This book offes an overview of all three subjects - innovation, technology and entrepreneurship - that fits well with the compressed curricula in modern MBA programs. The affordable and easy-to-carry volume fits the needs of students in the targeted countries. If offers a comprehensive approach whereas other competing books are dated and/or deal only with two of the three subjects found in this book.
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Maastricht School of Management Series in Intercultural and Global Management
Edited by: Fred Phillips
Meyer & Meyer Media
Maastricht School of Management Series in Intercultural and Global Management
Series Editors: Ronald Tuninga & Fred Phillips
British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
Fred Phillips (Ed.)
Managing Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship
Maidenhead: Meyer & Meyer (UK) Ltd., 2009
All rights reserved, especially the right to copy and distribute, including the translation rights. No part of this work may be reproduced—including by photocopy, microfilm or any other means—processed, stored electronically, copied or distributed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of the publisher.
© 2009 by Meyer & Meyer (UK) Ltd.
Adelaide, Auckland, Budapest, Cape Town, Graz, Indianapolis,
Maidenhead, Olten (CH), Singapore, Toronto
Cover Design: Mana co, The Netherlands
E-Mail: [email protected]
Introduction to the Series
Section I. Introduction
Chapter 1 Firms, innovation and entrepreneurship
Jean S. Verhardt, Fred Phillips, & Ludovico Alcorta With material by Daniel More Torres and cases by Beatrice Avolio
Section II. The Context and Content of Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Chapter 2 Entrepreneurial initiative, entrepreneurial behavior, and corporate strategy
Chapter 3 Core competences and strategic intent
Yu-Shan Su With material by Fred Phillips
Chapter 4 Venturing, corporate venturing and organizational design
Rod McNaughton & Amir Gabriel
Chapter 5 Property protection regimes and industry standards
Todd G. Vare & Kenneth Crews With material by Herbert Phillips and a case by Fred Phillips
Chapter 6 Technological evolution: Industry & environmental factors
Chapter 7 The business plan
Gene Konecci, Fred Phillips, & Jean S. Verhardt
Section III. The Research, Development and Entrepreneurial Processes
Chapter 8 Entrepreneurial processes: Starting and developing the new business
Fred Phillips & Jean S. Verhardt With material by Daniel More Torres
Chapter 9 Corporate creativity and ideas for new businesses
Daniel More Torres With material by Fred Phillips
Chapter 10 Managing research and development projects and stages
Tugrul Daim & Athar Pasha
Chapter 11 Funding for new businesses and for corporate R&D.
Jean S. Verhardt, Rod McNaughton, & Fred Phillips
Chapter 12 Technology sourcing and technology transfer
Daniel Nyarko With cases by Fred Phillips
Chapter 13 Managing new product development
Tugrul Daim & Neslihan Sener With a case by Alessio Cavicchi and Cristina Santini With cases by students of the Engineering Management Dept. at Portland State University
Chapter 14 Global market entry for innovative start-ups
Jean S. Verhardt With a case by Luu Tien Thuan
Section IV. The Impact of Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Chapter 15 Assessing and enhancing the impact of innovation and entrepreneurship
Fred Phillips With a case by Joy Limprayoon
Chapter 16 Pulling the threads together: New products and new firms
Fred Phillips, Jean S. Verhardt, & Ludovico Alcorta With a case by Lei Tang
MAASTRICHT SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT
Series Editors Ronald Tuninga and Fred Phillips
Volumes To Date
Stephanie Jones, Khaled Wahba, and Beatrice I.J.M. van der Heijden
How to Write Your MBA Thesis: A Comprehensive Guide for All Master’s Students Required to Write a Research-Based Thesis or Dissertation (2007)
Joop Remmé, Stephanie Jones, Beatrice I.J.M. van der Heijden and Silvio De Bono Leadership, Change, and Responsibility (2008)
Stephanie Jones and Silvio De Bono
Managing Cultural Diversity (2008)
This series makes excellent, affordable textbooks available to students in emerging and developing countries. By emphasizing the international, multicultural, sustainability, and social responsibility dimensions of management, and by giving special attention to change issues in transitional economies, these volumes aim to define the way management subjects should be taught to multicultural audiences. Our goal as editors is to have the series seen as the imprimatur of the best textbooks in the field, and thereby influence the future of teaching international business.
Targeted readers include MBA students in MSM’s overseas outreach programs, students enrolled in other universities, and practicing managers in many countries. Our authors write for readers of a high intellectual caliber, having good command of international English, who wish to be world-class managers, whether in their home countries or abroad, whether for indigenous companies or for multi-nationals.
We nonetheless believe it is not fair to such readers to frame all content in terms of problems and persons representing business in the OECD nations. Volumes in the series therefore depict business situations drawn from many of the countries where MSM is active. We have chosen authors with broad experience on multiple continents, and specifically in emerging economies and developing countries.
We do not assume readers have access to the books, periodicals, databases, research journals, and fast reliable Internet connections that are taken for granted by MBA students in the OECD countries. Thus, each textbook in the series is a self-contained course on its topic. Each book is suitable for a condensed course format, but also allows teachers the flexibility to use the book for online or face-to-face courses in other formats.
For more than a half century Maastricht School of Management (MSM) has focused on international cooperation. As a key player in the global education field, MSM is one of the few management schools that systematically combine education, technical assistance and research in its professional services. Offering high-quality management degree programs (MSc, MBA, DBA and PhD) and executive programs, MSM also implements management development research and international projects. With more than 2000 students annually graduating in nearly thirty countries, MSM is the largest international business school of the Netherlands.
MSM has worked for years at the interface of public- and private-sector management of transition processes in culturally diverse environments. Our guiding principle is the enhancement of performance of the private and public sectors to support balanced economic development. MSM provides technical assistance and specific training to government agencies, semi-government agencies, NGOs, post-secondary education institutions and the private sector, including small and medium enterprises. MSM offers graduate programs at campuses in China, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Malawi, Malaysia, Malta, Mongolia, Moscow, Namibia, the Netherlands, Peru, Rwanda, Suriname, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Ronald Tuninga and Fred Phillips
This book truly reflects Maastricht School of Management’s global reach and mission. Its contributors hail from Australia, Canada, China, France, Ghana, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, USA, and Vietnam. The chapters, cases, and passages they contribute involve companies in most of those countries, as well as enterprises in Russia, Finland, and Mexico. As far as we are aware, this is the only book that takes such a completely international approach to the three subjects of entrepreneurship, innovation, and technology management.
