Entrepreneurship Principles

Entrepreneurship Principles

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Description: What is meant by entrepreneurship? The concept of entrepreneurship was first established in the 1700s, and the meaning has evolved ever since. Many simply equate it with starting oneís own business. Most economists believe it is more than that.

To some economists, the entrepreneur is one who is willing to bear the risk of a new venture if there is a significant chance for profit. Others emphasize the entrepreneurís role as an innovator who markets his innovation. Still other economists say that entrepreneurs develop new goods or processes that the market demands and are not currently being supplied.

 
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Domain:  Business Category: Entrepreneurial 
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Contents:
principles of

Entrepreneurship
>>>> 1. What Is Entrepreneurship?

W

hat is meant by entrepreneurship? The
concept of entrepreneurship was first established in the 1700s, and the meaning
has evolved ever since. Many simply equate it with
starting one’s own business. Most economists believe
it is more than that.
To some economists, the entrepreneur is one who is
willing to bear the risk of a new venture if there is a
significant chance for profit. Others emphasize the
entrepreneur’s role as an innovator who markets his
innovation. Still other economists say that entrepreneurs develop new goods or processes that the market
demands and are not currently being supplied.
In the 20th century, economist Joseph Schumpeter
(1883-1950) focused on how the entrepreneur’s drive
for innovation and improvement creates upheaval and
change. Schumpeter viewed entrepreneurship as a
force of “creative destruction.” The entrepreneur carries out “new combinations,” thereby helping render
old industries obsolete. Established ways of doing
business are destroyed by the creation of new and better ways to do them.
Business expert Peter Drucker (1909-2005) took this
idea further, describing the entrepreneur as someone who actually searches for change, responds to it,
and exploits change as an opportunity. A quick look
at changes in communications—from typewriters to
personal computers to the Internet—illustrates these
ideas.
Most economists today agree that entrepreneurship
is a necessary ingredient for stimulating economic
growth and employment opportunities in all societies. In the developing world, successful small businesses are the primary engines of job creation, income
growth, and poverty reduction. Therefore, govern-

ment support for entrepreneurship is a crucial strategy for economic development.
As the Business and Industry Advisory Committee
to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and
Development (OECD) said in 2003, “Policies to foster entrepreneurship are essential to job creation and
economic growth.” Government officials can provide
incentives that encourage entrepreneurs to risk attempting new ventures. Among these are laws to enforce property rights and to encourage a competitive
market system.
The culture of a community also may influence how
much entrepreneurship there is within it. Different
levels of entrepreneurship may stem from cultural
differences that make entrepreneurship more or less
rewarding personally. A community that accords the
highest status to those at the top of hierarchical organizations or those with professional expertise may
discourage entrepreneurship. A culture or policy that
accords high status to the “self-made” individual is
more likely to encourage entrepreneurship.
This overview is the first in a series of one-page essays
about the fundamental elements of entrepreneurship.
Each paper combines the thinking of mainstream
economic theorists with examples of practices that
are common to entrepreneurship in many countries.
The series attempts to answer:
•  Why and how do people become entrepreneurs?
•  Why is entrepreneurship beneficial to an economy?
•  How can governments encourage entrepreneurship,
and, with it, economic growth?

U.S. Department of State/Bureau of International Information Programs

principles of

Entrepreneurship
>>>> 2. What Makes Someone an Entrepreneur?

W

ho can become an entrepreneur? There
is no one definitive profile. Successful entrepreneurs come in various ages, income
levels, gender, and race. They differ in education and
experience. But research indicates that most successful
entrepreneurs share certain personal attributes, including: creativity, dedication, determination, flexibility,
leadership, passion, self-confidence, and “smarts.”
• Creativity is the spark that drives the development
of new products or services or ways to do business.
It is the push for innovation and improvement. It
is continuous learning, questioning, and thinking
outside of prescribed formulas.
• Dedication is what motivates the entrepreneur to
work hard, 1 hours a day or more, even seven days
2
a week, especially in the beginning, to get the endeavor off the ground. Planning and ideas must be
joined by hard work to succeed. Dedication makes
it happen.
• Determination is the extremely strong desire to
achieve success. It includes persistence and the
ability to bounce back after rough times. It persuades the entrepreneur to make the 10th phone
call, after nine have yielded nothing. For the true
entrepreneur, money is not the motivation. Success
is the motivator; money is the reward.
• Flexibility is the ability to move quickly in response
to changing market needs. It is being true to a dream
while also being mindful of market realities. A story
is told about an entrepreneur who started a fancy
shop selling only French pastries. But customers
wanted to buy muffins as well. Rather than risking

the loss of these customers, the entrepreneur modified her vision to accommodate these needs.
• Leadership is the ability to create rules and to set
goals. It is the capacity to follow through to see that
rules are followed and goals are accomplished.
• Passion is what gets entrepreneurs started and
keeps them there. It gives entrepreneurs the ability
to convince others to believe in their vision. It can’t
substitute for planning, but it will help them to stay
focused and to get others to look at their plans.
• Self-confidence comes from thorough planning,
which reduces uncertainty and the level of risk. It
also comes from expertise. Self-confidence gives
the entrepreneur the ability to listen without being
easily swayed or intimidated.
• “Smarts” consists of common sense joined with
knowledge or experience in a related business or
endeavor. The former gives a person good instincts,
the latter, expertise. Many people have smarts they
don’t recognize. A person who successfully keeps
a household on a budget has organizational and financial skills. Employment, education, and life experiences all contribute to smarts.
.
Every entrepreneur has these qualities in different degrees. But what if a person lacks one or more? Many
skills can be learned. Or, someone can be hired who has
strengths that the entrepreneur lacks. The most important strategy is to be aware of strengths and to build on
them.

U.S. Department of State/Bureau of International Information Programs

principles of

Entrepreneurship
>>>> 3. Why Become an Entrepreneur?

W

hat leads a person to strike out on his
own and start a business? Perhaps a
person has been laid off once or more.
Sometimes a person is frustrated with his or her current job and doesn’t see any better career prospects
on the horizon. Sometimes a person realizes that his
or her job is in jeopardy. A firm may be contemplating
cutbacks that could end a job or limit career or salary
prospects. Perhaps a person already has been passed
over for promotion. Perhaps a person sees no opportunities in existing businesses for someone with his or
her interests and skills.
Some people are actually repulsed by the idea of
working for someone else. They object to a system
where reward is often based on seniority rather than
accomplishment, or where they have to conform to a
corporate culture.
Other people decide to become entrepreneurs because they are disillusioned by the bureaucracy or
politics involved in getting ahead in an established
business or profession. Some are tired of trying to
promote a product, service, or way of doing business
that is outside the mainstream operations of a large
company.
In contrast, some people are attracted to entrepreneurship by the advantages of starting a business.
These include:
• Entrepreneurs are their own bosses. They make
the decisions. They choose whom to do business
with and what work they will do. They decide what
hours to work, as well as what to pay and whether
to take vacations.

• Entrepreneurship offers a greater possibility of
achieving significant financial rewards than working for someone else.
• It provides the ability to be involved in the total
operation of the business, from concept to design
and creation, from sales to business operations
and customer response.
• It offers the prestige of being the person in
charge.
• It gives an individual the opportunity to build equity, which can be kept, sold, or passed on to the
next generation.
• Entrepreneurship creates an opportunity for a
person to make a contribution. Most new entrepreneurs help the local economy. A few—through
their innovations—contribute to society as a
whole. One example is entrepreneur Steve Jobs,
who co-founded Apple in 1976, and the subsequent revolution in desktop computers.
Some people evaluate the possibilities for jobs and
careers where they live and make a conscious decision
to pursue entrepreneurship.
No one reason is more valid than another; none guarantee success. However, a strong desire to start a business, combined with a good idea, careful planning, and
hard work, can lead to a very engaging and profitable
endeavor.

