Entrepreneurship is a “game changing" concept that can help existing businesses succeed in the face of overseas competition

Entrepreneurship is a “game changing concept that can help existing businesses succeed in the face of overseas competition (Lewis, 2012).

The past decade has seen a striking amount of interest in all things entrepreneurial-entrepreneurs themselves, the entrepreneurial mindset and entrepreneurial ventures large and small. Business writers have hailed entrepreneurship as a crucial engine for economic growth describing it, as illustrated by this bold claim: “If we’re going to emerge from the worldwide economic slump, entrepreneurs will lead the way.” (Badal & Streur 2012)

The entrepreneurial mindset is no longer the exclusive property of business owners. Increasingly, corporations are seeking, nurturing, and rewarding entrepreneurial-minded employees, sometimes known as “intrapreneurs” and critically examining the degree to which their corporate cultures allow entrepreneurial thought and action to flourish (Morris, Kuratko, & Covin 2008).

Even President Obama has called for « entrepreneurship » to be included with “problem solving” and “critical thinking” as 21st century skills to be incorporated into education standards and assessments (Obama, 2009).

Despite this wide level of interest, however, there is currently little consensus regarding the hallmarks of the entrepreneurial mindset.

Much of what’s been written about entrepreneurs is largely theoretical or anecdotal.

Even the empirical work we could find on the topic is not as comprehensive or as universally high-quality as we might have hoped.

As noted by Hisrich, Langan-Fox, and Grant (2007), the search for individual differences between entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs, and between more and less successful entrepreneurs, has produced a rather inconsistent body of evidence.

The effort to understand the entrepreneur have taken a variety of forms, some of them quite clearly and narrowly focused on entrepreneurship per se, and others more generally concerned with related concepts such as innovation and creativity.

There were some obvious differences between these two orientations. For example, the more purely entrepreneurial approach has included attention to a variety of structural and economic factors that may influence the chances of entrepreneurial success, (e.g., Eckhardt & Shane, 2003).

Innovation/creativity approach has tended to focus on more “micro” situational characteristics such as structure of the work team (e.g., Payne, 1990) or team climate (DeDreu & West, 2001). However, both types of research have had something to say regarding the individual characteristics that may be beneficial for entrepreneurs or intrapreneurs.

So, Eckerd College has designed a validated set of variables that clearly distinguish between entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs, in order to create a tool to measure these variables.

This tool is named the Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile (EMP), which we are at IWD-Europe proud to deploy throughout Europe.