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The individual essay is a critical reflection of the definition of entrepreneurship, the origin of entrepreneurial ideas and opportunities and the entrepreneurial mindset that is often, Example

BB220 ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND NEW VENTURE MANAGEMENT 10

Entrepreneurship and New Venture Management

BBA220 Entrepreneurship and New Venture Management

Introduction

Entrepreneurship can be defined as the capability, together with the readiness of establishing, managing, and running a business enterprise together with any of the risks that accompany it so as to make a profit (Dollinger, 2003). There are several successful entrepreneurs all over the world today; the list is endless. Richard Branson and Warren Buffet are amidst of the most thriving entrepreneurs in the world. This paper shall focus on the two entrepreneurs and various things like their entrepreneurial characteristics and the type of entrepreneurs they shall be discussed.

Richard Branson

Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson is a British industrialist, born on the 18th of July 1950, famous for his Virgin brand in more than 360 corporations (Branson, 2011). According to Forbes 2009 list, he was ranked as the 216st wealthiest individual in the world with an approximated net worth of £2.6 billion.

Sir Richard Branson is now considered as an icon of entrepreneurship all over the world; however, he believes it all began as a mistake. Branson dropped out of high school at the age of fifteen and his very first business endeavor was at the age of sixteen when he published a magazine called Student. In 1970, Branson turned the magazine into a mail-order record store. He opened his first record store in 1971 and a recording studio in 1972. By 1973, he started his own record label. Even before turning twenty-four, the Virgin business empire had already started. The Virgin Group is currently an international company of approximately 360 companies, branching into the travel, mobile, and entertainment industries (Branson, 2011).

There are various types of entrepreneurs and Richard Branson falls in the adventurer category (Branson, 2014). He is in it for the means, just as much as the ends. He without a doubt loves money, but it is just an enabler and a means of keeping score. For Richard Branson, it is actually the excitement of implementation that gets his blood running; and in the case that this is not enough, he endangers his life in other ways, like balloon rides. This type of entrepreneur (adventurer) is basically an adrenalin junky who would not pay to give up his/her ‘fix.’ Their major strengths are energy, bravery, and have a ‘work hard/play hard’ culture (Branson, 2014).

Richard Branson has several entrepreneurial characteristics that could be explained using certain leadership theories. The best classification of theories that could be used in describing Branson’s entrepreneurial characteristics is behavioral theories (Boje and Smith, 2010). These theories basically concentrate on the behavior of leaders. It is quite certain the performance of a leader is determined by their behavior. According to studies, different leadership behaviors are suitable at different instances. Leaders who can apply several different behavioral styles, and pick the appropriate style for every situation are regarded as the best (Boje and Smith, 2010).

Stepping outside the comfort zone is one of the characteristics that could be explained using behavioral theories. Branson is ever stepping outside his comfort zone into new and fresh industries so as to encounter unique challenges which test his skill, discipline, and tenacity. Also, Branson is open to change. He is ever open to changing his viewpoints, perceptions, and strategy to any situation that he feels shall assist him meet his set goals in a better efficient and effective manner (Boje and Smith, 2010). Thirdly, he always pursuing new opportunities; he is ever watching out for new emerging opportunities as well as ideas which shall allow him to acquire an advantage over his competition. In the process, he also Lives life to the fullest and has fun. Branson is ever seeking new fascinating adventures, ventures, and encounters. He has a belief that life ought to be lived to the fullest. He even turns nearly everything into a game whereby having fun is at the top of his agenda. For this particular reason, he actually likes mixing work with pleasure and has developed a fun-loving and easy-going culture at his Virgin Empire (Boje and Smith, 2010).

Other characteristics that can also be explained by behavioral theories include asking questions. Branson is ever asking solution focused questions which explain his thoughts and assist him in overcoming the difficulties that he encounters on a day-to-day basis. In addition, Branson challenges himself in both life and business; he views everything like an opportunity of strengthening skill, tenacity, and developing his worldwide Virgin Empire (Finkle, 2011). This entrepreneur surrounds himself with great individuals: Richard Branson surrounds himself with business mentors that serve as sounding-boards; assisting in guiding his decisions. In addition, he surrounds himself with co-workers that are reliable and who possess common values, interests, and goals. Apart from this, he is also surrounded by loving friends and family that trust in him, his vision, and his mission. Branson also takes time to read, learn, and think; he acknowledges that lessons are frequently learned via mistakes and experience. He also realizes that lessons could also be acquired form books. It is through reading that he saves plenty amount of time, money, and energy, that he would actually spend learning in the actual world (Finkle, 2011).

There are, however, some of Branson’s entrepreneurial characteristics that could be explained using contingency theories. According to contingency leadership theories, there is no particular style of leading and all styles of leadership should be determined by various situations. Branson takes calculated risks in both life and business (Finkle, 2011). He recognizes where limits lie, and is thus cautious not to over-stretch his personal and professional abilities and competence to intelligently move through times of emotional chaos. He also confronts problems directly; he confronts problems right away when they arise in an aggressive manner, making sure that small issues do not become huge headaches (Finkle, 2011).

Warren Buffet

Renowned value investor, Warren Edward Buffet, transformed a weak textile mill into a financial engine which powered what would actually turn into the most successful holding company in the world. Referred to as the “Oracle of Omaha” for his investment dexterity, Buffet has been able to accumulate a personal fortune of more than 62 billion dollars, making his kingpin on Forbes’ Billionaires of the world 2008 list (Schoroeder, 2014).