The contributors helped the book achieve difficult balances: combining the essentials of entrepreneurship, innovation, and technology management in one volume, at a length suitable for a single MBA course; and providing varied but overlapping perspectives that cannot tell everything an international student readership needs to know about these subjects, but show readers where to go next, to find all needed details on how to launch an entrepreneurial or intrapreneurial venture in their own countries.
Special recognition goes to Profs. Jean Verhardt and Ludovico Alcorta, who developed original and revised curriculum in these topics for Maastricht School of Management’s MBA programs.
Unless otherwise noted, all cases presented within the chapters were written by the chapter authors.
The editor is grateful to all the volume’s author-contributors, and for the following permissions:
The IC2 Institute of the University of Texas at Austin graciously granted permission to use material from “New Enterprises Business Plan Development,” originally prepared by Eugene B. Konecci for the 1991 Conference and Workshop on Business Plan Development in the State of Texas.
The RU486 and Autogenesis cases, originally published in F. Phillips, Market-Oriented Technology Management: Innovating for Profit in Entrepreneurial Times (Springer, 2001, pages 367-69 and 376-69, respectively), are used here with kind permission of Springer Science+Business Media.
Passages from the doctoral dissertation of Beatrice Avolio and the master’s thesis of Daniel More Torres are used with the kind permission of the respective authors.
Most of Chapter 5 was presented at the Indiana Health Industry Forum’s Intellectual Property Workshop, June 16, 2004, and is adapted here by permission of Mr. Ware.
Case studies provided in Chapter 10 were developed by graduate students in “R&D Management,” “Technology Assessment and Acquisition,” “Technology Forecasting,” “Technology Roadmapping” and “Technology Transfer” classes at Portland State University’s Department of Engineering and Technology Management (1998-2007) and are used with permission.
Thanks also to Jakki Mohr and Shikhar Sarin (former Visiting Professor at Maastricht School of Management) for the Peter Drucker quotations sprinkled throughout this book. They explicate these quotations at length in their paper “Drucker’s insights on market orientation and innovation: Implications for emerging areas in high-technology marketing,” which will appear in Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. (At this writing, the paper is available online at SpringerLink.)
Attorney William Hulsey identified the best intellectual property web sites for this book’s audience. His expertise and help are gratefully acknowledged.
The editor thanks his in-laws, Mr. and Mrs. Bongsoo Oh, for the cruise that enabled him to complete the editing shipboard.
Joy Limprayoon provided editorial assistance, and Dr. Ginger Marable ensured all references were in APA format. Thanks to both.
Entrepreneurship and technology are now inextricably tied to the World Wide Web, and this book thus makes liberal use of web links. All mentioned links are current as of 2008, but web pages tend to be ephemeral; we beg the reader’s pardon for any broken links.
Finally, this book is for educational use only. Though the entrepreneurial and innovation processes are tightly entwined with the law, the information presented in this book does not constitute legal advice.
Daniel More Torres contributed material to this chapter.
Beatrice Avolio contributed cases to this chapter.
“There is only one valid… business purpose: to create a customer…. Therefore, any business enterprise has two – and only two – basic functions: marketing and innovation.”
Technology and entrepreneurship: An introduction to critical issues for new growthbusinesses, and an overview of the book
This book will cover topics relating to the study of the entrepreneur and the entrepreneurial process, opportunity recognition and exploitation, defining and planning the new venture, commercialization of new technologies, new venture growth, the venture harvest process, and the preparation of professional business plans.
Entrepreneurship as we know it has evolved from early Phoenician venturing in the 11th century BC (Welsch, 2003). The study of entrepreneurship as a business school discipline is only about twenty years old, however, and has grown tremendously in scope and importance over the past five years. This is in large part due to the explosion in new technologies that relate to almost every field of human interest, especially communications, materials, information processing, biotechnology and medical science. The driving force behind the development of these new technologies has often been the entrepreneurs in all their forms, such as the “lone hero” pursuing a dream which often originated from the desire for independence, or a tightly knit team of adventurers working in the traditional garage. And quite often, the entrepreneurs have been people within giant organizations who have been given the freedom by far-sighted superiors to pursue a dream, and have proceeded to act as virtual entrepreneurs or intrapreneurs, creating important new industries as they went.
In addition to the traditional view of the entrepreneur as the developer of new enterprises, the reality of operating a business in the current fast moving business environment means that all CEOs need to think and act entrepreneurially. Therefore we can say that the study of entrepreneurship is just as much the study of the function of the CEO in firms of all sizes, as it is the study of the small, high growth business.
When we look at small firms in the context of entrepreneurial behavior, we specifically mean the high-growth firm. In general, we can divide firms into three broad categories:
Large scale enterprises – “elephants”
High-growth firms of any size – “gazelles”
Lifestyle business with no growth ambitions – “ants”
Of these three business categories, we are primarily concerned with the case of the “gazelle” firm. The “elephants” fall outside the scope of this book, except where we examine the role of the CEO in general, and “ants,” being primarily low-growth firms by definition, are not considered to be entrepreneurial firms in this sense.
A key emphasis of this book is the preparation of a comprehensive and complete business plan, suitable for use in raising capital, and as a critical tool in the planning and operation of a business. Such plans involve students in picking a possible business opportunity, and preparing a plan describing the business, suitable for presentation to potential investors as part of a capital-funding program.
When you have completed this book, or a course based upon it, you will know or be able to do the following things:
Know the basic drivers of entrepreneurial behavior, and know how the concept of entrepreneurship fits into the overall study of business. Know the main motivational factors which encourage individuals to undertake the creation and development of new business enterprises
Interpret the concept of opportunity recognition, and relate this to actual situations. Combine this with the theory and practice of new technology commercialization.
Utilize the existing literature and the current theories of entrepreneurship to explain the pattern of growth of firms in the high technology arena, and other high growth environments.
Analyze case studies to determine the key success factors for entrepreneurs, and use the results from these analyses to design and develop a professional business plan for a new and original start-up venture idea.
Have a command of the tools necessary to research and evaluate the key factors for a successful entrepreneurial venture. Use these tools to analyze a new venture from the viewpoint of the providers of risk capital, and develop the recommendations and rationale required by providers of capital to support investment of capital in a new venture.