U.S. Department of State/Bureau of International Information Programs

principles of

Entrepreneurship
>>>> 4. Decisions and Downfalls

E

ntrepreneurship is an attractive career choice.
But many decisions have to be made before
launching and managing a new business, no
matter its size. Among the questions that need to be
answered are:
• Does the individual truly want to be responsible for
a business?
• What product or service should be the basis of the
business?
• What is the market, and where should it be located?
• Is the potential of the business enough to provide a
living wage for its employees and the owner?
• How can a person raise the capital to get started?
• Should an individual work full or part time to start a
new business? Should the person start alone or with
partners?
Answers to these questions are not empirically right
or wrong. Rather, the answers will be based on each
entrepreneur’s judgment. An entrepreneur gathers as
much information and advice as possible before making these and other crucial decisions.
The entrepreneur’s challenge is to balance decisiveness with caution—to be a person of action who does
not procrastinate before seizing an opportunity—and
at the same time, to be ready for an opportunity by
having done all the preparatory work possible to reduce the risks of the new endeavor.
Preparatory work includes evaluating the market
opportunity, developing the product or service,
preparing a good business plan, figuring out how

much capital is needed, and making arrangements
to obtain that capital.
Through careful analysis of entrepreneurs’ successes
and failures, economists have identified key factors for
up-and-coming business owners to consider closely.
Taking them into account can reduce risk. In contrast,
paying them no attention can precipitate the downfall
of a new enterprise.
• Motivation: What is the incentive for starting a
business? Is it money alone? True, many entrepreneurs achieve great wealth. However, money
is almost always tight in the startup and early
phases of a new business. Many entrepreneurs
do not even take a salary until they can do so and
still leave the firm with a positive cash flow.
• Strategy: What is the strategy for distinguishing
the product or service? Is the plan to compete
solely on the basis of selling price? Price is important, but most economists agree that it is extremely risky to compete on price alone. Large
firms that produce huge quantities have the advantage in lowering costs.
• Realistic Vision: Is there a realistic vision of the
enterprise’s potential? Insufficient operating funds
are the cause of many failed businesses. Entrepreneurs often underestimate start-up costs and
overestimate sales revenues in their business plans.
Some analysts advise adding 50 percent to final
cost estimates and reducing sales projections. Only
then can the entrepreneur examine cash flow projections and decide if he or she is ready to launch a
new business.

U.S. Department of State/Bureau of International Information Programs

principles of

Entrepreneurship
>>>> 5. Go It Alone or Team Up?

O

ne important choice that new entrepreneurs have to make is whether to start a
business alone or with other entrepreneurs.
They need to consider many factors, including each
entrepreneur’s personal qualities and skills and the
nature of the planned business.
In the United States, for instance, studies show that
almost half of all new businesses are created by
teams of two or more people. Often the people know
each other well; in fact, it is common for teams to be
spouses.
There are many advantages to starting a firm with
other entrepreneurs. Team members share decisionmaking and management responsibilities. They can
also give each other emotional support, which can
help reduce individual stress.
Companies formed by teams have somewhat lower
risks. If one of the founders is unavailable to handle
his or her duties, another can step in.
Team interactions often generate creativity. Members of a team can bounce ideas off each other and
“brainstorm” solutions to problems.
Studies show that investors and banks seem to prefer financing new businesses started by more than
one entrepreneur. This alone may justify forming a
team.
Other important benefits of teaming come from combining monetary resources and expertise. In the best
situations, team members have complementary skills.
One may be experienced in engineering, for example,
and the other may be an expert in promotion.
In general, strong teams have a better chance at
success. In Entrepreneurs in High Technology, Professor Edward Roberts of the Massachusetts Institute

of Technology (MIT) reported that technology
companies formed by entrepreneurial teams have a
lower rate of failure than those started by individuals. This is particularly true when the team includes
a marketing expert.
Entrepreneurs of different ages can create complementary teams also. Optimism and a “can-do” spirit
characterize youth, while age brings experience and
realism. In 1994, for example, Marc Andreessen was a
talented, young computer scientist with an innovative
idea. James Clark, the founder and chairman of Silicon Graphics, saw his vision. Together they created
Netscape Navigator, the Internet-browsing computer
software that transformed personal computing.
But entrepreneurial teams have potential disadvantages as well. First, teams share ownership. In
general, entrepreneurs should not offer to share
ownership unless the potential partner can make a
significant contribution to the venture.
Teams share control in making decisions. This
may create a problem if a team member has poor
judgment or work habits.
Most teams eventually experience serious conflict.
This may involve management plans, operational
procedures, or future goals. It may stem from an
unequal commitment of time or a personality clash.
Sometimes such conflicts can be resolved; in others, a conflict can even lead to selling the company
or, worse, to its failure.
It is important for a new entrepreneur to be aware of
potential problems while considering the advantages of working with other entrepreneurs. In general,
the benefits of teaming outweigh the risks.

U.S. Department of State/Bureau of International Information Programs

principles of

Entrepreneurship
>>>> 6. Choosing a Product and a Market

A

prospective entrepreneur needs to come
up with a good idea. This will serve as the
foundation of the new venture.

Business ideas usually fit into one of four categories that were described by H. Igor Ansoff in the
Harvard Business Review in 1957:

Sometimes an entrepreneur sees a market need
and—Eureka!—has an idea for a product or service
to fill it. Other times an entrepreneur gets an idea
for a product or service and tries to find a market for
it. A Scottish engineer working at General Electric
created putty that bounces but had no use for it. In
the hands of a creative entrepreneur, it became a toy,
“Silly Putty,” with an enthusiastic market: children.

• An existing good or service for an existing market. This is a difficult approach for a start-up
operation. It means winning over consumers
through merchandising appeal, advertising, etc.
Entry costs are high, and profit is uncertain.

The idea doesn’t have to be revolutionary. Research,
timing, and a little luck transform commonplace
ideas into successful businesses. In 1971, Chuck
Burkett launched a firm to make an ordinary product, novelty key chains. But when he got a contract with a new venture in Florida—Disney World
—he started making Mickey Mouse key chains, and
achieved tremendous success.
There are many ways to look for ideas. Read a lot,
talk to people, and consider such questions as: What
limitations exist in current products and services?
What would you like that is not available? Are there
other uses for new technology?
What are innovative ways to use or to provide existing products? In Australia in 1996, two entrepreneurs founded Aussie Pet Mobile Inc. to bring pet
bathing and grooming to busy people’s homes. It is
now a top U.S. franchise business.
Is society changing? What groups have unfulfilled
needs? What about people’s perceptions? Growing
demand for healthy snacks created many business
opportunities in the United States, for example.

• A new good or service for a new market. This
is the riskiest strategy for a new firm because
both the product and the market are unknown.
It requires the most research and planning. If
successful, however, it has the most potential for
new business and can be extremely profitable.
• A new good or service for an existing market.
(Often this is expanded to include modified
goods/services.) For example, entrepreneurial greeting-card makers use edgy humor and
types of messages not produced by Hallmark or
American Greetings—the major greeting-card
makers—to compete in an existing market.
• An existing good or service for a new market.
The new market could be a different country,
region, or market niche. Entrepreneurs who
provide goods/services at customers’ homes or
offices, or who sell them on the Internet, are also
targeting a new market—people who don’t like
shopping or are too busy to do so.
The last two categories have moderate risk, but
product and market research can reduce it. They
also offer opportunities for utilizing effective
start-up strategies—innovation, differentiation,
and market specification.

U.S. Department of State/Bureau of International Information Programs

principles of

Entrepreneurship
>>>> 7. Entry Strategies for New Ventures

I

t is easy to be captivated by the promise of
entrepreneurship and the lure of becoming
one’s own boss. It can be difficult, however,
for a prospective entrepreneur to determine what
product or service to provide. Many factors need
to be considered, including: an idea’s market potential, the competition, financial resources, and
one’s skills and interests. Then it is important to
ask: Why would a consumer choose to buy goods
or services from this new firm?
One important factor is the uniqueness of the idea.
By making a venture stand out from its competitors,
uniqueness can help facilitate the entry of a new
product or service into the market.
It is best to avoid an entry strategy based on low
cost alone. New ventures tend to be small. Large
firms usually have the advantage of lowering costs
by producing large quantities.
Successful entrepreneurs often distinguish their
ventures through differentiation, niche specification, and innovation.
• Differentiation is an attempt to separate the new
company’s product or service from that of its
competitors. When differentiation is successful,
the new product or service is relatively less sensitive to price fluctuations because customers value
the quality that makes the product unique.


A product can be functionally similar to its
competitors’ product but have features that
improve its operation, for example. It may be
smaller, lighter, easier to use or install, etc. In
1982, Compaq Computer began competing
with Apple and IBM. Its first product was a
single-unit personal computer with a handle.
The concept of a portable computer was new
and extremely successful.

