Showing posts with label Entrepreneurship. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Entrepreneurship. Show all posts

Technopreneurship in South and South East Asia

Entrepreneurship in parts of South and South East Asia has recently undergone rapid revitalization. The term "technopreneur" arose from within Singaporean culture to describe an individual whose entrepreneurial endeavours focus on a technology­ centered enterprise. The government of Singapore has embraced technopreneurship and has launched several initiatives to promote technopreneurship as a means of economic development. In the past three years, Singapore has restructured the focus of many of its economic policies to fully support the growth and development of domestic technopreneurial firms.

Singapore is a small island city-state and has few natural resources that it can exploit in order to promote economic development. Thus, Singapore has had to largely rely on its people and human capital for the sustainment of development. Initially, the government improved the country's human capital by dedicating d large amount of the annual budget to education expenditure. However, now that the country can boast of high literacy rates, traditional human capital development is no longer sufficient to sustain economic growth.

Recognizing the need for a new strategy for economic growth, Singapore's government turned towards the technology sector. With the creation of the Technopreneurship 21 Initiative and Ministerial Committee, Singapore began promoting technopreneurship encouragement policies. For example, the government now sponsors university courses on technopreneurship and helps connect venture capital companies with budding technopreneurs. This greater openness has encouraged many new start-ups to form, and the country is well on its way to fully integrating itself into the New Economy. Singapore's success with technopreneurship policies has influenced other Asian countries to begin such initiatives. For example, Malaysia recently launched its Multimedia Super Corridor to encourage domestic technology development, and Hong. Kong recently completed the construction of its CyberPort, a technopreneurship-' friendly business district. Finally, technopreneurship encouragement has also taken place in certain cities in India.

As a whole, India is still one of the most underdeveloped countries in the world. Despite the grim situation that faces much of the country, several technology-focused cities have recently had impressive success with technology driven development. In 1991, the Indian government introduced numerous market reforms to overhaul the lndian economy. The information technology industry is probably that which has benefited most from the reforms. For the educated urban class, information technology businesses have provided a new source of income. To utilize the educated youth, who have been trained in engineering and computer programming, international IT companies began locating in India, particularly in Bangalore. The result is that Bangalore has become a powerhouse for software production. Although Indian technopreneurs were not originally at the center of Bangalore's technology development, they are now beginning to pop up throughout southern India, largely due to the government's help in creating the right climate to encourage this sunrise industry. The government created policies to boost technopreneurial education and to encourage the creation of domestic software parks. Additionally, domestic entrepreneurship is encouraged in Bangalore with tax incentives and a relatively advanced communications infrastructure.
Bangalore's localized success is gaining great praise for its rapid development. Although Bangalore was the first major technology center in India, Hyderabad is now following its example. Although smaller in scale, the success of Hyderabad suggests that the Bangalore model of technology-led development may be applied in other parts of the country. Since much of India is still far behind Bangalore and Hyderabad in terms of human capital development, it is unreasonable to suggest that all of India should adopt policies to promote technopreneurship. Nonetheless, the rest of the country could likely benefit from the implementation of policies that encourage entrepreneurs to fill the market's deficiencies, whatever they may be in the local markets and specific regions of India.