Judge the value and efficacy of the major new theories of entrepreneurial analysis, in understanding the key drivers of entrepreneurial activity. Evaluate the usefulness of these in analyzing the growth and performance of an existing high growth, entrepreneurial firm.
Be familiar with the traditional economic theory of the firm, and relate that to the newer theories that seek to explain how new firms can form, from idea to launch.
Know the several growth strategies available to high growth entrepreneurial firm (HGEFs), within the context of the new competitive landscape. Understand the key growth drivers of very fast growing firms, and be able to apply the growth strategies to these firms.
Thoroughly understand the role that technological innovation plays in entrepreneurial and business opportunities. Begin to be able to manage the entire innovation chain, from research and development (R&D) and acquisition of external technologies, to new product development, the marketing of high-tech products, and managing the introduction of new technologies within one’s own firm.
Our key objective is to generate within readers’ minds an understanding of what it takes to get a new venture established, and to grow the business so that the entrepreneur both retains operational control, and yet is able to pursue the highest growth path available to the business. It is an important objective that students gain a feeling of confidence and pride in setting out alone down an uncertain road; a road full of future promise and challenge.
A further important objective is to harness all of the student’s existing knowledge and experience, both academic and practical, towards the development of a realistic, ambitious and achievable business plan which has a high chance of success in practice. A further aim of the book is to encourage participants to take their new business idea, and use it as the basis for a new career as a successful entrepreneur.
The authors want students and readers who will not become entrepreneurs to understand the role of technological change in all businesses; to appreciate the importance of innovation and to manage innovation effectively within their firms; and to support intrapreneurship and entrepreneurship in a variety of ways (as facilitators, investors, etc.) The book’s content is also designed to serve this objective.
We look at what traditional economic theory contributes to an understanding of this process, and link this to the phenomenon of the pre-firm.
An examination of the theoretical foundations of entrepreneurship begins with the concept of the pre-firm. The definition of a pre-firm is “the entity that converts an idea into a firm.” Every pre-firm, whether it aborts early, or goes on to form a successful enterprise, provides the economy with an opportunity to create new demand, and leads to influences that positively affect the economy in the future.
Traditional economic theory has treated the firm as the basic unit of production of the economy. However, recently economists have begun to recognize that firms are in fact composite entities, a nexus of contacts between individual agents, whose self-interests might lead to conflicting purpose, and hence challenge received economic theories of maximization and equilibrium. This concept leads to important insights into the boundaries of the firm, its interaction with the environment and the role of knowledge in dealing with dynamic changes in the environment. Central to understanding the boundary between the firm and its environment is the idea of the price discovery process, first developed by R. H. Coase in 1937. This is the idea that the economy cannot operate merely as a set of bilateral market interactions between factors of production, because the interacting parties would have to re-negotiate contracts and a new set of terms of exchange every time there is a change in market conditions, or every time a new technology comes on stream. This was later used to explain why firms are organized into a hierarchical structure, with a central authority reassigning work to the factors of production (people) as the environment changed.
It is the continual discovery of new products that makes the price discovery process complex and interesting, and leads directly from the work of Joseph Schumpeter in 1934, on the process of creative destruction, which forms the basis of all competition in the economy. Then in 1978, Friedrick Von Hayek provided the striking insight that competition is a discovery process that leads to an increase in the dimensionality of the commodity space. This contrasts with the view of classical economists that competition merely allocates demand between a fixed set of product, often substitutes.
The key question is, “Does the development of a new product automatically lead to its production and supply?” Or are there unexplained lags between production and supply? Could both demand and supply exist, but no firm exist to actually carry out production to fulfill the demand? A good recent example is the commercialization of the Internet. This required the development of a browser, such as the one developed by Netscape. But not only new technology had to be developed; also new ways of marketing and financing had to be devised.
If competition is the discovery procedure for new supply, what is the economic mechanism for the discovery of new demand?
A possible answer to this question is the pre-firm. The pre-firm transforms an idea into a firm. Every inventor or entrepreneur who has failed at building a company to commercialize his or her invention has gone through the pre-firm process – as has every firm that exists today. Every pre-firm, whether it results in the creation of a firm or not, provides the economy with an opportunity to learn what works and what does not work. The pre-firm may be the mechanism whereby the economy discovers/creates future demands. However, the discipline of Economics is silent on the subject of the pre-firm. Economics seeks to explain a wide variety of phenomena, such as firm diversity, organizational capabilities, feasible contracts and optimal resource allocations, without taking into account the constraints and consequences chosen and inherited through decisions made in the prefirm. By completely ignoring the pre-firm, economics creates the illusion that firm’s spring into existence fully developed; a proposition which defies logic and common sense.
A very good definition of entrepreneurship is “the process of creating value by bringing together a unique package of resources to exploit an opportunity” (Morris et al. 1993, quoted in Lin et al. 2006). It implies a distinction that is important to this introduction, the distinction between a small business and an entrepreneurial venture.
A small business – for example, a storefront grocery or laundry – slices an existing economic “pie” into smaller pieces. It does not necessarily expect to grow, and its main customer base is consumers, though it may also supply a few larger businesses. An entrepreneur, in contrast, uses innovation to make the economic pie bigger for everyone (while taking a big slice for himself or herself). An entrepreneurial venture starts small but expects to grow big. Its customer base may include consumers, small businesses, and many other large companies.
Morris’ definition, in general, excludes a neighborhood grocery store because such a store presumably does not show a “unique package of resources.” On the contrary, we usually expect such a store to be much like the other grocery stores in the vicinity. The “unique package” also implies that it would be difficult for competitors to assemble a similar package. Thus the entrepreneur, by means of his unique concept and resources, erects a barrier to others’ entry into the market space. This makes investors feel protected, and able to benefit financially from the value created by the venture. An entrepreneur must be able to see an opportunity. But there is no entrepreneurship without exploitation of that opportunity.
A nation’s economy rests on small businesses. The nation’s future can depend on growth ventures. Both are important. However, there are many sources for learning about the former, and few for learning about the latter. Knowledge about small business is passed on by tradition. Knowledge about growth entrepreneurship is new and ever-changing. For these reasons, we concentrate below on matters of entrepreneurship.
There are several schools of thought regarding entrepreneurship, which can be divided into those that define the term as an economic function and those that define entrepreneurship in terms of individual traits.