• Niche specification is an attempt to provide a
product or service that fulfills the needs of a
specific subset of consumers. By focusing on
a fairly narrow market sector, a new venture

may satisfy customer needs better than larger
competitors can.


Changes in population characteristics may create opportunities to serve niche markets. One
growing market segment in developed countries
comprises people over 65 years old. Other niches include groups defined by interests or lifestyle,
such as fitness enthusiasts, adventure-travel buffs,
and working parents. In fact, some entrepreneurs
specialize in making “homemade” dinners for
working parents to heat and serve.

• Innovation is perhaps the defining characteristic of entrepreneurship. Visionary business expert Peter F. Drucker explained innovation as
“change that creates a new dimension of performance.” There are two main types of product
innovation. Pioneering or radical innovation
embodies a technological breakthrough or
new-to-the-world product. Incremental innovations are modifications of existing products.


But innovation occurs in all aspects of businesses,
from manufacturing processes to pricing policy.
Tom Monaghan’s decision in the late 1960s to create Domino’s Pizza based on home delivery and
Jeff Bezos’ decision in 1995 to launch Amazon.
com as a totally online bookstore are examples of
innovative distribution strategies that revolutionized the marketplace.

Entrepreneurs in less-developed countries often
innovate by imitating and adapting products created in developed countries. Drucker called this
process “creative imitation.” Creative imitation
takes place whenever the imitators understand
how an innovation can be applied, used, or sold
in their particular market better than the original
creators do.
Innovation, differentiation, and/or market specification
are effective strategies to help a new venture to attract
customers and start making sales.

U.S. Department of State/Bureau of International Information Programs

principles of

Entrepreneurship
>>>> 8. Marketing Is Selling

M

arketing is often defined as all the activities
involved in the transfer of goods from the
producer to the consumer, including advertising, shipping, storing, and selling. For a new business,
however, marketing means selling. Without paying
customers to buy the goods or services, all the entrepreneur’s plans and strategies will undoubtedly fail.

How does a new business get orders? Before launching
the business, the entrepreneur should research the target market and analyze competitive products. “Most
business sectors have specific marketing strategies that
work best for them and have already been put into practice,” entrepreneur Phil Holland said. In 1970, Holland
founded Yum Yum Donut Shops, Inc., which grew into
the largest chain of privately owned doughnut shops in
the United States. He suggests analyzing competitors’
successful selling methods, pricing, and advertising.
An entrepreneur can also develop a file of potential
customers, for example, by collecting names or mailing lists from local churches, schools, and community
groups or other organizations. This file can be used later for direct mailings—even for invitations to the opening of the new business.
After the new firm is launched, its owners need to get
information about their product or service to as many
potential customers as possible—efficiently, effectively,
and within the constraints of a budget.
The most effective salesperson in a new venture is often the head of the business. People will almost always
take a call from the “president” of a firm. This is the
person with the vision, the one who knows the advantages of the new venture and who can make quick decisions. Many famous entrepreneurs, such as Bill Gates
at Microsoft, have been gifted at selling their products.

Company-employed sales people can be effective for
a new venture, particularly one aimed at a fairly narrow
market. Direct sales conducted by mail order or on the
Internet are less expensive options that can be equally
successful.
External channels also can be used. Intermediaries,
such as agents or distributors, can be hired to market
a product or service. Such individuals must be treated
fairly and paid promptly. Some analysts advise treating
external representatives like insiders and offering them
generous bonuses so that the product or service stands
out among the many they represent.
Advertising and promotion are essential marketing
tools. Newspaper, magazine, television, and radio advertisements are effective for reaching large numbers
of consumers. A less expensive option is printing fliers,
which can be mailed to potential customers, handed
out door to door, or displayed in businesses that permit
it. New companies can also compose new product releases, which trade magazines usually publish without
charge.
It is important to be listed in local telephone directories that group similar businesses under a single heading, such as the Yellow Pages in the United States. It is
also useful to be listed on Internet search engines such
as Google or Yahoo, which are used by consumers for
locating local businesses. These often link to a company’s Web site, thereby communicating more information.
Publicity is also an extremely valuable way to promote
a new product or service. New firms should send press
releases to media outlets. A local newspaper might
publish a feature about the startup. A TV or radio station might interview its owners. This can be very effective in generating sales, and it’s free!

U.S. Department of State/Bureau of International Information Programs

principles of

Entrepreneurship
>>>> 9. The Entrepreneur and the Internet

T

he Internet — a vast computer network linking smaller computer networks — has revolutionized commerce by bringing
together people from all over the globe. Many of its features can
be used to shape a new business.

which indicates a “commercial” site. Dot net (.net), an alternate ending;
is often used when a specific Web site name ending in .com has already
been registered. Good business Web site names are easy to remember
and evoke the firm and its products or services.

Communications: An entrepreneur must communicate with many
people—suppliers, distributors, and customers, for example. A quick
and relatively inexpensive way to send letters, reports, photographs, etc.
to other Internet users is with electronic mail or “e-mail.” E-mail can be
used even for marketing. Various forms of computer software are available to protect documents from unauthorized access or alteration so
that they can be securely shared and easily authenticated.

The entrepreneur also needs a piece of property in cyberspace, where
her Web site will reside. Many commercial “hosting services,” called
Internet service providers (ISPs), rent space on their large computers
(called servers) for a small monthly or annual fee.

Research: Starting a business takes lots of research. An entrepreneur
can find information on almost any subject very rapidly by using the
Internet’s World Wide Web.. (The Web is a collection of text and multimedia documents linked to create a huge electronic library.) Many
government agencies, universities, organizations, and businesses provide information on the Internet, usually at no cost.
The easiest way to find information on the Web is by using a search engine—a data retrieval system. The user types key words for a subject on
the computer, clicks the enter button, and receives a list of materials–
often within seconds. The items are linked electronically to the actual
documents so that Internet users can read them on their computer
screens. Among the most popular search engines are Yahoo! (http://
yahoo.com) and Google (http://google.com).
Promotion: Web sites, pages of print and visual information that are
linked together electronically, offer an opportunity for entrepreneurs
to introduce a new business and its products and/or services to a huge
audience. In general, Web sites can be created and updated more
quickly and inexpensively than printed promotional materials. Moreover, they run continuously!
To create a Web site for her business, the entrepreneur can
hire a firm to create one or purchase computer software to
create it on her own. Many universities offer courses that
teach how to build a Web site, also.
A Web site needs a name and an address. On the Internet, the two are
usually the same. Web site names and addresses must be registered.
Http://rs.internic.net is a Web site that lists registrars by country and
language used. The address of the online business is expressed as a
Uniform Resource Locator (URL). It usually ends in dot com (.com),

Web site promotion is critical. A Web site address can be put on business cards, stationery, brochures— anything having to do with the new
firm. Or, an entrepreneur can pay to place a colorful advertisement on
non-competitive Web sites, such as ones for complementary products. Advertising banners usually link back to the advertised firm’s
Web site.
Entrepreneurs also can provide information about their Web sites to
well-known Internet search engines. For a fee, most search engines will
promote a Web site when a selected set of search terms is used. Online
shoppers, for instance, often use search engines to find businesses that
provide specific products and services.
Safe Use: Just as shopkeepers lock their storefronts, entrepreneurs
who use the Internet need to take steps to keep their computer systems safe from the potential hazards of security breaches and viruses.
One of the most effective steps is installing security software. Another
is setting up an Internet firewall to screen and block undesired traffic
between a computer network and the Internet. A technology consultant on contract can install these and other computer defenses. There
is a lot of information about computer safety available, and often for
free. For example, the National Cyber Security Alliance (http://www.
staysafeonline.info/), an organization devoted to raising Internet security awareness, offers educational materials and other resources.
As Julian E. Lange, associate professor of entrepreneurship at Babson
College, has said, “For creative entrepreneurs with limited resources,
the Internet offers significant opportunities to build new businesses
and enhance existing enterprises.” New businesses will develop solutions to enhance the Internet user’s experience. Existing businesses
will take advantage of myriad Internet applications — from customer
service to order processing to investor relations. Lange suggests that,
for many entrepreneurs, the challenges posed by the Internet are “opportunities to delight customers and create exciting entrepreneurial
ventures.”