The Challenges Faced By Entrepreneurs in Nigeria

The Challenges Faced By Entrepreneurs in Nigeria

Corruption is something that retards economic growth, and it exists in virtually all economies, not necessarily developing economies or indeed Africa--although .based on the structures in the more advanced countries, they are able to control or to curb these kinds of practices. In Nigeria, the EFCC, which is the Economic and Financial Crime Commission set up by the government, has been able to deal largely with corruption. They have made quite a substantial amount of investigation and recoveries. There has been talk of something like $5 billion recovered including some of the money stacked outside of the country by corrupt leaders. The current operating climate for entrepreneurs is gradually becoming competitive and less rent-seeking.
However, that is not the real constraint that retards entrepreneurship in Nigeria. Based on the research carried out by Lagos Business School (LBS) recently, the following factors tend to weigh down entrepreneurs: The first is "Markets." The majority of our people don't have access to markets, and in order for them to have access to markets, they have to understand the requirements of the market. This is one area where we are lacking--for instance, if you want to have access to the U.S. market, you must have the knowledge of the market regulations in the USA. Such understanding will assist the entrepreneur to produce in order to be able to meet the needs of the market. Adequate and timely market information must be provided. Also, products must be competitive and meet required standards.
Another major factor is "Infrastructure." This is basically [true] in all developing countries, but more so in Nigeria. Poor infrastructure has been a major cause of Nigerian products not being competitive in the International market. Public power supply has been the major constraint to enterprise development. According to a study carried out by the World Bank in the last 10 years or so, it was pointed out that if government is able to remove power as a bottleneck, Nigeria will gain at least 30% competitiveness in production.
Four years ago, we had a similar problem in telecoms; then, we had not more than 400,000 phone lines. But today, four years after telecoms deregulation the story is different. This reform agenda of the government that liberalized the telecoms sector and provided an enabling operating climate for private sector participation in that sector has yielded positive results. About 50 million lines.-tile majority of which are either mobiles or fixed wireless are now operational in the country. So we are able to cross the bridge of infrastructural deficiency in the telecoms sector through getting our policy and regulations right as well as using transparent means to license private sector operators.
Another important constraint is "Finance." Access to capital is a major constraint in Nigeria. The government has tried to do something about this through having one form of intervention or the other in the past. However, about five years ago, the Banker's Committee decided to set aside 10% of their profits as equity investments in small businesses. Everybody hailed that decision, and that was good. Unfortunately, the rate at which the money was being dispersed to enterprises has been very poor. so why was this happening?
First of all, you have to understand the mindset of the small business owners in Nigeria. They own their businesses, and they like to control it themselves. Unlike what obtains in USA, Canada and Europe where most people wanting to start a business will look for a partner, somebody with equity. The philosophy is "let's share the risk together. let's leverage on the knowledge of one another," and things like that. But back in Nigeria, the prevailing philosophy is "I want to start it myself. I want to do it myself, at least up until the particular level that I know I have full control. Then, maybe I can sell part of it, but for now, let me .do all the sweating, and let me do all the things that come with that sweating."

The second side ~is that up until five, maybe not more than eight, years ago, the financial services sector had been used to lending through debt, not equity, so the mindset, again, is different. Most lending has to be done with collateral, so if you default, they sell off your collateral. In the new participatory' case, there is nothing to sell off, which means the banks have to do their homework a lot more to know the right type of businesses to invest I -whether they are growing businesses or not. They need to know all that, and that is where they can get their reward. So that has also become. a challenge for them. The challenge for the banks is that they need to learn the ropes of venture capitalists.
On both. sides, there are real challenges, and these have slowed down the investments in equity. There is need for value orientation and sound financial education.
Another factor is inadequate documentation of processes and outcomes. The records are poorly kept; and it is difficult for small businesses to have regular financial statements and things like that. This common business practice in developed economies must be shown to entrepreneurs and why it is important for them to have their own financial records--even to know how their businesses are growing. Western small businesses are very careful about documenting processes and outcomes. I think the outcomes documentation is likely due to Small Business Administration (SBA) requirements, which we don't have. But beyond the SBA requirements, the fact that entrepreneurs are able to document their processes help them to consistently control the outcome. That is one learning point that, must be imbibed by all entrepreneurs. In  addition we, need to start documenting some of the processes which have been successful as well as documenting various operational challenges and the solutions to these, using daily reflection journals. This leads to effective use of feedback mechanisms in future operational plans as well as in developing strategic plans.

Roles of Entrepreneurs in Business/Wealth Creation

Roles of Entrepreneurs in Business or Wealth Creation

The following are the roles of entrepreneurs in business or wealth creation are;

1. Promoters: Entrepreneurs are promoters because they can scan the environment, identify opportunities, marshal resources and implement the business idea.