In the 18th Century, Richard Cantillon said that entrepreneurship entailed buying at certain prices, and selling at uncertain prices. In 1911, Joseph Schumpeter added the concept of innovation to entrepreneurship. He allowed for many kinds of innovation, including process innovation, market innovation, product innovation, factor innovation and organizational innovation. His concept of “creative destruction” set the foundation for modern thinking on the process of the development of new firms and industries.
Another view of entrepreneurship focuses on the personal characteristics of entrepreneurs. This is the so-called “supply side” argument. This view looks at some common characteristics of entrepreneurs, such as the need for achievement, perceived locus of control and a risk-taking propensity.
This does not seem to provide us with the full story however, and we must look further. For example, it is misleading to think of entrepreneurship in terms of a willingness or propensity to bear risk. In the words of one successful entrepreneur, “My idea of risk and reward is for me to get the reward and for others to take the risks.” The search for the typically entrepreneurial profile is bound to fail, because there exists an almost unlimited spectrum of personality types, all of which have been successful in producing entrepreneurs.
According to Hatten (1997), an entrepreneur can be defined as a person who takes a financial, material and psychological risk of starting or running a company when one sees how to take advantage of a business opportunity.
From an economical and philosophical point of view some more definitions arise such as the one given by Richard Cantillon (2003) who considered an entrepreneur as a “self-employed person with a tolerance for the risk he believed was inherent in providing for one’s own economic well being.” Similarly, Schumpeter (1934) analyzed entrepreneurship considering the market demand conditions and the contribution that entrepreneurs provide to the economic development. Even though Schumpeter does not explore the characteristics to be an entrepreneur, he recognized that some level of innovation is required to be successful. Further studies recognize that managerial skills are important for the success of an entrepreneur.
From a behavioral point of view, entrepreneurs are considered to have certain traits, behavior and characteristics. In that way entrepreneurs are considered as individuals with creativity and imagination willing to see changes as opportunities (Bygrave, 1997) and that they innovate the way to do business in order to fulfill the market requirements. Furthermore, there are many examples of entrepreneurs who are successful without formal business training, suggesting that there are some traits that are inherent to some entrepreneurs that make them successful; however other entrepreneurs with those so-called inherent characteristics may still fail if they are not able to deal with unforeseen problems. There is a school of thought that suggests that entrepreneurs see failure as the price to be successful. This belief makes them start a business again because entrepreneurs consider that the next business will be successful and that fear to failure makes them be alert to changes, trends and threats in the market (Kets de Vries, 1997). One may think that starting a new business should be considered as entrepreneurship, but the researcher has considered as entrepreneurship those new enterprises that require someone with an idea that is different or distinctive, and that does not broadly replicate something which already exits, which is typical of many small business start-ups but which does not necessarily represent entrepreneurship behavior (Thompson, 1999). There might be confusion between what makes an entrepreneur and what makes a small business manager. The main difference is that an entrepreneur deals with the start up of a business while a manager focuses on running a business on a daily basis. Managers require perseverance, patience, and analytical and evaluations skills to deal with day to day activities of a business (Hatten, 1997).
The differences between entrepreneurs and small business managers are that the latter are not necessarily innovative, for instance, one can start a business that has already been tested before such as opening a new computer store. An entrepreneur, on the other hand, takes further steps and innovate their ideas. There are people such as Steve Jobs from Apple or Bill Gates from Microsoft that we consider entrepreneurs due to the fact that they are perpetually innovating. For an entrepreneur, the start-up of the business supposes a great sense of innovation and risk-taking. Another highly innovative entrepreneur is Sir Richard Branson, the Chairman of the Virgin Group UK, an empire that focuses its core business in traveling, entertainment & lifestyle, communications, retail and hotels with over 360 companies. Branson’s approach to innovation is seeking new business ideas by raising the baton.
Table 1.1 displays two writers’ descriptions of the entrepreneurial personality.
Table 1.1. Key characteristics of entrepreneurs
Deakins and Freel (2003)
Proactivity, initiative and assertiveness
Ability to see and act on opportunities
Strong persuasive powers
Commitment to others
Moderate risk taker (intrapreneur)
Need for achievement
High risk taker (entrepreneur)
High internal locus of control
Problem solving ability
Need for autonomy
Need for achievement
Tolerance for ambiguity
High belief in control of one’s own destiny
Deviant or non-conformist
Perseverance; ability to deal with failure
Goal-oriented rather than career-oriented
Characteristics that distinguish the growth entrepreneur from the small businessperson include high energy, ability to exploit opportunities, need for achievement, and vision.
Of the characteristics in Table 1.1, Cobbenhagen (undated), who conducted in-depth interviews with 285 Dutch companies in all sectors, identifies “high internal locus of control” as the most critical to a growing firm’s success. (In the right-hand column of the Table, Crijns calls the same characteristic “high belief in control of one’s own destiny.”) This psychological term implies that managers and employees believe they can control their destinies and create their own future.
As he delved into detail, Cobbenhagen found that the internal locus of control of frontrunning companies extended to the future of the companies’ processes, environments, and capabilities. Thus, leading companies believed they could influence their customers’ propensity to buy, and could deal proactively with competitors and suppliers. They believed they had the ability to acquire and manage the knowledge required to remain leaders in the industry. They believed in their own ability to focus, innovate, and absorb new technologies (see Cohen and Levinthal, 1990). Cobbenhagen contrasted these beliefs of leading companies with the beliefs articulated by follower companies: “It is just too much trouble to innovate, and we’re not sure we can do it.” “We are incapable of maintaining the same priorities for three months.”
Some executives of leading growth companies recalled being battered, earlier in their careers, by large-company bureaucracies, by unhappy mergers, or by corporate downsizing. They vowed never to be in such a situation again. This implies an extension of the idea of locus of control: Not only do these entrepreneurial leaders believe in creating their own futures, they believe they can place themselves in situations that do or do not lend themselves to the proactive creation of desired futures.
The importance of entrepreneurship is that it promotes economic growth increases employment in the marketplace as more are created (Birch, 1987). It has been written that entrepreneurship is the fourth economic factor that glues the other three economic factors of production, together with land, labor and organization (Arnold, 1996). The importance of entrepreneurship for the economy has led to many studies, all with different approaches. Some of these approaches include behaviorist, economical, sociological, and philosophical.
