Home > Articles

This chapter is from the book

1.21 Opportunity and the Entrepreneur

What most of researchers would agree upon is that regardless of what drives an individual, or regardless of what form entrepreneurship takes, there is a fundamental requirement for an opportunity to exist even if the entrepreneur is doing a business out of necessity. A person intending to become an entrepreneur has to somehow perceive that an opportunity exists. Whether that opportunity is viable as a basis for venture creation is a different issue entirely. Usually, the person who sees an opportunity thinks it is a good one. To reflect this reality, we have for years used a definition of entrepreneurship, which was originally offered by two Harvard Business School colleagues, Stevenson and Jarillo (1990) that we find most appropriate. This definition also is useful for necessity entrepreneurs (who are forced to find an opportunity). What is more important is that it allows for both Kirzner’s and Schumpeter’s entrepreneurs to exist. This definition was originally:

  • Entrepreneurship is the process by which individuals—either on their own or inside organizations—pursue opportunities without regard to the resources currently control.

While this may not be a great operational definition for scientific research purposes, it allows us to cast a board net over who are entrepreneurs. It allows one to see how stories about entrepreneurs reflect this definition in both new firms, existing family firms, and even in large, multinational corporations.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account