U.S. Department of State/Bureau of International Information Programs

principles of

Entrepreneurship
>>>>10. Selling Online

M

any entrepreneurs sell goods or services on the
Internet. Why? The Internet provides access to
a large and growing market. Approximately 627
million people were shopping online worldwide in 2005,
according to ACNielsen, a global information-marketing
company.
By selling on the Internet, a neighborhood shop or
home-based firm can reach a national or even international group of potential customers. When entrepreneurs
sell online, they are on a more level playing field with
larger competitors.
There are costs to Internet selling, certainly. But the price
of creating and managing a Web site has dropped, and
the number of Web site design and management companies has grown. In fact, some entrepreneurs find it less
costly to run an Internet store than to hire a large sales
force and maintain one or more bricks and mortar — or
actual — stores.
Some businesses — books, airline travel, and the stock
market, for example — have been transformed by their
success in online sales. Others, such as amusement parks,
bowling alleys, or utility companies, may not at first seem
well suited to the Internet. But a Web site also can be
used for selling tickets, offering discounts, or letting customers make payments over the Internet.
To start an online business, an entrepreneur must:


Register a domain name — an Internet name and
address.



Purchase a server or contract with an Internet service
provider to host the Web site. Buy Internet software
to create a Web site or hire an expert to do so. Design
an attractive and easy-to-navigate online store.



Create an online catalog. Provide clearly written information, without technical language or jargon. Use
lots of photos to encourage potential customers to
buy. Include clear instructions to order by phone or
online.



Establish a payment method. Some companies bill a
customer before or after shipping merchandise. This
may cause payment delays, however. Another option
is to have customers use credit or debit cards online.
A business can get a bank-authorized transactionprocessing account (merchant account) for handling
the revenue (and fees) from credit card transactions
from a bank or other institution that processes credit
cards online. Alternately, it is possible to hire an online payment service, such as WorldPay (www.worldpay.com), to handle these transactions.



Make the Web site secure, especially to protect customers’ financial information. Hiring a technology
expert is time and money well spent as compared to
the potential risk of security violations.



Establish a policy for shipping. Options include letting the business absorb the cost (no charge), including costs in the listed prices, or explicitly listing shipping charges. Customers should never be surprised
at the end of a transaction with shipping costs. Customers may cancel the sale.



Offer customers an e-mail address or phone number
for complaints, suggestions, or compliments, and respond to them. This can boost customer loyalty.

After creating an online store, there is still much to do. An
entrepreneur needs to attract potential customers. There
are many ways to advertise a Web site. One is to print
a Web address on business receipts, letterhead, newsletters, and other materials. Another is to contact search
engines like Google and Yahoo, and to use key subject
words in the Web site design so that search-engine users
are directed to the entrepreneur’s Web site. For example,
a restaurant specializing in food from Afghanistan might
include the key words and phrases “Afghan cuisine,”
“traditional recipes,” “contemporary cooking,” “bulani,”
“hummus,” “korma,” “kabobs,” “kofta,” “lamb, “ashwak,”
“steamed dumplings,” and others like these.
Web site promotion is crucial. Getting noticed is the first
step to making online sales.

U.S. Department of State/Bureau of International Information Programs

principles of

Entrepreneurship
>>>> 11. Choosing a Form of Business

I

n many countries, entrepreneurs must select a form
of organization when they start a small business. The
basic forms of organization are sole proprietorships,
partnerships, and corporations. Each has advantages and
disadvantages. Moreover, the laws and regulations that
apply to business owners vary from country to country
and by local jurisdiction. Entrepreneurs should consult
an attorney or other expert to make sure that they have
all the necessary licenses and permits, and are aware of
all their legal obligations. In many countries, the local
Chamber of Commerce or local business council is also
a good source of information.

The largest disadvantage of any partnership is the
potential for disagreements, regardless of how well
or how long the partners have known each other.

Sole Proprietorship: In a sole proprietorship, the individual
entrepreneur owns the business and is fully responsible for
all its debts and legal liabilities. More than 75 percent of all
U.S. businesses are sole proprietorships. Examples include
writers and consultants, local restaurants and shops, and
home-based businesses.

• divide up management responsibilities; and

This is the easiest and least expensive form of business
to start. In general, an entrepreneur files all required
documents and opens a shop. The disadvantage is that
there is unlimited personal liability — all personal and
business assets owned by the entrepreneur may be at
risk if the business goes into debt.
Partnership: A partnership consists of two or more
people who share the assets, liabilities, and profits of a
business. The greatest advantage comes from shared responsibilities. Partnerships also benefit by having more
investors and a greater range of knowledge and skills.
There are two main kinds of partnerships, general partnerships and limited partnerships. In a general partnership,
all partners are liable for the acts of all other partners. All
also have unlimited personal liability for business debts.
In contrast, a limited partnership has at least one general
partner who is fully liable plus one or more limited partners who are liable only for the amount of money they invest in the partnership.

Experts agree that a partnership agreement drawn up
by an experienced lawyer is essential to a successful
partnership. It is often used to:
• create a mechanism for resolving disagreements;
• specify each partner ’s contribution to the
partnership;

• specify what happens if a partner leaves or dies.
Corporations: Corporations are recommended for
entrepreneurs who plan to conduct a large-scale
enterprise. As a legal entity that has a life separate
from its owners, a corporation can sue or be sued,
acquire and sell property, and lend money.
Corporations are divided into shares or stocks, which are
owned by one, a few, or many people. Ownership is based
on the percentage of stock owned. Shareholders are not
responsible for the debts of the corporation, unless they
have personally guaranteed them. A shareholder’s investment is the limit of her liability. Corporations can more
easily obtain investment, raise capital by selling stock,
and survive a change of ownership. They provide more
protection from liability than other forms of business.
Their potential for growth is unlimited.
However, corporations are more complex and
expensive to set up than other forms of business
and are usually subject to a higher level of government regulation.

U.S. Department of State/Bureau of International Information Programs

principles of

Entrepreneurship
>>>> 12. Creating a Business Plan

A

comprehensive business plan is crucial for a startup business. It defines the entrepreneur’s vision and
serves as the firm’s resume.

There are many reasons for writing a business plan:


To convince oneself that the new venture is
worthwhile before making a significant financial
and personal commitment.



To assist management in goal-setting and long-range
planning.



To attract investors and get financing.



To explain the business to other companies with which
it would be useful to create an alliance or contract.



To attract employees.

A business plan can help an entrepreneur to allocate resources
appropriately, handle unexpected problems, and make good
business decisions.
A well-organized plan is an essential part of any loan application.
It should specify how the business would repay any borrowed
money. The entrepreneur also should take into account all startup
expenses and potential risks so as not to appear naive.
However, according to Andrew Zacharakis, a common misperception is that a business plan is primarily used for raising
capital. Zacharakis, a professor of entrepreneurship at Babson
College, suggests that the primary purpose of a business plan
is to help entrepreneurs gain a deeper understanding of the
opportunity they envision. He explains: “The business plan
process helps the entrepreneur shape her original vision into
a better opportunity by raising critical questions, researching
answers for those questions, and then answering them.”
Some entrepreneurs create two plans: a planning
document for internal use and a marketing document
for attracting outside investment. In this situation,
the information in each plan is essentially the same,
but the emphasis is somewhat different. For example,
an internal document intended to guide the business
does not need detailed biographies of the management. However, in a plan intended for marketing, the
background and experience of management may be
the most important feature.

A standard business plan is usually about 40 pages in length.
It should use good visual formatting, such as bulleted lists
and short paragraphs. The language should be free of jargon
and easy to understand.
The tone should be business-like and enthusiastic. It should be
strong on facts in order to convince people to invest money or time
in the new venture.
The basic elements of a standard business plan include:
Title Page
Table of Contents
Executive Summary
Company Description
Product/Service
Market and Competition
Marketing and Selling Strategy
Operating Plan
Management/Organization
Financing
Supporting Documents
The executive summary is the cornerstone of a good plan. This
is the section that people read in order to decide whether to read
the rest. It should concisely summarize the technical, marketing,
financial, and managerial details. More importantly, it needs to
convince the reader that the new venture is a worthy investment.
The company description highlights the entrepreneur’s
dream, strategy, and goals.
The product/service section should stress the characteristics
and benefits of the new venture. What differentiates it from
its competition? Is it innovative?
The financial components of a new venture’s business plan typically
include three projections: a balance sheet, an income statement, and
a cash-flow analysis. These require detailed estimates of expenses
and sales. Expenses are relatively easy to estimate. Sales projections
are usually based on market research, and often utilize sales data for
similar products and services produced by competitors.
Writing a business plan may seem overwhelming. However,
there are ways to make the process more manageable. First,
there are many computer software packages for producing a
standard business plan. Numerous books on entrepreneurship have detailed instructions, and many universities sponsor
programs for new businesses.

