Lesson 1: Understanding entrepreneurial and business skills

Entrepreneurial skills:

Developing an entrepreneurial culture involves more than just overcoming the fear of risk and the stigma of failure, which are significant barriers in the field of entrepreneurship (McMullen and Shepherd, 2006).

An entrepreneur’s qualities are essential in shaping and executing a business idea. In some cases such qualities are inherited but it is crucial to emphasise that in most cases individuals have the capacity to cultivate entrepreneurial attributes through education and most importantly experience. Educational institutions play a pivotal role in imparting knowledge and fostering the skills associated with entrepreneurship, starting from an early stage.

Soft skills related to entrepreneurship can be categorized as:

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Personal and social skills and
  • Cognitive skills (Muzio, 2007)

Davis (1993) highlights the importance of soft skills in managing entrepreneurial projects and emphasizes the need for leadership skills and interpersonal management practices for ensuring project success in the future.

The entrepreneur’s profile assumes that one can acquire/learn entrepreneurial characteristics throughout their life.

  1. The ability to plan and achieve goals independently.
  2. Self-confidence in achieving goals and overcoming obstacles.
  3. A sense of personal responsibility for the success or failure of the business.
  4. The ability to view failure as a positive learning experience.
  5. The ability to build and sustain a successful business through hard work and commitment.
  6. .     The ability to create innovative approaches, concepts, products, and services for new markets.
  7. The ability to take initiative in identifying and implementing new business opportunities.
  8. Ambition to achieve goals.
  9. The ability to persist in the face of adversity and adjust strategies.
  10. The ability to establish a network of contacts and develop and maintain business relationships.
  11. Social and relational skills for building interpersonal relationships.

Business skills:

Defined as the ability to carry out a business-related task effectively within a given time, budget, managing power and resources.

Essential Business skills:

  • Understanding of economics
  • Accounting/Financial skills
  • Negotiation
  • Critical thinking
  • Networking
  • Leadership skills
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Decision Making
  • Effective communication
  • Green risk analysis

Defining the business skills

  1. Understanding of Economics: Grasping market dynamics and economic principles to inform business decisions.
  2. Accounting/Financial Skills: Managing finances, budgeting, and understanding financial data.
  3. Negotiation: Reaching win-win agreements with stakeholders.
  4. Critical Thinking: Analyzing situations objectively to make informed choices.
  5. Networking: Building valuable professional relationships.
  6. Leadership Skills: Inspiring and guiding teams towards shared goals.
  7. Emotional Intelligence: Managing emotions for effective communication.
  8. Decision Making: Assessing options to make sound choices.

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