16 November 2011

More Than Meets The Eye

Many people perceive entrepreneurship as being something that only relates to technology start-ups or businesses run out of garages.

Granted, sometimes entrepreneurship is evident in a technology start-ups run out of a garage, but entrepreneurial activity involves many businesses (young or mature, commercial or social), sectors (technology through to transportation, agriculture through to the arts, food services through to finance), and people (corporate advisors through to funders). Entrepreneurial businesses focus on identifying and exploiting new products, processes or markets. Whatever the industry or age of business, entrepreneurship is all about creating and capturing value from this change.

So just how does one go about being entrepreneurial? For starters, to be entrepreneurial first requires a mindset that’s open to possibility. Success also depends on the ability to deal with uncertainty and to be alert to changing consumer needs and wishes. Rather than being a passive planner, it’s about being engaged with your business community. It’s also about understanding that entrepreneurial activity is a process, not just an outcome. This means asking questions in order to discover what a key issue might be, trying different solutions to address that issue, delivering a tailored business outcome, and then reflecting on how it all went.

Keen to support such entrepreneurial activity, we at the University of Sydney Business School view education as much more than an ensemble of functional skills such as finance or marketing. Crucially, it’s also about developing our communicative abilities, teamwork skills, and attributes like integrity, curiosity, and confidence. We aim to create graduates and researchers who are not only technically competent and socially aware, but also masters of their own destiny.

So if you're thinking that entrepreneurship couldn't possibly involve you, perhaps it's time to reconsider.

Author: Dr Richard Seymour – The University of Sydney Business School

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