U.S. Department of State/Bureau of International Information Programs

principles of

Entrepreneurship
>>>> 13. The Entrepreneur’s Need for Capital

N

ew businesses rarely show a profit in the early
months of operation. Generating sales takes time,
and receipts are not usually sufficient to offset startup costs and monthly expenses. Therefore, entrepreneurs
need to estimate how much money they need and then
raise that amount to transform their dream into a reality.
It doesn’t necessarily take a lot of cash to create a successful
business. In the mid-1970s, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak
started Apple Computer by selling a Volkswagen microbus
and a Hewlett-Packard scientific calculator to raise $1,300 —
enough for a makeshift production line. In 1997 Bill Martin and
,
Greg Wright used the free Internet connections in their college
dorm rooms and $175: $75 for a New Jersey partnership fee,
$70 to register their Web domain name, and $30 for a month’s
hosting fee — to start www.ragingbull.com, which is now a successful financial Web site.
Many entrepreneurs start businesses with $5,000 or less, just
enough to establish the business, invest in some inventory, and
create some advertising materials. There are many ways to reduce
expenses: for instance, by initially working out of one’s home
rather than leasing an office or leasing office equipment rather
than buying it.
However, all entrepreneurs need to estimate how much
cash they need to cover expenses until the business begins
to make a profit. For this task, the best financial tools are
the income statement and cash flow statement. Cash flow
refers to the amount of money actually available to make
purchases and pay current bills and obligations. It is the difference between cash receipts (money taken in) and cash
disbursements (money spent) over a specific time period.
It is important to attach notes to these forecasts to explain any
unusual expenses or assumptions used in the calculations.
• An income statement sets out all of the entrepreneur’s projected revenues and expenses (including depreciation and
mortgages) to determine a venture’s profits per month and
year. Depreciation is a method to account for assets whose
value is considered to decrease over time.

• A cash flow statement estimates anticipated cash
sales as well as anticipated cash payments of bills.
This estimate can be done on a weekly, monthly,
or quarterly basis, but experts recommend that
it be done at least once every month for the first
year or two of a new business. This forecast is
used to project the money required to finance the
operation annually. By calculating this forecast on
a cumulative basis, the entrepreneur can forecast
his company’s overall capital needs at start up.
The monthly net cash f low shows how much an
entrepreneur’s cash receipts exceed or fall short
of monthly cash expenditures. For most of the
f irst year, the monthly expenditures are likely
to exceed the receipts. In many cases, goods are
shipped out before payment is received. Meanwhile, the entrepreneur still has to pay his bills.
Therefore, the cumulative cash f low, which adds
each month’s total to that of previous months,
will result in a growing negative amount.
A critical point for a new business occurs when monthly
sales receipts are enough to cover monthly expenses. At
this point, the negative cumulative cash flow will begin to
decrease and move toward a positive one. The cumulative
cash flow amount reached just before it reverses direction
indicates approximately how much capital the new business
will need.
Financial projections are inevitably somewhat inaccurate
simply because every contingency cannot be predicted. For
this reason, experts recommend that entrepreneurs add at
least 20 percent to the financial needs calculated in the cash
flow statement to create a safety net for unforeseen events.
With these estimates, the entrepreneur can seek
funding and concentrate more clearly on launching
the new business.

U.S. Department of State/Bureau of International Information Programs

principles of

Entrepreneurship
M

>>>> 14. Sources of Financing

any entrepreneurs struggle to find the capital to
start a new business. There are many sources to
consider, so it is important for an entrepreneur
to fully explore all financing options. He also should apply
for funds from a wide variety of sources.
Personal savings: Experts agree that the best source of
capital for any new business is the entrepreneur’s own
money. It is easy to use, quick to access, has no payback
terms, and requires no transfer of equity (ownership).
Also, it demonstrates to potential investors that the
entrepreneur is willing to risk his own funds and will
persevere during hard times.
Friends and family : These people believe in the
entrepreneur, and they are the second easiest
source of funds to access. They do not usually
require the paper work that other lenders require.
However, these funds should be documented and
treated like loans. Neither part ownership nor a
decision-making position should be given to these
lenders, unless they have expertise to provide.
The main disadvantage of these funds is that, if
the business fails and money goes lost, a valuable
relationship may be jeopardized.
Credit cards: The entrepreneur’s personal credit cards
are an easy source of funds to access, especially for
acquiring business equipment such as photocopiers,
personal computers, and printers. These items can
usually be obtained with little or no money paid up
front and with small monthly payments. The main
disadvantage is the high rate of interest charged on
credit card balances that are not paid off in full each
month.
Banks: Banks are very conservative lenders. As successful entrepreneur Phil Holland explains, “Many
prospective business owners are disappointed to
learn that banks do not make loans to start-up
businesses unless there are outside assets to pledge
against borrowing.” Many entrepreneurs simply do
not have enough assets to get a secured loan f rom a
lending institution.

However, if an entrepreneur has money in a bank
savings account, she can usually borrow against that
money. If an entrepreneur has good credit, it is also
relatively easy to get a personal loan f rom a bank.
These loans tend to be short-term and not as large
as business loans.
Venture investors: This is a major source of funding
for start-ups that have a strong potential for growth.
However, venture investors insist on retaining part
ownership in new businesses that they fund.


Formal institutional venture funds are usually limited
partnerships in which passive limited partners, such
as retirement funds, supply most of the money. These
funds have large amounts of money to invest. However, the process of obtaining venture capital is very
slow. Several books, such as Galante’s Venture Capital
& Private Equity Directory, give detailed information
on these funds.



Corporate venture funds are large corporations
with funds for investing in new ventures. These
often provide technical and management expertise
in addition to large monetary investments. However, these funds are slow to access compared to
other sources of funds. Also, they often seek to
gain control of new businesses.



Angel investors tend to be successful entrepreneurs
who have capital that they are willing to risk. They
often insist on being active advisers to businesses
they support. Angel funds are quicker to access
than corporate venture funds, and they are more
likely to be invested in a start-up operation. But
they may make smaller individual investments and
have fewer contacts in the banking community.

Government programs: Many national and regional
governments offer programs to encourage smalland medium-sized businesses. In the United States,
the Small Business Administration (SBA) assists
small firms by acting as a guarantor of loans made
by private institutions for borrowers who may not
otherwise qualify for a commercial loan.

U.S. Department of State/Bureau of International Information Programs

principles of

Entrepreneurship
>>15. Intellectual Property: A Valuable Business Asset

I

ntellectual property is a valuable asset for an entrepreneur.
It consists of certain intellectual creations by entrepreneurs or their staffs that have commercial value and are
given legal property rights. Examples of such creations are a
new product and its name, a new method, a new process, a
new promotional scheme, and a new design.
A fence or a lock cannot protect these intangible assets. Instead, patents, copyrights, and trademarks are used to prevent competitors from benefiting from an individual’s or
firm’s ideas.
Protecting intellectual property is a practical business decision. The time and money invested in perfecting an idea
might be wasted if others could copy it. Competitors could
charge a lower price because they did not incur the startup
costs. The purpose of intellectual property law is to encourage innovation by giving creators time to profit from their
new ideas and to recover development costs.
Intellectual property rights can be bought, sold, licensed,
or given away freely. Some businesses have made millions of
dollars by licensing or selling their patents or trademarks.
Every entrepreneur should be aware of intellectual property
rights in order to protect these assets in a world of global
markets. An intellectual property lawyer can provide information and advice.
The main forms of intellectual property rights are:
• Patents: A patent grants an inventor the right to exclude
others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling an
invention for a fixed period of time - in most countries,
for up to 20 years. When the time period ends, the patent goes into the public domain and anyone may use it.
• Copyright: Copyrights protect original creative works
of authors, composers, and others. In general, a copyright does not protect the idea itself, but only the form
in which it appears - from sound recordings to books,
computer programs, or architecture. The owner of copy-

