Analyse an entrepreneur of your own choice — Essay Example

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8The Concept of Entrepreneurship

The Concept of Entrepreneurship

(Student Name)


Part A: Introduction to the Entrepreneur

Jack Ma is a Chinese-born on September 10, 1954, within the small and beautiful city of Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province. Like most of the entrepreneurs, Jack Ma came from a poor family of the lower middle class, and poor financial family background to support his business ideas in the early starts. In the beginning, he got fail in the entrance examinations twice, but such failures never deterred his determinations of becoming a successful entrepreneur in the future. At the age of twelve, he decides to focus on the means of improving his English language skills through guiding the foreign tourists (Ma, 2015, 176). Such a wonderful and interesting breakthrough gave him the opportunity to learn and a reason of producing new ideas through talking to the tourists from the west, which became an important landmark in his life as learning The English language, became important in starting his dream business. In 1988, he attended Hangzhou Teachers College and graduated with Bachelor of Arts and as an English teacher in the same institution. However, in 1995, Ma got the opportunity to go the United States for a highway project that Chinese government was working on to be an English translator (CNN, 2006). While in Seattle, U.S, he had the chance of accessing the internet for the first time and recognized the opportunity he could create from it. In an interview with the BBC, Ma cited that he would change the world. With the assistance of the friends in the U.S, he started developing website for Chinese companies.

Part B: Entrepreneur Background Analysis

Jack Ma came from a poor family background that only had moral and non-monetary support to offer in a bid to accomplish his business dream. When he was born, the country, China, was experiencing Cultural Revolution where Ma’s family was prosecuted since his grandparents were some of the people supporting the National Party, which opposed Community Party, headed by Mao. The few things that can characterize his background, success path and education are failures, rejection, agility, hard work, and vision (Murphy, Liao, & Welsch, 2006, 15). Through his life, Ma failed severally, rejected, and to some extent referred to as crazy especially by the father who viewed some of his business plans as dangerous ideas that could at one point contribute to his arrest in the earlier generation. Ma’s parents were traditional musicians and storytellers based in China; ironically, the father never believed in his potential to succeed in life owing to the several failures in his early life. Therefore, Ma learnt to be independent of everything he did. In a family of three, a brother and sister, he is the second and being in the middle, he experienced no love from the parents, so he had to love himself. Ma had several friends and relatives who stood with him all the way. Moreover, while starting the company, he borrowed $2000 from the relatives, brother in law, and parents. The major strength of Ma is Zhang Ying, wife, that he meet while studying to be a teacher. Being raised from a family that valued the Chinese culture, Ma at all point practiced the Chinese culture even while socializing with people from diversified backgrounds in the states.

Jack Ma is the man behind the leading online business platform in China, Alibaba. Through his commitment, exceptional, and talent, Ma redefined all the paths of success through defying all the odds and failures and spearheading the use of e-commerce in China. Currently, he is the Executive Chairman and founder of the Alibaba Group, which is the leading internet, based entity in China and among the leading entrepreneurs in China (Walter & Block, 2015, 107). He, in the recent years, featured in the coveted Forbes list. With his business-to-business (B2B) opportunity, internet services provided by Alibaba have given the Chinese business entities several opportunities to excel within various market dynamics. Ma began building his B2B internet platform, which in 2009 had 39 million registered users from across the 240 countries globally. Within the first nine months of 2008, Alibaba had generated 2.2 billion RMB (220 million pounds) which reflect a 43% growth of 2007. Alibaba took over the Yahoo China since 2007; since 2008, it became the fifth large internet company globally (Bosch, Tait, & Venter, 2007, 188). Ma majorly focused on the development of websites when the concept was still in its infancy in China and 1995; he developed the online business at a time when computers had not yet become household items in China. Although the business was risky, his determination remained unaffected. As a result, China Pages possible became the first web business in China to be registered. However, the development of Yellow Pages was not such a resounding success to Ma; so, he opted to join the ministry of commerce. The development of Alibaba has improved the manner in which the Chinese carry out their businesses (Wyrwich, Stuetzer, & Sternberg, 2015, 183). Moreover, Alibaba enables the Chinese exporters to connect with their customers in oversees which enhanced efficiency, time management, and timely delivery of the required services. As a result, Ma managed to attract the SoftBank and Goldman, which later became the investors.

