This is summary of my presentation at the SIM ENTREPRENEURIAL FOUNDATION Stakeholders Forum held in Lagos, 30th June 2010.
THE ENTREPRENEUR'S PROFILE
FACT: In the U.S, a few decades ago, 90% of new entrepreneurs were either Engineers or people without university degrees, and this explains the rapid industrialisation of that economy. In Nigeria, 90% of start ups were either without university degrees or studied non technical subjects, leading to our trading economy.
Characteristics of Entrepreneurs:
- They fix problems rather than ponder over them.
- Academically, they score 'A's in subjects that are important to their careers and 'D's in others, showing a remarkable mindset that focuses on the majors, ignoring minors completely.
- They have naturally high energy levels, and are always thinking, or on the go.
- They like control over their destinies and are not often suitable employees in the traditional company.
- They are usually disciplined planners, communicate their vision well and also delegate well.
- They are extremely goal directed.
- They ignore opinions and criticisms that are not aligned with their vision.
- They have low tolerance for failure, in themselves or subordinates.
- They love challenges and dislike routine.
- They are driven, not by money in itself, but as a means to fulfill their vision.
The Entrepreneur's Team:
-FACT; 60% of your potential success depends on your founding management team. So, don't put your brother, wife, husband, if they are not qualified for the roles.
AXIOM 1: 1st rate men hire first rate men. 2nd rate men hire 3rd rate men. 3rd rate men hire 80% of your staff, and they will hire 4th rate men.
AXIOM 2: Engineers tend to hire engineers. Accountants tend to hire accountants, optimists tend to hire optimists, etc. Bring together people with complimentary, not duplicative talents, disciplines and personalities.
AXIOM 3: The Colonial British believed that "familiarity breeds contempt', and stressed that you cannot receive both respect and friendship from the same person at the same time. "stiff upper lip" was the order of the day. And they soon lost the Empire. make certain that you management team have mutual respect and likeness for each other. Don't build a management heirachy that opposes this.
AXIOM 4: When your business is small, you are the sole visionary and everyone else is subordinate. As your organisation grows, your management team should become your co-visionaries and leadership team.
In summary, not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. It is a leadership function. Pareto has already surmised that 80& of people are quite happy to be led. However, 90% of the gross domestic product (GDP) is created by the informal sector, the small businesses and entrepreneurs. A nation becomes rich by the sum total of its rich, tax paying employers.
Government may make policies, but its entrepreneurs that create wealth.