righted material has the exclusive right to reproduce the
work, prepare derivative works, distribute copies of the
work, or perform or display the work publicly.
• Trade Secrets: Trade secrets consist of knowledge that
is kept secret in order to gain an advantage in business.
“Customer lists, sources of supply of scarce materials,
or sources of supply with faster delivery or lower prices
may be trade secrets,” explains Joseph S. Iandiorio, the
founding partner of Iandiorio and Teska, an intellectual
property law firm. “Certainly, secret processes, formulas, techniques, manufacturing know-how, advertising
schemes, marketing programs, and business plans are all
protectable.”
Trade secrets are usually protected by contracts and nondisclosure agreements. No other legal form of protection exists. The most famous trade secret is the formula for CocaCola, which is more than 100 years old.
Trade secrets are valid only if the information has not been
revealed. There is no protection against discovery by fair
means such as accidental disclosure, reverse engineering, or
independent invention.
Trademarks: A trademark protects a symbol, word, or design,
used individually or in combination, to indicate the source
of goods and to distinguish them from goods produced by
others. For example, Apple Computer uses a picture of an
apple with a bite out of it and the symbol (®) which means
registered trademark. A service mark similarly identifies
the source of a service. Trademarks and service marks give a
business the right to prevent others from using a confusingly
similar mark.
In most countries, trademarks must be registered to be enforceable and renewed to remain in force. However, they can
be renewed endlessly. Consumers use marks to find a specific firm’s goods that they see as particularly desirable — for
example, Barbie dolls or Toyota automobiles. Unlike copyrights or patents, which expire, many business’s trademarks
become more valuable over time.

U.S. Department of State/Bureau of International Information Programs

principles of

Entrepreneurship
>>>> 16. The Strengths of Small Business

A

ny entrepreneur who is contemplating a
new venture should examine the strengths
of small businesses as compared to large
ones and make the most of those competitive advantages. With careful planning, an entrepreneur
can lessen the advantages of the large business
vis-à-vis his operation and thereby increase his
chances for success.
The strengths of large businesses are well documented.
They have greater financial resources than small firms
and therefore can offer a full product line and invest
in product development and marketing. They benefit
from economies of scale because they manufacture
large quantities of products, resulting in lower costs
and potentially lower prices. Many large firms have
the credibility that a well-known name provides and
the support of a large organization.
How can a small firm possibly compete?
In general, small start-up firms have greater flexibility
than larger firms and the capacity to respond promptly
to industry or community developments. They are able
to innovate and create new products and services more
rapidly and creatively than larger companies that are
mired in bureaucracy. Whether reacting to changes in
fashion, demographics, or a competitor’s advertising,
a small firm usually can make decisions in days - not
months or years.
A small firm has the ability to modify its products or
services in response to unique customer needs. The
average entrepreneur or manager of a small business
knows his customer base far better than one in a large
company. If a modification in the products or services
offered — or even the business’s hours of operation
— would better serve the customers, it is possible for
a small firm to make changes. Customers can even
have a role in product development.

Another strength comes from the involvement of
highly skilled personnel in all aspects of a startup business. In particular, start-ups benefit from
having senior partners or managers working on
tasks below their highest skill level. For example,
when entrepreneur William J. Stolze helped start
RF Communications in 1961 in Rochester, New
York, three of the founders came from the huge
corporation General Dynamics, where they held
senior marketing and engineering positions. In
the new venture, the marketing expert had the
title “president” but actually worked to get orders.
The senior engineers were no longer supervisors;
instead, they were designing products. As Stolze
said in his book Start Up, “In most start-ups that I
know of, the key managers have stepped back from
much more responsible positions in larger companies, and this gives the new company an immense
competitive advantage.”
Another strength of a start-up is that the people
involved — the entrepreneur, any partners, advisers, employees, or even family members — have a
passionate, almost compulsive, desire to succeed.
This makes them work harder and better.
Finally, many small businesses and start-up ventures
have an intangible quality that comes from people
who are fully engaged and doing what they want to
do. This is “the entrepreneurial spirit,” the atmosphere
of fun and excitement that is generated when people
work together to create an opportunity for greater
success than is otherwise available. This can attract
workers and inspire them to do their best.

U.S. Department of State/Bureau of International Information Programs

principles of

Entrepreneurship
>>>> 17. Entrepreneurship Aids the Economy

M

ost economists agree that entrepreneurship is essential to the vitality of any economy, developed
or developing.

Entrepreneurs create new businesses, generating jobs for
themselves and those they employ. In many cases, entrepreneurial activity increases competition and, with technological
or operational changes, it can increase productivity as well.
In the United States, for example, small businesses provide
approximately 75 percent of the net new jobs added to the
American economy each year and represent over 99 percent of
all U.S. employers. The small businesses in the United States
are often ones created by self-employed entrepreneurs.
“Entrepreneurs give security to other people; they are the
generators of social welfare,” Carl J. Schramm, president and
chief executive officer of Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, said in February 2007. The foundation is dedicated to
fostering entrepreneurship, and Schramm is one of the world’s
leading experts in this field.
Others agree that the benefits of small businesses go beyond
income. Hector V Baretto, administrator of the U.S. Small
.
Business Administration (SBA), explains, “Small businesses
broaden the base of participation in society, create jobs, decentralize economic power, and give people a stake in the future.”
Entrepreneurs innovate and innovation is a central ingredient
in economic growth. As Peter Drucker said, “The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits
it as an opportunity.” Entrepreneurs are responsible for the
commercial introduction of many new products and services,
and for opening new markets. A look at recent history shows
that entrepreneurs were essential to many of the most significant innovations, ones that revolutionized how people live
and work. From the automobile to the airplane to personal
computers – individuals with dreams and determination developed these commercial advances.

Small firms also are more likely than large companies to produce specialty goods and services and custom-demand items.
As Schramm has suggested, entrepreneurs provide consumers with goods and services for needs they didn’t even know
they had.
Innovations improve the quality of life by multiplying consumers’ choices. They enrich people’s lives in numerous ways
– making life easier, improving communications, providing
new forms of entertainment, and improving health care, to
name a few.
Small firms in the United States, for instance, innovate far
more than large ones do. According to the Small Business
Administration, small technology companies produce nearly
13 times more patents per employee than large firms. They
represent one-third of all companies in possession of 15 or
more patents.
According to the 2006 Summary Results of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) project, “Regardless of the
level of development and firm size, entrepreneurial behavior remains a crucial engine of innovation and growth for the
economy and for individual companies since, by definition, it
implies attention and willingness to take advantage of unexploited opportunities.” The GEM project is a multi-country
study of entrepreneurship and economic growth. Founded
and sponsored by Babson College (USA) and the London
Business School in 1999, the study included 42 countries by
2006.
International and regional institutions, such as the United
Nations and the Organization for Economic Cooperation
and Development, agree that entrepreneurs can play a crucial
role in mobilizing resources and promoting economic growth
and socio-economic development. This is particularly true in
the developing world, where successful small businesses are
primary engines of job creation and poverty reduction.
For all of these reasons, governments may wish to pursue
policies that encourage entrepreneurship.

U.S. Department of State/Bureau of International Information Programs

principles of

Entrepreneurship
>>>>18. The Importance of Government Policies

E

ntrepreneurial activity leads to economic growth and helps to
reduce poverty, create a middle class, and foster stability. It is
in the interest of all h governments to implement policies to
foster entrepreneurship and reap the benefits of its activity.
Thomas A. Garrett, a senior economist with the Federal Reserve
Bank of St. Louis, says that government policies can be categorized
as “active” or “passive” depending on whether they involve the government in determining which types of businesses are promoted.
Active policies, such as targeted tax breaks, help specific forms of
businesses, while passive policies help create an environment that is
friendly to entrepreneurs without regard to specific firms.
Both active and passive policies are effective in promoting small
business, Garrett says, but passive policies promote entrepreneurship most broadly. “It is this entrepreneurial-friendly environment
that will allow any individual or business—regardless of size, location or mission—to expand and to thrive,” he says.
Among the most successful strategies for encouraging entrepreneurship and small business are changes in tax policy, regulatory
policy, access to capital, and the legal protection of property rights.
Tax Policy: Governments use taxes to raise money. But taxes increase
the cost of the activity taxed, discouraging it somewhat. Therefore,
policymakers need to balance the goals of raising revenue and promoting entrepreneurship. Corporate tax rate reductions, tax credits
for investment or education, and tax deductions for businesses are
all proven methods for encouraging business growth.
Regulatory Policy: “The simpler and more expedited the regulatory
process, the greater the likelihood of small business expansion,” says
Steve Strauss, a lawyer and author, who specializes in entrepreneurship. Reducing the cost of compliance with government regulations
is also helpful. Governments can, for example, provide one-stop
service centers where entrepreneurs can find assistance and allow
electronic filing and storage of forms.
Access to Capital: Starting a business takes money. There are required procedures and fees as well as the initial costs of the new
enterprise itself. Therefore, the most important activity a government can undertake is to assist potential entrepreneurs with finding
money for start-ups.

