with a recognisable problem that they much creatively try and solve.
On Wednesday, Sarah Fyffe will talk about ‘Capturing Success: her story of becoming an award winning wedding photographer; and on Thursday Colm McGoldrick will talk about his hugely successful IT start-up idea, and successful local entrepreneur, Gordon Fallis will share the story of his brewing business, Inish MacSaint.
Overall the event will help define and showcase entrepreneurship to a variety of students, and in doing so hopefully inspire and create some of the entrepreneurs of the future.