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation supports entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education in the United States. According to the foundation (2005):
Entrepreneurship is the transformation of an innovation into a sustainable enterprise that generates value. Entrepreneurs innovate new ways of manipulating nature, and new ways of assembling and coordinating people .... The innovator shows that a product, a process, or a mode of organization can be efficient and profitable, and that elevates the entire economy.
Business is part of society. For entrepreneurship to be a mainstream and routine business practice, it must reflect its society’s view of how the world should work and how human beings should behave.
Entrepreneurship is a process of fundamental transformation: from innovative idea to enterprise and from enterprise to value. Thus, entrepreneurship is more than a business practice. It derives from business but can operate in any rate in any realm of human endeavor. Entrepreneurship merges the visionary and the pragmatic [and] integrates the entrepreneur, with society. Unavoidably, therefore, entrepreneurship is an exercise in social responsibility.
Megginson et al. (1994) state that an entrepreneur starts and runs a business mainly to achieve success, profit and personal growth; and that his/her principal characteristics are being innovative with the ability to employ strategic management practices. The entrepreneur is willing to act in order to follow his or her vision, to grab an opportunity, when others will not even consider the idea or the risk involved.
Reasons for Owning a Business
Independence / Freedom
Passion for a cause or idea
Lifestyle (live on a farm, raise children…)
Potential equity payoff
No choice (Can’t get a job!)
Family tradition or family obligation
As its title suggests, this book deals with innovation and technology management, as well as with entrepreneurship. You have already begun to get an idea how the three interrelate.
Innovation and its management include building and encouraging an innovative organization – one in which most or all employees notice innovations created elsewhere, think about how these innovations could improve their own firm’s business, create (and help each other create) innovations within the walls of the firm, help clients use innovative products, and reach a point at which a high percentage of the firm’s sales are made up of new and innovative products – thus helping the firm stay differentiated from, and ahead of, competitors.
Broadly speaking, technology management includes technology policy, R&D management, new product development, technology forecasting, technology scanning, technology assessment, technology substitution, technology acquisition, technology transfer, technology adoption, technology diffusion, intellectual property management, and technology marketing. A long list of intimidating terms! All of them will become clear as this section proceeds, and in subsequent chapters of this book.
In these early decades of the 21st century, the pace of technological advance is staggering. This is true not only in well-established technological areas such as transportation, communications, computers, and agriculture, but in new-to-the-world arenas like biotechnology, nanotechnology, and cognitive technologies. Even in more stable times there are opportunities for technology entrepreneurs, but in times like the present, as we shall see, technological change creates a world of abundant entrepreneurial opportunity.
It is, as well, a world of abundant risk. Consider these recent changes, which even the experts failed to predict:
Analog television broadcasts in the US are history; from now on, only digital TV broadcasting. Microsoft wanted to control the TV set-top box; instead, it is Tivo. Advertisers panic over the idea that Tivo users won’t watch ads.
Music and movie executives panic similarly, as artists record their own CDs and young consumers embrace peer-to-peer file sharing and copying of music and movies. Oh, and TVs don’t use cathode ray tubes any more; we just hang flat-panel TVs on the wall.
Hollywood’s still hot, but Bollywood movies, Korean soap operas, and even Nollywood (Nigerian movies) are rocking the world. But newly released video/computer games outsell new movies!
No sooner were supply chains re-fitted with laser-readable bar codes when these became obsolete and now logistics are run by means of radio frequency identification devices (RFID).
These developments suggest everything is moving faster, but we face long-term technological challenges as well: Climate change; the archiving of digital information; the safe handling of hazardous and toxic wastes; nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament in a post-Cold War world.
The hottest and fastest-growing cellular (mobile) phone ventures pop up in Finland, Kenya, and India.
After equally auspicious starts, eBay will last; Yahoo may not.
There is a boom in demand for security and anti-terrorism technologies: Cryptography, statistical profiling, authorization and authentication, intrusion detection, firewalls, surveillance, bio-sensors, “robotic noses,” data integrity, and facial recognition systems are just a few of the demand areas for new products.
One expert, the late Arthur C. Clarke, did predict that long-distance phone calls would become free, and that it would happen about now. But no one listened, except perhaps the founders of Skype!
It is easy to imagine both the opportunities for financial disaster for those who guessed wrong about these shifts, and the profit opportunities for those who might have guessed right and acted in a timely way.
Much has been learned from these events, too. It’s now clearer what works in ecommerce, in particular, what leads a customer to trust a non-local merchant whose only “face” is a home page. We have become more sophisticated about intellectual property (IP) management, using patents not only to protect a firm’s own technologies, but to set industry standards, negotiate cross-licenses, and threaten counter-suits when the firm faces infringement lawsuits.
In the international IP arena, “life patents” have become a contentious issue, as multinational firms seem to strip a developing nation’s genetic patrimony. On the import side, as local farmers grow genetically modified crops, they become economic captives of foreign seed companies. Ecological damage is a danger in both cases. On the technology policy side, World Trade Organization rules will change what is possible with local-content and technology transfer requirements for foreign investors. Books could be written about whether these social changes are beneficial or not; what’s certain is that they all present entrepreneurial opportunities.
They present worries also. Table 1.2 shows the results of a survey of CEOs of technology-intensive companies. The Table makes it clear that these concerns are very different for leaders of large, established firms, and for leaders of small and entrepreneurial companies.
Table 1.2. Biggest concerns of technology leaders
In large companies:
In small, growing companies:
Accelerating innovation Managing R&D for business growth
Access to pertinent, useful information Networking: making the right industry contacts
Integration of technology planning with business strategy
Compliance with national, state & local regulations
Balancing long-term, short-term R&D focus
Attracting qualified employees
Measuring & improving R&D productivity
Making the right IT/IS investments
Cycle-time reduction in R&D, IT/IS
Access to educated workforce
When will the recession end?
Access to capital
Kinds of entrepreneurial innovation
An entrepreneurial venture may be built on a product innovation, a process innovation, a financial innovation, or an organizational innovation. It may even be based on a marketing innovation, perhaps by finding an attractive way to present a product (whose current market is saturated) to a new and growing customer base. Table 1.3 shows examples of each kind of innovation. These are just examples. The scope of innovation is limited only by the entrepreneur’s imagination and by the technology that may be brought to bear.