2.Partners: Entrepreneurs solicit the participation of other persons in a business project because of the following:

(a) the degree of success or failure factor involved,

(b) the complexity of a business idea may require more than one person to run it,

(c) the influence, experience and capacity of others may be useful, and

(d) friendships or acquaintanceships may be consolidated through joint business association.

3. Shareholders:  Potential entrepreneurs would participate as shareholders under the following circumstances:

(a) when the enterprise requires too much investment,

(b) when they do not want to commit their full time to the enterprise,

(c) when risks may be reduced by spreading their investment portfolio, and

(d) when they do not have the capacity to manage such an enterprise.

4.Directors: Entrepreneurs participate as directors by contributing positive ideas to advance the enterprise's objectives. Such would include:

(a) ensuring compliance with all legal requirements,

(b) safeguarding the interests of employees, especially women, particularly in the context of decent work,

(c) safeguarding the interests of shareholders in the context of return on investment,
(d) ensuring that business is conducted honestly and diligently, and is devoid of fraud and deceit,

(e) ensuring social responsibilities and expectations  are met.

5. Organizers: For an entrepreneur to effectively control or monitor operations and facilitate communication with workers, it is advisable to have an organizational structure for the enterprise. Organizational structures can be formal or informal, for instance:

(a) various members of a family are assigned various positions,
(b) various employed assistants are assigned administrative positions in the running of a small business.

6. Initiating ideas: Entrepreneurs come up with new ideas. This is an important area for an entrepreneur as it determines his/her rate of expansion in business, e.g. newdesigns and use of products.

7. Taking risks: Entrepreneurs take risks in business, e.g. starting businesses    which have an equal chance of success or failure. Resigning from a secure job to start a business is also risk-taking.

8. Planning: Entrepreneurs are aware of the importance of planning and of the limitations of planning in the context of the above roles.

9. Controlling: Entrepreneurs are leaders rather than followers; they make the final decisions and control all aspects of business operations.

10. Coordinating: Entrepreneurs must coordinate all the production factors needed in the business, i.e. capital, labour and land.

The Concept of Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship is first and foremost a mindset. Entrepreneur is a person who habitually creates and innovates to build something of recognized value around perceived opportunities.

In this definition, all words are key words:
‘Entrepreneur' - can be an individual entrepreneur, but also an entrepreneurial team or even entrepreneurial organization

'A person' - emphasizes a personality rather than a system

'Habitually' - just cannot stop being an entrepreneur

'Creates' - starts from scratch and brings into being something that was  not there before

'Innovates' - able to overcome obstacles that would stop most people; turns problems into opportunities; and sees ideas through to final application

'Builds something' - describes the output of the creation and innovation   process

'Of recognized value' - encompasses economic, commercial, social, or  aesthetic value
'Perceived opportunities' - spotting the opportunity to exploit an idea that mayor may not be original to the entrepreneur; seeing something others miss or only see in retrospect
What Entrepreneurs Are Like
1. Personality factors
Born/made ratio - 50/50, a synergy of genetic and environmental . influence

Motivation and emotion - independence, competitive spirit, challenge, wealth

Behavioral characteristics - perseverance, determination, orientation to clear goals, need to achieve, opportunity orientation, creativity, persistent problem-solving, risk-taking, integrity, honesty, internal locus on control.

Personality attributes preferred styles: extrovert/introvert; sensor/intuit; thinker/feeler; and judger/perceiver
2. Environmental factors
Family background - entrepreneurial heritage

Age and education - begin entrepreneurial activity early; are not over­ educated

Work experience - most entrepreneurs first gain some work experience in the line of business they later start up
3. Action factors
Making the difference - initiate change and enjoy it

Creating and innovating - a continuous activity, seeing creative idea through to the end, and then start climbing another mountain

Exploiting opportunities - able to see or create opportunities that other people miss

Finding resources and competencies - experts at exploiting contacts and sources

Networking - expertise oriented; know when they need experts and how to use them effectively