Ma’s Alibaba might be enjoying competitive advantage in China; however, it is significant to compete against the Amazon of the United States that covers a wider scope of operation globally. Alibaba is well recognized in China and one three companies that shaped the Chinese internet economy: Amazon, eBay, and PayPal (Frese, Rousseau, & Wiklund, 2014, 210). The first competitive advantage of Alibaba is its position. China currently has about 560 million Internet users that spend approximately 20 hours weekly on the platform making it by far the largest internet market globally. Moreover, China is skipping the old retailing in favour of e-tailing. The development of wireless communication also offers an opportunity for Alibaba and other Internet users. The second advantage enjoyed by Alibaba is the economies of scope. The company enjoys cost savings since it offers for sale of various products through a single corporation and same channel of sales. In such respect, Alibaba has two retail institutions: Taobao and Tmall, which features many non-brand products, sold by small and unknown businesses and brand name goods respectively. The company also enjoys the advantage of scale, which is the cost saved due to larger volumes of sales. Besides, both Taobao and Tmall deliver more than half of the parcels in China (Wennberg & DeTienne, 2014, 12). In 2012, the combined volume of transaction in both outlets hit one trillion Yuan ($163 billion) which was more than that of Amazon and eBay combined. The major advantage of Alibaba is that offers the merchants the platform to network. Besides, it also enjoys the benefits that arise from the expansion of networks of the platform users. If the network becomes large, then the products on the platform become valuable to each user.

Part C: Future Entrepreneurial Suggestions

An entrepreneur should be in a position to identify the market gaps and turn them into opportunities. Businesses opportunities are available in every place; however, before deciding to fill the identified gap, it is significant to consider the skills required, financial availability, and the market structure from which the product or service will operate. All successful entrepreneurs share one thing in common: to solve societal specific problem (Shankar, 2015, 245). When they identify the gap within the market, they aim to develop business empires that aim to fulfil them. The current sources of business ideas are the search engines and social media. On the search engines, while searching for particular information but no avail, people often settle on three options including settling on something closer, giving up, and focusing on achieving it personally. Entrepreneurs often believe in solving problems (Wiles, 2007, 250). As a result, most of them solve often opt to be the first solvers of specific problems especially the ones uncovered within the search engines. Such information that is missing might be the great opportunity of starting a business. Social media platforms also offer several entrepreneurial opportunities. Most people within the social media like airing their grievances and in some cases, the updates people put on the media are mundane (Liu & Avery, 2009, 251). Clearly focusing on such updates it might be easy to identify emerging patterns, which, could be the baseline for identifying the required business opportunity.

With the current rate of technological development, the future entrepreneurs need to focus on the methods of integrating business opportunities and technology to improve efficiency and effectiveness of business activities. The upcoming innovations should incorporate the mobile devices and business management programmes to reduce the time used in performing organizational activities and tracking the activities done (Harrison, 2016). Besides, most entities have branches, which are linked to the main centre that to some extent leads to time wastages in carrying out a transaction. For software developers, there is need for more programmes that assist most financial institutions and chain store reduce cases of cybercrime. Cybercrime is a major problem affecting both the developed and developing countries, as there is no adequate programme with the capacity of tracking authorised activities within the organizational database.


Bosch, J., Tait, M., & Venter, E. 2007. Introduction to business management and entrepreneurship. Port Elizabeth, South Africa: Lectern Publ.

CNN. 2006, April 25. — Jack Ma Talkasia Transcript — Apr 24, 2006. Retrieved from search

Frese, M., Rousseau, D. M., & Wiklund, J. 2014. The Emergence of Evidence-Based Entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 38(2), 209-216.

Harrison, K. 2016, March 21. 5 Social Media Marketing Tips For ‘Empty Wallet Entrepreneurs’. Retrieved from social-media-marketing-tips-for-empty-wallet-entrepreneurs/#5b6334cd6af0

Liu, S., & Avery, M. 2009. Alibaba: The inside story behind Jack Ma and the creation of the world’s biggest online marketplace. New York: Collins Business.

Ma, J. 2015. An Entrepreneur’s Reflections on Progress. Performance and Progress, 21(7), 174-178.

Murphy, P. J., Liao, J., & Welsch, H. P. 2006. A conceptual history of entrepreneurial thought. Journal of Management History, 12(1), 12-35.

Shankar, R. K. 2015. Book Review: Dean A. Shepherd (Ed.), Entrepreneurial Failure. Journal of Entrepreneurship, 24(2), 242-248.

Walter, S. G., & Block, J. H. 2015. Outcomes of entrepreneurship education: An institutional perspective. Journal of Business Venturing18(4), 118-129.

Wennberg, K., & DeTienne, D. R. 2014. What do we really mean when we talk about ‘exit’? A critical review of research on entrepreneurial exit. International Small Business Journal, 32(1), 4-16.

Wiles, J. 2007. Techno security’s guide to e-discovery and digital forensics. Burlington, MA: Syngress Pub.

Wyrwich, M., Stuetzer, M., & Sternberg, R. 2015. Entrepreneurial role models, fear of failure, and institutional approval of entrepreneurship: a tale of two regions. Small Bus Economics, 15(7), 115-127.