Table 1.3. The kinds of entrepreneurial innovation, with examples
Type of innovation
The Segway scooter
A robotic assembly line
Mutual funds of high-risk bonds
Outsourcing customer service to a phone bank in India
As we shall see, venture investors like a “10x advantage.” This means that in the high-risk game of investing in entrepreneurial start-ups, an adequate return can only come from an innovation that offers an order-of-magnitude improvement in the customer’s productivity, health, wealth, or enjoyment, relative to the alternatives now available to that customer.
The familiar marketing concept of “product category” is therefore not relevant when we speak of entrepreneurial innovation. A product category is a set of comparable products that a certain customer segment sees as reasonable substitutes. A new way of delivering the same benefit with a 10x advantage is in no way comparable to any existing offering. An entrepreneurial innovation almost always constitutes a new product category, all its own, with all the increased expense and difficulty of marketing that that implies.
It is tempting for the entrepreneur to think that a 10x advantage will sell itself. “If you build a better mouse trap, the world will beat a path to your door.” This is not true at all, and in fact, the greater the implied change from the status quo, the greater the customer’s resistance to the change. 10x is a big change. That is why it is always easier to bring to market an incremental improvement to an existing product category.1 Entrepreneurial business plans routinely underestimate the marketing budget and marketing ingenuity needed for success.
Technology cycles and entrepreneurial opportunity
When a true innovation is introduced to the market, there is uncertainty and there is competition.2 Eventually, one standard or design dominates, and market growth is predictable until later in the life cycle, when growth slows. At that point, still newer technologies will be introduced, creating a “technology substitution” situation. In Figure 1.1, the uncertain competition phases of the life cycle are shown as a fuzzy line, and the more predictable middle phase as a solid line. One might consider the delivery of broadband digital services to the home to be an apt example. Early in the life cycle, DSL competed with coaxial cable as the delivery mechanism. It looks (at least in the United States) as if cable is winning. In the future, when the growth of cable slows, satellite or other delivery mechanisms might gain dominance.
Large, established companies don’t like to take on the risks of these “fuzzy ends,” but entrepreneurs are willing to do so. It is in the interest of the large firms to let the entrepreneurs take on the risks. Later, the large firms will benefit from the entrepreneurs’ innovations, either by buying the more successful entrepreneurial firms, or by establishing supplier relationships with them.
Predictability and the technology life cycle.
Technological effects through the life cycle.
(c) Who takes the risks?
Figure 1.1. The technology life cycle
Technology fusion and entrepreneurial opportunity
Technology fusion is the term used to describe the trend to combining existing technologies into new products.3 In a Harvard Business Review article, Fumio Kodama (1992) claimed that when markets drive the R&D agenda, market data are translated into a product concept. The product concept, in turn, drives development projects that draw technologies from multiple sources. Moreover, Kodama continues, there is now such a smorgasbord of recent technological advances in the world’s companies, industries, and regions that a company can introduce new products in this way for decades without resorting to further fundamental scientific research. He contrasts this process of technology fusion to that of developing new products by directing R&D effort at the linear progress of an individual technology. Kodama’s thesis has wide implications:
No single company can master all the technologies it needs to succeed in a competitive marketplace. Today’s business environment is necessarily rich in licensing, outsourcing, and all the other mechanisms of inter-firm technology transfer.
Technology scanning takes on greater importance. Companies need to gather intelligence from broader channels than have been generally considered in the past – and from more than the obvious competitors. A company’s “invisible competitors” are in a different industry and possess technology that could become a threat if turned to new markets. An example was the threat to disk drive companies from flash memory semiconductor makers.
Alliances are the order of the day. Technology fusion grows out of long term R&D ties with a variety of companies across many different industries.
Globalization is driven by the need to fuse technologies and to assess diverse market needs, as well as (of course) by capital liberalization.
Let us do a simple calculation to illustrate the immense entrepreneurial opportunities implied by technology fusion. Let’s consider 100 available (licensable) technologies. Most entrepreneurs will not try to combine more than three or four of these at a time. How fast does grow? is the formula for the number of possible distinct combinations of 100 things taken two, three, or four at a time.) There are 167,000 ways to combine three technologies out of 100. There are four million ways to combine four of 100 technologies!
Suppose there are one thousand companies in the region that can sustain an R&D portfolio of 30 projects each. There are more 3-combinations than those companies can handle! Suppose further that 20,000 students, 50,000 corporate employees, and 30,000 lone-wolf inventors in the region want to be entrepreneurs. The total of 130,000 would-be entrepreneurs and corporate R&D projects do not exhaust the 167,000 possibilities that arise from combining only three technologies. There are more combinations than entrepreneurs. (Naturally, not all the combinations will be technically feasible or meet a market demand.)
It takes skill at networking and alliance formation, even to learn about the existence and relevance of so many technologies, not to mention gain practical access to them. As we shall see, entrepreneurship facilitation programs, run by cities, states, and universities, are keys to helping entrepreneurs gain these networking and alliance skills.
This does not imply that one innovative product or process makes a successful entrepreneurial company. In some kinds of economies, investors will invest in a company that has just one product. In other economies, they will only invest in companies showing a potential for a continuing stream of innovative products.
Vision. A vision describes what the state of things will be when the firm’s mission has been fulfilled. More particularly, vision also means a picture of how the firm’s service or product fits into the lives of its customers. The entrepreneur will devise both an over-arching vision and a particular, customer-level vision. The first, over-arching kind of vision might be “no schoolchild without a hot lunch every day,” or Coca-Cola’s “world in perfect harmony.” The cellular “family plan” – selling multiple cellular phones at a discount to members of a single family – is an instance of a customer-level vision of busy families keeping in touch for convenience, safety, and emotional closeness.
The over-arching vision excites employees and customers. The customer-level vision, if it truly connects with the needs and lifestyles of customers, inspires investors. Combining both kinds of vision, the entrepreneur is able to change the world with new ideas, new products, and new organizations.
An entrepreneur’s enlightened vision accelerates other people’s acceptance of his new ideas, or his new presentations of old ideas.
The conventional wisdom of marketing holds that technology is easily duplicated. Therefore, the conventional wisdom goes, the first entrant must prolong his/her pioneer’s advantage by offering superior service, and the late entrant must differentiate his/her product by offering even better service. This is a dangerous half-truth.