In the United States, the Small Business Administration (SBA) helps
entrepreneurs get funds. The SBA is a federal agency whose main
function is guaranteeing loans. Banks and other lenders that participate in SBA programs often relax strict loan requirements because
the government has promised repayment if the borrower defaults.
This policy makes many loans available for risky new businesses.
Legal Protection of Property Rights: Small business can thrive
where there is respect for individual property rights and a legal system to protect those rights. Without property rights, there is little
incentive to create or invest.
For entrepreneurship to flourish, the law needs to protect intellectual property. If innovations are not legally protected through
patents, copyrights, and trademarks, entrepreneurs are unlikely to
engage in the risks necessary to invent new products or new methods. According to the World Bank report, “Doing Business 2007:
How to Reform,” new technologies are adopted more quickly when
courts are efficient. “The reason is that most innovations take place
in new businesses—which unlike large firms do not have the clout to
resolve disputes outside the courts.”
Creating a Business Culture: Governments can also show that they
value private enterprise by making it easier for individuals to learn
business skills and by honoring entrepreneurs and small business
owners. Policy makers can:
• Offer financial incentives for the creation of business incubators.
These usually provide new businesses with an inexpensive space in
which to get started and services – such as a copier and a fax machine
– which most new businesses couldn’t otherwise afford. Often business incubators are associated with colleges, and professors offer
their expertise.
• Make information available. In the United States, for example,
the SBA has many offices, making publications widely accessible.
Its “Small Business Answer Desk” (telephone: 800-827-5722) and
its Web site (www.sba.gov) answer general business questions. Its
online business tutorials are available to anyone with Internet access
(http://sba.gov/training/coursestake.html).
• Enhance the status of entrepreneurs and businessmen in the society. Governments might create local or national award programs
that honor entrepreneurs and call on business leaders to serve on relevant commissions or panels.

U.S. Department of State/Bureau of International Information Programs

principles of

Entrepreneurship
19. Resources for Aspiring and Existing Entrepreneurs

U.S. Government

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is an independent agency of the
federal government that aids, counsels, assists, and protects the interests
of small business. SBA delivers its services through an extensive network
of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. Its
Web site provides wide-ranging information on starting and running a
small business. http://www.sba.gov/

International Agencies

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Centre
for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, and Local Development “is in charge of
disseminating best practices on the design, implementation, and evaluation of initiatives to promote entrepreneurship, SME growth, and local
economic and employment development.” The Web site includes links to
publications and programs. http://www.oecd.org/department/0,2688,en_
2649_33956792_1_1_1_1_1,00.html
The United Nations Development Program, Commission on the Private
Sector and Development was created to address the obstacles blocking the
expansion of the indigenous private sector in developing nations. The Web
site includes the Commission’s 2004 Report, “Unleashing Entrepreneurship: Making Business Work for the Poor.” http://www.undp.org/cpsd/
indexF.html
The World Bank’s The Doing Business Project provides objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement across 178 countries
and selected cities at the subnational and regional level. http://www.doingbusiness.org/Downloads/

Academic, Research, and Private Resources

The Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship at Babson College
(Massachusetts, USA) describes its mission as leading the global advancement of entrepreneurship education and practice through teaching,
research, and outreach initiatives. In partnership with the London School
of Business, it carries out globally focused entrepreneurship research.
It holds an annual entrepreneurship research conference and publishes
Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research. http://www3.babson.edu/eship/
research-publications/
The Center for Rural Entrepreneurship supports efforts to stimulate entrepreneurship in communities throughout rural America, and publishes
a newsletter. Its site shares information on tools, success stories, and research. http://www.energizingentrepreneurs.org/
Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization is a global entrepreneurship network serving approximately 30,000 students, through 400 chapters and
affiliated student organizations at colleges and universities. http://www.ce-o.org/page.php?mode=privateview&pageID=124&navID=24

The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) is a global membership organization of more than 6,000 business owners who share a common desire to
grow their businesses, learn from others, and share their experiences.
http://www.eonetwork.org/Default.aspx
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a major supporter of research
and grants to promote entrepreneurship, develop educational programs,
train educators, and to facilitate the commercialization of new technologies.
One of the largest foundations in the United States, the Kauffman Foundation Web site includes links to research, publications, and reports.
http://www.kauffman.org/
FastT is a comprehensive entrepreneurship education program that inrac
cludes practical, hands-on business development courses and workshops
for entrepreneurs as well as entrepreneurship curriculum for college students. FastT programs are currently provided in 50 U.S. states and in
rac
Australia and Russia. http://www.fasttrac.org/
The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) is a not-for-profit academic research consortium that aims to make international research data on
entrepreneurial activity readily available. A partnership of Babson College
and the London School of Economics, the research program is based on an
assessment of the level of national entrepreneurial activity in participating
countries and an exploration of the role of entrepreneurship in national economic growth. Started in 1999 with 10 countries, GEM 2007 conducted
research in 42 countries. The Web site features global reports and national
summaries. http://www.gemconsortium.org
International Council for Small Business was the first international membership organization to promote the growth and development of small
businesses worldwide. It hosts an annual conference aimed at advancing
small business and entrepreneurship. http://www.icsb.org/
My Own Business, Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing
free training and resources to aspiring entrepreneurs. The Web site includes
a free, complete and in-depth online course on how to start a business.
http://www.myownbusiness.org/
The Public Forum Institute, National Dialog on Entrepreneurship provides a wide range of information on entrepreneurship, including news and
research. It includes reports about steps being taken around the world to
encourage innovation and new enterprise growth. It also includes links to
entrepreneurship success stories. http://www.publicforuminstitute.org/
nde/global/index.htm
Students in Free Enterprise is a global non-profit organization active in 47
countries that works in partnership with business. SIFE challenges teams
of college students to develop community outreach projects that include
entrepreneurship. http://www.sife.org/

Entrepreneur.com is an online and print small business publication that
provides information to help start, grow, or manage a small business.
http://www.entrepreneur.com/

U.S. Department of State/Bureau of International Information Programs

principles of

Entrepreneurship
>>>> 20. Entrepreneurship: Glossary of Terms

Angel investors: Individuals who have capital that they are willing to risk. Angels are often successful entrepreneurs who invest in emerging entrepreneurial ventures, often as a bridge
from the self-funded stage to the point in which a business can
attract venture capital.
Assets: Items of value owned by a company and shown on the
balance sheet, including cash, equipment, inventory, etc.
Balance sheet: Summary statement of a company’s financial position at a given point in time, listing assets as well as liabilities.
Breakeven point: Dollar value of sales that will cover, but not
exceed, all of the company’s costs, both fixed and variable.
Bridge finance: Short-term finance that is expected to be repaid
quickly.
Browser: A computer program that enables users to access and
navigate the World Wide Web.
Business incubator: This is a form of mentoring in which workspace, coaching, and support services are provided to entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses at a free or reduced cost.
Businessplan: A written document detailing a proposed venture,
covering current status, expected needs, and projected results
for the enterprise. It contains a thorough analysis of the product or service being offered, the market and competition, the
marketing strategy, the operating plan, and the management as
well as profit, balance sheet, and cash flow projections.
Capital: Cash or goods used to generate income. For entrepreneurs, capital often refers to the funds and other assets invested
in the business venture.
Cash flow: The difference between the company’s cash receipts
and its cash payments in a given period. It refers to the amount
of money actually available to make purchases and pay current
bills and obligations.
Cash flow statement: A summary of a company’s cash flow over
a period of time.
Collateral: An asset pledged as security for a loan.