Facing adversity - resolve problems under pressure; turn problems into opportunities

Managing risk - not adventurers, but manageable risk takers; their success lies in caution, learning, flexibility and change during implementation

Controlling the business - paying attention to details and essential ratios; exercising strategic control over their business

Putting the customer first - listening to the customer and responding to the customers' feedback

Creating capital - financial, social, and aesthetic

Compare Entrepreneurship in Nigeria with Japan, India, China, Malaysia and South Korea

Compare Entrepreneurship in Nigeria with Japan, India, China, Malaysia and South Korea

Africa is the poorest, less-developed continent in the world. In most countries in Africa, the' governments have typically played a significant role in determining the course of development. Many state-owned enterprises in Africa were created when it was believed that the fastest route to development occurred when the state took on the role of the entrepreneur.
Unfortunately, in many countries, the performance of these state-owned firms, or parastatals, has been substandard. Part of the problem with the state-owned enterprises is that they are run by bureaucrats and are plagued with red­ tapism. Thus, these firms ~re typically run according to state procedures, instead of according to cost-cutting and profit-maximizing concerns. The typical result is rampant inefficiency (Elkan, 1988). Although Nigeria was at one time characterized by such inefficiencies, it has recently pursued entrepreneurship encouragement policies, and the initial indicators suggest that the policies have been successful.

In Nigeria the state-owned enterprises traditionally clogged business opportunities and state restrictions prevented entrepreneurs from entering the market. However, in the mid-1980s, Nigeria abolished its marketing board, which prevented entry into certain industries, and opened up its markets to competition from domestic entrepreneurs. Additionally, lower taxes and increased price ceilings have increased the incentives to entrepreneurs. Although Nigeria is still plagued by many development problems, "preliminary evidence suggests a favorable response by the private sector to the new entrepreneurial opportunities thus created" (Elkan, 1988).
Nigeria has thousands of silent businessmen in the informal sectors of the economy, pursuing business interests ranging from the importation of refined crude oil to selling repackaged table water. It is estimated that the informal sector accounts for over 60% of Nigeria's GDP and represents a source of livelihood for about 70% of Nigerians. These business operators in the small sectors are the engine that drives "any economic revolution, and Nigeria has no scarcity of them. However, some of these Nigerians have become icons and models for enterprise and business pursuit today through the" sheer size and influence of their business dealings. They are from the banking, energy, technology, telecommunications, manufacturing and other industrial sectors and have distinguished themselves by contextualizing the resources they manage" and by contributing to growth of entrepreneurial spirit in Nigeria.
Nigeria's business opportunities have increased tremendously as the political system becomes increasingly stable. The era of private sector-driven investment has just arrived. The Nigerian President has set an ambitious goal:- to develop the country's economy to become one of the world's top 20 economies by 2020. Nigeria will need to increasingly globalize education in two key areas: Information technology, and entrepreneurship. The Presidency has mandated all students in Higher
Education Institutions (HEls), regardless of their discipline, to study entrepreneurship before they qualify for their degrees and diplomas. The aim of this is to create a critical mass of graduates better prepared for employment as well as creators of knowledge­ based enterprises.

Advantages And Constraints Of Self-employment

Those who choose self-employment as a career usually do so for five basic reasons: personal satisfaction, independence, profits, job security and status.
Personal satisfaction: To some people, the chief reward of working for yourself is personal satisfaction. Personal satisfaction means doing what you want with your life; Being self-employed will enable you to spend each work day in a job you enjoy. For example, if you like photography, you may start your own studio. Each time a customer is pleased with a portrait, you will receive personal satisfaction. You may receive satisfaction from aiding the community in which you live. ,Self­ employed persons supply goods and services and create jobs for others. They also buy goods and services from other local enterprises, borrow money from local banks, and pay taxes.
Independence: Another advantage of being a self-employed person is independence. Independence is freedom from control of others. You are able to use your knowledge, skills and abilities as you see fit. When you are self-employed you are driven by spirit of self-reliance and individual survival. Compared to those who work for others, self-employed persons have more freedom of action. They are in charge and can make decisions without 'first having to get the approval of someone else.

