Tag Archives: Entrepreneurship

Maybe Corporate Entrepreneurs Don’t Really Exist

We talk a lot about corporate entrepreneurship – how to stimulate entrepreneurship in the corporation, how to unleash that hidden and pent up entrepreneurship capability that is locked up somewhere in our organisation. I know it is there, I just do…….if we only we unlocked the capability…..

But maybe the idea of a corporate entrepreneur is absurd. Think about it. Entrepreneurship is about thinking outside of the box, speed, agility, lack of constraints, innovation, empowerment, execution. Does that sound like your organisation?

Last week I attended the Kellogg Innovation Network in San Francisco. It was an excellent two days. Outstanding to be honest. Run by Professor Rob Wolcott from Kellogg. And there was a panel of entrepreneurs talking about their experience of being entrepreneurial in the corporation – how they did it, what they thought was the secret sauce of success, etc etc. But not one of them is still within a corporation – they had all left to pursue interests back in “start up land”. So how come?

My theory goes something like this. Real entrepreneurs join a corporation for one reason or another, but very quickly either lose their entrepreneurial flair (it gets whittled away) or they leave. So you have a bunch of people who are entrepreneurial joining, or leaving, at any one time. Real entrepreneurs do not stay in a corporation. They just don’t.

And what about those in the corporation who say they are entrepreneurial, and want to unleash their entrepreneurial flair if only the corporation would let them? My hypothesis? They are just bored!

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Are you one of the 250 Million in early stage entrepreneurship?

Two hundred million people between 18-64 years old are actively engaged in starting or running new businesses in 59 economies as the study released by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) reports. GEM is the largest and most comprehensive worldwide research study of entrepreneurial attitudes, activities, and aspirations.

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2010 Report estimates 63 million of these early-stage entrepreneurs expect to hire at least five employees over the next five years; 27 million anticipate hiring twenty or more people to fill newly created jobs. The potential contribution of entrepreneurship in job creation across the globe is important to economic growth.

Entrepreneurship’s contribution to an economy is based on more than numbers of entrepreneurs, it is important to consider the impact small businesses have on economic growth, innovation, and internationalization.

For job creation, “policy makers need to look beyond simply the number of active entrepreneurs. They need to understand the contribution these individuals make to economic growth and national competitiveness. Are these entrepreneurs creating jobs? Are they building innovative, global companies? These are important questions to ask,” states Professor Donna Kelly, one of the report authors.
While economies can facilitate people in starting businesses as a source of income, particularly when there are not enough jobs to meet demand, employed persons also benefit from new business opportunities. A supportive environment can encourage many to venture into entrepreneurship.

Societies should contain a variety of business phases and types, led by different types of entrepreneurs. Women’s participation in early-stage entrepreneurship relative to men’s differs widely around the globe. In the Republic of Korea there are five times more men than women entrepreneurs, while in Ghana there are more women than men starting businesses.

In 2010, GEM surveyed more than 175,000 people and over 3,000 national experts in 59 economies around the world. The report covers over 52% of the world’s population and 84% of the world’s GDP. This research is accomplished through an international network of national academic research teams, with global sponsors Babson College, USA and Universidad del Desarrollo, Chile.

Read the entire report here.

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