Warren Buffet might have actually been born with business in his blood. He bought his first stock when he only 11 years of age, and worked at his family grocery store located in Omaha. Warren’s father had a tiny brokerage, and Warren would actually spend his days observing what was being done by the investors and listening to what they were talking about. As a teenager, he picked up odd jobs, like delivering newspapers and cleaning cars, and then used his savings to buy a number of pinball machines, which he placed at local businesses (Moy, 2014).

Buffet attended the University of Nebraska, where in a period of three years, he managed to graduate with a business degree. Following his rejection at the Harvard Business School, Buffet registered for graduate studies at Columbia Business School. After graduating from the University of Columbia, he planned to work on Wall Street, however, made a different career choice. Buffet worked as a stockbroker in Omaha where opened quite a number of partnerships. The investing partnerships significantly grew, and Buffet became a millionaire by the age of 31 (Schoroeder, 2014).

It was at this point (1961) that decided to totally investing in business. He made a million dollar investment at a windmill production company, and the following year in a bottling company. Searching for new opportunities, Buffet found a textile production company known ad Berkshire Hathaway and started purchasing shares there. In 1965, he assumed control of the company. Similar to Berkshire Hathaway, he made good investments, such as American Express, a company which after two years of his initial, doubled in its price (Schoroeder, 2014).

As for the type of entrepreneur, Warren Buffet can be placed in a category known as ‘the asset allocator.’ Every successful entrepreneur eventually succeeds because they allocated existing resources to a more prolific use for profit. Asset allocators are the most genuine examples of this; they eliminate or reduce the chaotic manufacturing lines and marketing campaigns. This kind of an entrepreneur adds value to companies. Some of the major strengths associated with such entrepreneurs include inquisitiveness, assessment, and are insensitive (Schoroeder, 2014).

The best classification of theories that could be used in describing Buffet’s entrepreneurial characteristics is trait theories. According to these theories, leadership is a natural, instinctive quality that you either have or do not have. Traits can be defined as external behaviors which are as a result of the things going on in our minds. Trait theories assist us in identifying qualities and traits which are useful while leading others (Schoroeder, 2014).

Buffet displays several traits that can be used in describing his entrepreneurial characteristics. Frugality is the first one. This is all about having the ability to control your desires from getting involved or even participating in what may seem simple or appealing before you (Naipul and Wang, 2009). In the current world, frugality seems to be an unusual virtue. Warren Buffet can be considered as a collector, a money collector. Having a controlled or frugal approach towards sending it permits him to amass more and more of it. Buffet is also an independent thinker. According to him, a public opinion poll is not an alternative for thought (Naipul and Wang, 2009). Buffet is actually an individual that values formulating his own thoughts or ideas founded on facts and his personal thoughts. An enormous portion of Buffet’s accomplishments could certainly be attributed to his ability of thinking independently and being his own man. Modesty is another trait. This is based on the knowledge of our miniaturization in the scheme of certain things, and Buffet is naturally modest. He is always acknowledging the partial and connected position that he occupies in something bigger than himself (Naipul and Wang, 2009).

Another trait is patience. In accordance to Warren Buffet, the stock market is intended to transfer money from dynamic to the patient. Buffet also has a conscience. This is concerned with the manner through which we judge ourselves with respect to our successes and failures Matthews and Brueggemann, 2015). The relationship that Buffet has with his conscience permits him to actually do the correct thing by himself and be able to live with the faults that might come along (Matthews and Brueggemann, 2015).

Conclusion

Aspiring or upcoming can learn a lot from successful entrepreneurs all over the world. Most of them build their empires from nothing to something, for instance Richard Branson. This is quite encouraging. Equipped with the right skills and knowledge, entrepreneurs can achieve a lot. Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson is definitely one of the people that upcoming entrepreneurs can learn a lot from. Looking back on where Richard Branson started from, we would be right to conclude that he is a great achiever. It is important to also know that failing at times does not imply that we cannot succeed. We instead need to learn from our mistakes. Investments made by Warren Buffet were not always successful; however, they were always well deliberated and adhered to value principles. Through always being on the look for new opportunities and following a consistent plan, Buffet together with the textile company that he acquired in the past are regarded by majority to be one of the most successful investing tales of all time.

References

Boje, D., & Smith, R. (2010). Re-storying and visualizing the changing entrepreneurial identities of bill gates and richard branson. Culture and Organization, Vol. 16, Issue 4, p.307-331.

Branson, R. (2011). Losing my virginity. North Sydney, New South Wales: RHA eBooks Adult.

Branson, R. (2014). The Virgin way how to listen, learn, laugh and lead. London: Virgin Digital.

Dollinger, M. (2003). Entrepreneurship: strategies and resources. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall.

Finkle, T. (2011). Richard branson and virgin, inc. Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies, Vol. 17, issue 5 (1 July 2011), p. 109-110.

Finkle, T. (2011). Richard branson and virgin, inc.(instructor’s note). Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies, Vol. 17, issue 6 (1 August 2011), p. 87.

Matthews, C. & Brueggemann, R. (2015). Innovation and entrepreneurship : a competency framework. New York: Routledge.

Moy, R. (2014). Swimming with the sharks: Case studies in venture capital entrepreneurship. Journal of the Academy of Business Education, Vol. 15 (1 October2014), p. 56.

Naipaul, S. , & Wang, Y. (2009). Entrepreneurship and leadership in hospitality. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 21, Issue 6 (21 August 2009), P. 639-658.

Schroeder, A. (2014). The snowball. London: Bloomsbury Paperbacks.