Profit and income: One of the major rewards expected when starting a new business is profit. Profit is the amount of income left after all expenses have been paid. Profits go to the owner of a business. Being self-employed, you would be able to control your income. Very often, increased time and effort put into the enterprise results in increased income. This is not often the case when you work for someone else. How much do you want to earn each year after your business is running smoothly? Do you want to make 2, 5, 10 million naira or more a year? It's important to decide on income because different types of businesses have different income potentials. A fast-food restaurant has one income potential while a small manufacturing business may have quite another. It's probably tempting to set your goal at a very high level - say 15 million naira a year. Many businesses have the long-run potential of being successful; however, many businesses don't become profitable very quickly. One way to establish a personal income goal 'is to answer the question "How much do I want to be making (per year) six years from now?" .

Job security: Many enterprises are created by persons who are seeking the kind of job security that is not available elsewhere. Job security is the assurance of continued employment and income. Self-employed persons cannot be laid off, fired, or forced to retire at a certain age.

Status: Status is a term used to describe a person's social rank or position. Self­ employed persons receive attention and recognition through customer contact and public exposure. As a result, they may enjoy status above that of many other types of workers. Closely related to social status is pride in ownership; most people enjoy seeing their names on buildings, vehicles, stationery and advertisements. To some degree, all people seek status. Businesses have their status too. There. are high-status businesses and low-status businesses. For example, garbage collection is a low-status business. Some people are very interested in the status of their business and others are not interested at all. It may be an important consideration in selecting the type of business for you. The key is to choose a business that has a status that you'll feel comfortable with.

Flexibility: Individuals who become self-employed have options to start enterprises in all categories and sizes depending on their capabilities. Self-employment also gives the individual the job of being an employer and a leader rather than an employee and a follower.
Constraints Of Working For Yourself
In addition to knowing the advantages of self-employment, you should also be familiar with the disadvantages: possible loss of invested capital, uncertain or low income, long hours and routine chores.
Possible loss of invested capital: One risk of being self-employed is the possibility of losing your invested capital. The term vested capital refers to the money the entrepreneur put into starting the enterprise. As a general rule, the riskier the business, the greater the profit potential. If the enterprise succeeds, profits may be high. If the business fails, invested capital may be lost; the entrepreneur stands to lose a lifetime of personal and family savings. It may take years to repay banks, suppliers and individuals who loaned the money to get the business started.

Uncertain or low income: Another disadvantage of owning your business is the possibility of uncertain or low income. Unlike the salaries of employed workers, profits usually vary from one month to another. This is true even in well­ established businesses. When income is available, there still may not be enough to meet personal and family needs. This is often the case during the first six to twelve months of operation.

Long business hours: Entrepreneurs do not work just forty hours a week; they do not punch time-clocks. Many self-employed persons work fourteen or more hours a day, six or seven days a week. The owner is often the first to arrive at the business in the morning and the last to leave at night. Business hours are set at the convenience of customers, not the desire of the owner. For example, many market shops are open from-5:OO a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Some entrepreneurs feel they cannot leave their-businesses for more than one or two days at a time.

Routine chores: Running your own business may involve routine chores you do not like to do. You also need to be a jack of all trades. This can sometimes be a challenge if you do not join' with others in a partnership or you cannot raise sufficient funds to allow you to employ other people.

Risks: A risk is always a risk. However, you stand the best chance of success if you are prepared to take calculated risks. Calculated risks allow you to estimate the chances of failure or success without taking a gamble. Very low risk ventures have less reward in terms of profits and may lead to limiting your ideas and their follow­ up.

