Are entrepreneurs born, or are they made? Certain characteristics are common of successful entrepreneurs, including Risk Taking, Achievement Orientation, and creativity and innovation. However these are innate qualities, and by using them as a benchmark only certain types of people are deemed capable of being good entrepreneurs. In fact, entrepreneurial behavior can be learned and developed through competencies that provide a foundation for vital business skills.
Through practice, aspiring entrepreneurs can apply key business knowledge using their competencies to gain essential habits. With enough practice, these habits become the ‘driving force’ of successful entrepreneurial ventures. The following are some of the most crucial competencies for entrepreneurs:
Creativity & Innovation: At the most basic stage of this competency, the entrepreneur expresses a willingness to do things differently. At a more advanced level, the entrepreneur is able to create new ideas, solutions, and approaches to ongoing challenges. Entrepreneurs who have the highest level of this competency continually support others in generating new and innovative approaches, either by providing funding, building on new ideas, recognizing innovation, and more.
Fostering Learning and Development: Communicating what behaviors constitute success will help empower employees to see how their jobs can contribute to the overall well-being of your business. At a basic level, entrepreneurs with this competency share their knowledge and expertise to support learning and development. As they advance, entrepreneurs encourage others to take responsibility for managing their own learning, and eventually develop strategies to promote continuous learning and development.
Business Perspective: At a basic level, entrepreneurs are able to articulate how their own responsibilities, activities, and decisions relate to the success of the business. For a mid-level demonstration of this competency, an entrepreneur must make decisions that clearly support the business strategy, and at an advanced level must develop ideas to position the organization for long-term success.
Using Information Technology: Entrepreneurs must be competent in the use of basic computer hardware (e.g. printers, copiers, PCs) and software (e.g. spreadsheets, word processing). A successful entrepreneur can easily communicate and prepare documents electronically without assistance. At the most basic level this just involves using IT tools, while at an advanced level the entrepreneur must evaluate the effectiveness of information technology systems.
This is by no means a comprehensive list of entrepreneurial competencies, but by evaluating their aptitude based on competencies like these, aspiring entrepreneurs can determine their readiness to tackle starting a business. If you’d like to know more about leadership roles and their corresponding competencies, contact us today or check out our free leadership competencies overview.