Copyright: Copyright is a form of legal protection for published
and unpublished literary, scientific, and artistic works that have
been fixed in a tangible or material form. It grants exclusive
rights to the work’s creator for a specified period of time.
Corporation: A business form that is an entity legally separate
from its owners. Its important features include limited liability, easy transfer of ownership, and unlimited life.
Depreciation: The decrease in the value of assets over their expected life by an accepted accounting method, such as allocating the cost of an asset over the years in which it is used.
E-commerce: The sale of products and services over the Internet.
Entrepreneur: A person who organizes, operates, and assumes
the risk for a business venture.
Equity: An ownership interest in a business.
Home-based business: A business, of any size or type, whose primary office is in the owner’s home.
Income statement: Also known as a “profit and loss statement,” it
shows a firm’s income and expenses, and the resulting profit or
loss over a specified period of time.
Intangible assets: Items of value that have no tangible physical
properties, such as ideas.
Internet: The vast network of networks connecting millions of
individual and networked computers worldwide.
Inventory: Finished goods, work in process of manufacture,
and raw materials owned by a company.
Joint venture: A legal entity created by two or more businesses
joining together to conduct a specific business enterprise with
both parties sharing profits and losses.
Liabilities: Debts a business owes, including accounts payable,
taxes, bank loans, and other obligations. Short-term liabilities
are due within a year, while long-term liabilities are due in a period of time greater than a year.

U.S. Department of State/Bureau of International Information Programs

principles of

Entrepreneurship
>>>> 21. Additional Readings

Acs, Zoltan J. “How is Entrepreneurship Good for Economic
Growth?” Innovations, MIT Press Journal (Winter 2006):
pp.97-107. http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1
162/
itgg.2006.1.1.97
Allen, Kathleen. Entrepreneurship for Dummies. Foster City, CA:
IDG Books Worldwide, Inc., 2001.
Niels Bosma and Rebecca Harding. GEM 2006 Summary Results. Founding and Sponsoring Institutions: Babson College, Babson Park, MA and London Business
School London, UK, 2007. http://www.gemconsortium.
org/download.asp?fid=532 and http://64.233.167.104/
search?q=cache:XeMKRlP0P-wJ:www.gemconsortium.
org/
Bygrave, William D. and Andrew Zacharakis, editors. The
Portable MBA in Entrepreneurship, 3rd Edition. Hoboken, NJ:
John Wiley & Sons, 2004.
Cohen, William A. The Entrepreneur & Small Business Problem
Solver, 3rd Edition. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2006.
Conference Proceedings. Putting It T
ogether: The Role of Entrepreneurship in Economic Development. Sponsored by the U.S.
Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, The
Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, The Council of State
Governments, The National Lieutenant Governors Association, March 7, 2005. http://www.sba.gov/advo/research/
conf_summary.pdf.
Drucker, Peter F. Innovation and Entrepreneurship. New Y
ork:
Harper Business, 1985.
Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Understanding Entrepreneurship: A Research and Policy Report. Kansas City: Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, 2005.
http://research.kauffman.org/cwp/jsp/redirect.
jsp?&resourceId=Research/Resource/Report_070.htm
Garrett, Thomas A. “Entrepreneurs Thrive in America: Federal, State Policies Make a Difference for Those Facing Risk.”
Bridges, St. Louis, Missouri: Federal Reserve Bank of St.
Louis (Spring 2005). http://www.stlouisfed.org/publications/
br/2005/a/pages/2-article.html.

Reynolds, Paul D., Michael Hay and S. Michael Camp,
Global Entrepreneurship Monitor: 1999 Executive Report. Kansas
City, MO: Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, June 1999. http://www.gemconsortium.org/download/1203085057277/GEM%20Global%201999%20report.
pdf
Hiam, Alexander Watson and Karen Wise Olander. The Entrepreneur’s Complete Sourcebook. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice
Hall, 1996.
Jacksack, Susan M. Start, Run & Grow: A Successful Small Business, 3rd Edition. Chicago, IL: CCH Incorporated, 2000.
Karlgaard, Rich. “Peter Drucker on Leadership.” Forbes.com,
November 19, 2004. http://www.forbes.com/2004/1
1/19/
cz_rk_1 19drucker_print.html
1
Reiss, Bob, with Jeffrey L. Cruikshank. Low Risk, High Reward: Starting and Growing Y Business with Minimal Risk. New
our
Y NY: The Free Press, 2000.
ork,
Stolze, William J. Start Up: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Launching and Managing a New Business, 5th Edition. Franklin Lakes,
NJ: Career Press, 1999.
United Nations Development Programme, Commission on
the Private Sector and Development. Unleashing Entrepreneurship: Making Business Work for the Poor. New Y United Naork:
tions Development Programme, 2004. http://www.undp.
org/cpsd/indexF.html
U.S. Department of State. “Entrepreneurship and Small
Business.” eJournal USA: Economic Perspectives, Volume 1
1,
Number 1 (January 2006). http://usinfo.state.gov/journals/
ites/0106/ijee/ijee0106.htm
World Bank. Doing Business 2007: How to Reform. Washington,
D.C.: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / The World Bank, 2006. http://www.doingbusiness.
org/documents/DoingBusiness2007_FullReport.pdf

U.S. Department of State/Bureau of International Information Programs

Limited partnership: A business arrangement in which the day-today operations are controlled by one or more general partners
and funded by limited or silent partners who are legally responsible for losses based on the amount of their investment.

Seed financing: A relatively small amount of money provided to
prove a concept; it may involve product development and market research.

Marketing plan: A document describing a firm’s potential customers and a comprehensive strategy to sell them goods and services.

Start-up financing: Funding provided to companies for use in
product development and initial marketing. It is usually funding
for firms that have not yet sold their product commercially.

Server: A computer system to provide access to information or
Line of credit: (1) An arrangement between a bank and a customer Web sites.
specifying the maximum amount of unsecured debt the customer can owe the bank at a given point in time. (2) A limit set by a Social entrepreneur: Someone who recognizes a social problem
seller on the amount that a purchaser can buy on credit.
and uses entrepreneurial principles to organize, create, and manage a venture to make social change. Social entrepreneurs often
Liquidity: The ability of an asset to be converted to cash as quick- work through non-profit organization and citizen groups, but
ly as possible and without any price discount.
they may also work in the private or governmental sector. Many
successful entrepreneurs, such as Bill Gates of Microsoft, have
Marketing: The process of researching, promoting, selling, and become social entrepreneurs.
distributing a product or service. Marketing covers a broad
range of practices, including advertising, publicity, promotion, Sole proprietorship: A business form with one owner who is repricing, and packaging.
sponsible for all of the firm’s liabilities.

Networking: (1) Developing business contacts to form business
relationships, increase knowledge, expand a business, or serve T
rademark: A form of legal protection given to a business or inthe community. (2) Linking computers systems together.
dividual for words, names, symbols, sounds, or colors that distinguish goods and services. T
rademarks, unlike patents, can be
Niche marketing: Identifying and targeting markets not adequate- renewed forever as long as they are being used in business.
ly served by competitors.
Unsecured loan: Short-term source of borrowed capital for which
Outsourcing: The practice of using subcontractors or other busi- the borrower does not pledge any assets as collateral.
nesses, rather than paid employees, for standard services such as
accounting, payroll, information technology, advertising, etc.
V
ariable costs: Costs that vary as the amount produced or sold varies.
Partnership: Legal form of business in which two or more persons
are co-owners, sharing profits and losses.
Venture investors: An institution specializing in the provision of
large amounts of long-term capital to enterprises with a limited
Patent: A property right granted to an inventor to exclude others track record but with the expectation of substantial growth. The
from making, using, offering for sale, or selling an invention for venture capitalist also may provide varying degrees of managea limited time in exchange for public disclosure of the invention rial and technical expertise.
when the patent is granted.
World Wide W The part of the Internet that enables the use of
eb:
Small Business Administration (SBA): Created in 1953, it is an inde- multimedia text, graphics, audio, and video.
pendent agency of the U.S. federal government that aids, counsels, assists, and protects the interests of small business.
Small Business Development Centers (SBDC): SBA program using
university faculty and others to provide management assistance
to current and prospective small business owners.
Service Core of Retired Executives (SCORE): A non-profit organization dedicated to entrepreneurs’ education and the success of
small business. It is sponsored by the SBA to provide consulting
to small businesses.
Search engine: A computer program that facilitates the location
and the retrieval of information over the Internet.
U.S. Department of State/Bureau of International Information Programs