Time involvement: Starting a small business takes a lot of hare work. In fact, it may consume most of your day in the first few years. But in the long run, work effort, and personal involvement on the part of a small business owner can vary greatly. In many established small businesses, day-to-day activities can be turned over to a manager. Decide on the personal involvement and work effort you would like to put into your business in the future (six years from now). Quite conceivably, you'll want to continue to be fully involved, or maybe you'll prefer to be only partially involved or not involved at all.

People contact: How do you feel about working with people? Do you really enjoy it, or do you wish you could always work alone? Or are you somewhere in between? There are really three types of people contact in a small business:  contact with-customers, with erpp1oyees, and with suppliers. Most small business owners don’t mind the contact with employees and suppliers, since the owner is usually on the most comfortable side of the relationship. The owner customer relationship however, differs greatly depending on type of business  you're In. For example, in selling real estate, personal aggressiveness is important. If you don’t enjoy personal selling, don’t choose a business where it’s required. Many businesses have a much more impersonal sales approach. In most retail operations, for example, successful selling depends more on, good merchandise, fair prices and advertising than it does on personal contact with the customer. An extreme example of impersonal selling is mail order, internet or e- mail, where you never even see a customer (the customers send in orders and the owner sends out the merchandise).

The Evolution and History Of Entrepreneurship Development

History and Evolution of Entrepreneurship
Throughout the theoretical history of entrepreneurship, scholars from multiple disciplines in the social sciences have grappled with a diverse set of interpretations and definitions to conceptualize this abstract idea. Over time, "some writers have identified entrepreneurship with the function of uncertainty-bearing, others with the coordination of productive resources, others with the introduction of innovation, and still others with the provision of capital" (Hoselitz, 1952). Even though certain themes continually resurface throughout the history of entrepreneurship theory, presently there is no single definition of entrepreneurship that is accepted by all economists or that is applicable in every economy.
Although there is only limited consensus about the defining characteristics of entrepreneurship, the concept is almost as old as the formal discipline of economics itself. The term "entrepreneur" was first introduced by the early 18th century French economist Richard Cantillon. In his writings, he formally defines the entrepreneur as the "agent who buys means of production at certain prices in order to combine them" into a new product' (Schumpeter, 1951). .Shortly thereafter, the French economist J.B. Say added to Cantillon's definition by including the idea that entrepreneurs had to be leaders. Say claims that an entrepreneur is one who brings other people together in order to build a single productive organism (Schumpeter, 1951). '
Over the next century, 13ritisn.: economists such as Adam Smith, David Ricardo, and John Stuart Mill briefly touched on the concept of entrepreneurship, though they referred to it under the broad English term of "business management." Whereas the writings of Smith and Ricardo suggest that they likely undervalued the importance of entrepreneurship, Mill goes out of his way to stress the significance of entrepreneurship for economic growth. In his writings, Mill claims that entrepreneurship requires "no ordinary skill," and he laments the fact that there is no good English equivalent word to encompass the specific meaning of the French term entrepreneur (Schumpeter,1951).
The necessity of entrepreneurship for production was first formally recognized by Alfred Marshall in 1890. In his famous treatise Principles of Economics, Marshall asserts that there are four factors of production: land, labor, capital, and organization. Organization is the coordinating factor, which brings the other factors together, and Marshall believed that entrepreneurship is the driving element behind organization. By creatively organizing, entrepreneurs create new commodities or improve "the plan of producing 'an old commodity" (Marshall, 1994). In order to do this, Marshall believed that entrepreneurs must have a thorough understanding about their industries, and they must be natural leaders. Additionally, Marshall's entrepreneurs m.ust have the ability to foresee changes in supply and demand 'and be willing to act on such risky forecasts in the absence of complete information (Marshall, 1994).
Like Mill, Marshall suggests that the skills associated with-entrepreneurship are rare and limited in supply. He claims that the abilities of the entrepreneur are "so great and so numerous that very few people can exhibit them all in 'a very high degree" (1994). Marshall, however, implies that people can be taught to acquire the abilities that are necessary to be an entrepreneur. Unfortunately, the opportunities for entrepreneurs are often limited by the economic environment which surrounds them. Additionally, although entrepreneurs share some common abilities, all entrepreneurs are different, and their successes depend on the economic situations in which they attempt their endeavours (Marshall,1994).
Since the time of Marshall, the concept of entrepreneurship has continued to undergo theoretical evolution. For example, whereas Marshall believed entrepreneurship was simply the driving force behind organization, many economists today, but certainly not all, believe that entrepreneurship is by itself the fourth factor of production that coordinates the other three (Arnold, 1996). Unfortunately, although many economists agree that entrepreneurship is necessary for economic growth, they continue to debate over the actual role that entrepreneurs play in generating economic growth. One school of thought on entrepreneurship suggests that the role of the entrepreneur is that of. a risk-bearer in the face of uncertainty and imperfect information. Knight claims that an entrepreneur will be willing to bear the risk of a new venture if he believes that there is a significant chance for profit (Swoboda, 1983). Although many current theories on" entrepreneurship agree that there is an inherent component of risk, the risk-bearer theory alone cannot explain why some individuals become entrepreneurs while others '. do not. For example, following from Knight, Mises claims any person who bears the risk of losses or any type of uncertainty could be called an entrepreneur under this narrow- definition of the entrepreneur as the risk-bearer (Swoboda, 1983). Thus, in. order to t build a development model of entrepreneurship it is necessary to look at some of the other characteristics that help explain why some people are entrepreneurs; risk may be a factor, but it is not the only one.
Another modern school of thought claims that the role of the entrepreneur is that of an innovator; however, the definition of innovation is still widely debatable. Kirzner suggests that the process of innovation is actually that of spontaneous "undeliberate learning" (Kirzner, 1985, 10). Thus, the necessary characteristic of the entrepreneur is alertness, and no intrinsic skills-other than that of recognizing opportunities-are necessary. Other economists in the innovation school side more with Mill and Marshall than with Kirzner; they claim that entrepreneurs have special skills that enable them to participate in the process of innovation. Along this line, Leibenstein claims that the dominant, necessary characteristic of entrepreneurs is that they are gap-fillers: they have the ability to perceive where the market fails and to develop new goods or processes that the market demands but which are not currently being.supplied. Thus, Leibenstein posits that entrepreneurs have the special ability to connect different markets and make up for market failures and deficiencies. Additionally, drawing from the early theories of Say and Cantillon, Leibenstein suggests that entrepreneurs have the ability to combine various inputs into new innovations in order to satisfy unfulfilled market demand (Leibenstein, 1995).

