Nature or nurture? Of course it has at least something to do with the individual, but no entrepreneur is an island. To be successful, it takes context; it takes circumstances, and it takes other men and women. A business is a community, not an individual.
“The entrepreneur’s ‘resource potential’ and the organic square of entrepreneurship: definition and application to the French case”, by Dimitri Uzunidis, Sophie Boutillier and Blandine Laperche (and recently published in the Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship), takes a close look at this intersection of individual potential, conditioning and social opportunity that eventually gives life to an entrepreneur and his business. It makes for an interesting study, one that starts from a specific theory and then looks at a practical case study of businesses in France.
As the authors explain, the purpose of this work is to study the origin of the entrepreneur and the conditions required for success. It all begins with the individual before then seeking to understand what makes up the entrepreneur’s “resource potential”. So one may not be born an entrepreneur, but it does take something in order to get started—a union of knowledge, character, relationships and financial resources. Then comes all the rest—what really brings this potential to the fore and allows it to develop—the socio-economic context that Uzunidis, Boutillier and Laperche describe in an intriguing manner, as the “organic square of entrepreneurship”, i.e. a virtual setting in which the entrepreneur’s potential, the marketplace, the layout of the economy and public policy all come together. Or coming back to our initial idea, even the most talented entrepreneurs can’t do it all on their own.
This is all then “tested” on the French economy and system of enterprise by analysing the practical implications of this theory. Then, through a series of statistical calculations, the authors determine why and how French entrepreneurs come to be and then further develop.
But the work of Uzunidis et al. is also interesting for another idea that it offers. Looking at the conditions needed for an entrepreneur to be born, the authors explain that the more prominent the entrepreneur on the economic scene, the more important these conditions become. One line from the paper is particularly striking: “The entrepreneur is also at the heart of the political debate, his existence and durability being considered as the reason for economic growth.”
The entrepreneur’s ‘resource potential’ and the organic square of entrepreneurship: definition and application to the French case
Dimitri Uzunidis, Sophie Boutillier, Blandine Laperche
Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship 2014, 3:1