Effective entrepreneurs believe their product will change the world. Their technically capable competitors delay entering the market because they do not believe the world is ready for such a product, at least at this price. The entrepreneurs’ first-entrant advantage, if he has any at all, lies in the superior force of his vision, in his ability to change the world one customer at a time, or many customers at a time.
Risk taking. “The real stories about successful high-technology start-ups are not about technical breakthroughs ... or products,” says the Wall Street Journal. “Rather, they are about unusual people with powerful ideas who are driven to do extraordinary things and are confident in their abilities to succeed.”4
When wooing John Sculley to Apple from Pepsico, Steve Jobs asked, “John, do you want to change the world, or do you want to peddle soda water for the rest of your life?” Jobs did not ask whether Sculley wanted to forecast the future, but whether he wanted to change it. This is how today’s “entreprenerds” deal with the risky future: First, identify a new, basic technology that will spawn whole new classes of products. Second, know more about that technology than anyone else. Third, inflict the technology on the world in the form of an audaciously marketed product. Fourth, watch for follow-on, spin-off, and tiein opportunities – and take them.
Many fast-growth entrepreneurs are younger people who can well tolerate risk. After all, if they lose everything, they still have time to recover and start again. How, you might ask, could they lose everything? Investors want to know the entrepreneur has a personal stake in the business, and they are less likely to invest in businesses into which the founder has not put substantial personal funds.
An entrepreneur may subject herself to less pressure by structuring her company and its funding as a partnership or non-profit corporation, or by using only friends-and-family funding. However, she must consider whether such a structure will support the spending needed to establish a firm position in the market.
Firms can be divided into the three broad categories of elephant - large-scale enterprise, ant - small low growth firm, and gazelle - high growth entrepreneurial firm. In this section, the various growth strategies of gazelles, or high growth entrepreneurial firms (HGEFs) are introduced. (They will be expanded upon in the next two chapters.) This is done in the context of the new competitive landscape that is forming due to the influence of revolutionary technological development, and globalization.
Growth-oriented entrepreneurs are individuals who actively seek growth and engage in expansion activities for their business. HGEFs can increase their financial performance by choosing either a low cost producer strategy, or a high quality producer strategy.
The New Competitive Landscape (NCL)
An NCL is forming around us (Bettis and Hitt, 1995), which is characterized by rapid and unpredictable change, creating in its wake a number of challenging conditions for all firms. The main drivers this NCL are the technological revolution, and increasing globalization. There is ample evidence of significant growth opportunities in the NCL, despite or perhaps because of the environment of intense competition and rivalry among firms. Schumpeter maintained that entrepreneurship disrupts stability and creates disequilibrium. Entrepreneurship, according to Schumpeter, is a function primarily of the behavior of two groups, entrepreneurs and capitalists. The former to create new resource combinations in response to exogenous technical changes, the latter to provide resources to support the commercialization of the new resource combinations. Thus, HGEF’s play a central role in the pursuit of the NCL’s market based opportunities. Additionally, they play a major role in the development of new industries, especially technologically advanced ones. While the top Fortune 500 firms in the US retrenched around five million employees during the past decade, HGEF’s created new employment opportunities for about thirty million people. At the same time though, the NCL is creating significant additional management challenges for entrepreneurial firms, resulting from the increasing number, variety and interrelationships among tasks required to efficiently operate the entrepreneurial venture.
Entrepreneurial Firm Growth and Intensity
Growth is the very essence of entrepreneurship, and is the primary distinguishing factor between small business and entrepreneurship (Sexton and Smilor, 1997). With continuing growth, entrepreneurs are challenged to find new markets, develop new products and pursue now business opportunities. Although entrepreneurship is a process “fraught with uncertainty and ambiguity” (Jelinek and Littere, 1995), successful entrepreneurship results when firms embrace and even create ambiguity rather than try to deny its existence.
Desired growth can be realized through effective managerial skills in developing and managing growth. These managerial skills include entrepreneurial intensity, which is the ability to take risks and be innovative and proactive (Covin and Slevin, 1991). Entrepreneurially intense firms demonstrate competitive aggressiveness, challenging competitors directly and intensely in order to outperform them (Lumpkin and Dess, 1996).
Strategies for High Growth Entrepreneurial Firms
“Has my firm selected the right strategy?” and “Can we execute our strategy effectively and efficiently?” are two questions that every HGEF must ask continuously. The ultimate purpose of competitive strategy is for the firm to achieve a sustainable advantage. In pursuit of market opportunities, competitive strategy demands that firms choose a set of activities that differ from those selected by rivals in order to deliver a unique value to the marketplace. There are three basic strategies, low cost producer, high quality producer and time-based producer.
Low Cost Strategy. This requires a standard set of product characteristics that satisfies customers and does not increase prices above what customers are willing to pay, nor that of competitors prices.
High Quality Strategy. Produce products with the highest levels of quality, relative to competitors offerings that can be sold to customers at what they perceive is an acceptable price.
Time Based Strategy. Speed is the essence of competitiveness, and allows taking advantage of the competitors lack of preparedness. Speed can allow the firm to surprise its competitors; exploit rivals weaknesses, build competitive momentum, and gain market share, achieving greater legitimacy in the marketplace and improved access to capital.
The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor collected and analyzed entrepreneurial activities and evaluated them in 42 countries. The conceptual model of new business creation and its link with economic development is shown in Figure 1.2. In this model political, social, cultural, legal, technological and environmental factors play a role in providing entrepreneurial opportunities. Most of the entrepreneur’s decisions are taken at the individual level. These decisions are influenced, however, by the entrepreneur’s national and ethnic culture.
Nevertheless, in a country’s environment, culture is embedded and socioeconomic, political, economic, legal and environmental factors will always be influenced by a country’s culture. The author has therefore done a brief analysis of these factors in Peru and the Netherlands in order to analyze how these factors influence entrepreneurial these activities.
The Netherlands GDP per capita in 2006 was US$40,530 and US$3,350 for Peru. However, the GDP growth in Peru was 6.4 in 2005, 7.7% in 2006, 8.5% in 2007, and 8.3% in 2008, and has shown a dramatic growth from 1975 to 2002 of 250%. The GDP growth for the Netherlands was 2.5% in 2005 and 2.9 in 2006 (World Bank, 2002).
The Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries in the world with 16.5 million inhabitants and Peru has a population of 28.5 million which is mainly concentrated in the capital city, Lima, with a population of 8.2 million inhabitants. The population growth in Peru is 1.1% per year and 0.1% per year for the Netherlands (World Bank, 2002). Netherlands. The poverty level in Peru has decreased to 42.5 % of the population whereas in the Netherlands it is only 4% (Sikken, 1997).
In Peru, the reasons to start a business are mainly to increase income level, known as necessity entrepreneurship (Cueva, 2007); in the Netherlands more than 40% of the early-stage entrepreneurial activities start a business because they seek independence and almost 20% because they perceive they can take an advantage of an opportunity (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, 2008). Necessity entrepreneurship is usually higher in developing as a way to increase their socioeconomic level.
Taxes in the Netherlands support the social security system, which provides security for those who can no longer work. The principle is that “people who are afflicted by unemployment, invalidity or illness must be put in a position to exercise their political and civic rights on an equal footing” (European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, 2007). In Peru, the goal is to reduce the level of poverty.
Under the Peruvian legal system, individuals are permitted to do whatever is not forbidden by law, which makes easier in starting a business. In the Netherlands, there are more requirements and exceptions given to each of the rules and laws, which make it more difficult for a business to react or to be aware of this entire regulatory environment. Moreover, in Peru at least 60% of the businesses operate within the informal market structure (Loayza, 2008); in the Netherlands the regulatory environment discourages and prevents entrepreneurs from starting informal businesses.
Figure 1.2. Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Conceptual Model (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, 2006)
Environmental protection remains a common concern in the Netherlands (National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, 2001). The proportion of Dutch citizens that considered that environmental protection an important issue was around 80% in 1995 (Eurobarometer, 1995). In Peru, the awareness of environmental issues has not yet been properly dealt with by the government, for example there is no governmental institution to protect the environment.
Peru has the highest Entrepreneurial Activity Rate in the world. Yet little is known about the characteristics of Peruvian women entrepreneurs and the challenges they face, despite the growing participation of women in the economy. In the United Status and Canada, the problems that women suffer in their enterprises have been studied. Schwartz (1976) identified as the main problem at the moment of starting a US female-owned enterprise, discrimination in the access to credit.
The backgrounds of entrepreneurs as well as the motivations behind the entrepreneurial activity, this study explores demographic, educational, working and family background, and their relation with the factors that have stimulated women to become entrepreneurs, using the case of women entrepreneurs in Peru. It also explores the nature of enterprises that are property of women, their administrative/managerial skills and the main obstacles that they face to start and make their enterprises grow.
Twenty-four cases of women entrepreneurs were reviewed, the names of the women have been modified, and pseudonyms have been used. Second: the factors that influenced women to decide on becoming entrepreneurs (a) circumstances and (b) motives.
Gabriela Molina is older (44), educated, married with four children. She has run a construction business for 14 years, and employs 45 people. Silvia Lima is 20 years old, unmarried and childless. She took over a textile design and printing business that employs eleven and has existed for six years.
Gabriela was born in Lima. She is a systems engineer, and she worked as such for 21 years before completely devoting herself to her enterprise. She ran for the Peruvian Congress and for a regency in the metropolitan town hall. She married very young and got divorced. She had to support her son by herself for many years; as a divorced woman she had to manage her home without any help from her ex-husband. At the same time, she stood out in her jobs as a highly prepared professional. This way, she made an upward career, and reached managerial positions at a young age. At 30 she married her current husband, with whom she has had three more children.
Her father migrated from Huancabamba to Lima to study medicine at Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, where he graduated as a doctor in Medicine, specializing in Anesthesiology. Gabriela’s mother was always a housewife. There were eight children in her family, including her.
Gabriela, along with her husband, created a building enterprise 14 years ago with both their savings. She considers that her enterprise will secure her future when her children move from home to form their own families. Her enterprise activity (building) is not directly related with her education and previous work. However, her dream was always being an architect. She considers her enterprise to be successful and hopes for it to grow in the future.
Why did you decide to create your enterprise? Because we faced the need of creating an enterprise, because our career went upwards. Because it went upwards, it would reach a point when we wouldn’t be able to achieve many management positions… or higher. Then we said “What else will there be in the future for us?” Then we said “there must be something we can do” Something of our own. Something if this ends one day. A “stable” job, shall we say, because there are no stable jobs nowadays. What’s left for us? Then we decided to start an enterprise.
Silvia was born in Lima 20 years ago. She lives in the district of Breña, with her parents. Her father studied up to secondary school and did some free training courses to work in a bank as moneylender; that was his last job until he started and directed the family enterprise in 2003. Her mother finished secondary school, worked for a time at a shoe store as a clerk and then became a housewife. There are three children in her family, including her: two men and a woman. She is the middle child. She is single and has not had children.
While she studied secondary school, she studied Computing as a technical career. At 17, she had already finished both. She had two jobs for only two months. After that, she joined her father enterprise because his health was frail because of his intense entrepreneurial activity. She is currently the administrator and co-owner of the enterprise created four years ago by her father, devoted to textile design and print.
Her family lives with her in the house that is also the premises for the enterprise. Her younger brother is still in school and her older brother is an employee in a company. Silvia spends most of her time in the enterprise and does not have much time for her family and friends. It is not easy for her to direct the enterprise, and she is encouraged by her father and uncle, who always keep her motivated to continue developing her business. Silvia Lima became an entrepreneur at 17, at the start of their work life without any outstanding previous work experience.
I became an entrepreneur…by circumstance, rather than by experience. Considering that my Dad was alone in the enterprise. The moment came when he got sick and I was scared… if something happens to Dad, this will go bankrupt…The fear that something could happen to him and that everything could go bankrupt and we’d end up with nothing…I want my family…may have in the future…what I don’t have… leave this enterprise to my siblings and for Loan Soul Graphic to be known internationally…that’s what I wish for.
Gabriela Molina studied system engineering, but she always wanted to be an architect. Later, she created her own building company:
But why do I also dare to become an entrepreneur in the building industry? Because I always wanted to be an architect. It was a pricey career to choose at that time, and I didn’t have the resources. So, I took it as a hobby. (Gabriela Molina)
The only case where previous work experience has not been related to the current enterprise is when the decision to become entrepreneur comes from family succession. Such is the case of Silvia Lima, who joined the family business to help her sick father:
And it was really out of need that I decided to work too. Hop in and manage the enterprise with Dad. (Silvia Lima)
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