Although many economists accept the idea that entrepreneurs are innovators, it can be difficult to apply this theory of entrepreneurship to less developed countries (LDCs). Often in LDCs, entrepreneurs are not truly innovators in the traditional sense of the word. For example, entrepreneurs in LDCs rarely produce brand new products; rather, they imitate the products and production processes that have been invented elsewhere in the world (typically in developed countries). This process, which occurs in developed countries as well, is called "creative imitation" (Drucker, 1985) The term appears initially paradoxical; however, it is quite descriptive of the process of innovation that actually occurs in LDCs. Creative imitastion takes place when the imitators better understand how an innovation can be applied, used, or sold in their particular market niche (namely their own countries) than do the people who actually created or discovered the original innovation. Thus, the innovation process in LDCs is often that of imitating and adapting, instead of the traditional notion of new product or process discovery and development.
As the above discussion demonstrates, throughout the evolution of entrepreneurship theory, different scholars have posited different characteristics that they believe are common among most entrepreneurs. By combining the above disparate theories, a generalized set of entrepreneurship qualities can be developed. In general, entrepreneurs are risk-bearers, coordinators and organizers, gap-fillers, leaders, and innovators or creative imitators. Although this list of characteristics is by no means fully comprehensive, it can help explain why some people become entrepreneurs while others do not. Thus, by encouraging these qualities and abilities, governments can theoretically alter their country' supply of domestic entrepreneurship.