The Importance of Entrepreneurial Ecosystems
The past few years have both been record-breaking years for the entrepreneurship industry. Some attribute COVID-19 to accelerating the plans to launch for small business owners all across the globe: with an increase in layoffs, a major shift across every industry, and a unified move towards remote and virtual work, entrepreneurship is more attainable than ever before.
Many believe that the Great Resignation that started in 2021 could lead to a small business revolution in the coming years. In fact, Intuit’s latest report predicts that 17 million new small businesses will form in 2022 in another record-breaking year for entrepreneurship.
But why are so many leaving their stable jobs to embark on a career journey that is rife with risks? When those surveyed were asked why they decided to leave their jobs in 2021, many cited their unhappiness with how employers treated them during the pandemic, the low pay or lack of benefits, and a real lack of work-life balance.
Now, rather than move on to another employer, many of these individuals have decided to enter the world of entrepreneurship.
The Definition of Entrepreneurship
According to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary, the word entrepreneur is defined as, “one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise”.
Many colleges and universities (including Northern Michigan University) now offer the opportunity to major with a degree in entrepreneurship, but many in the industry believe that it’s not always a necessary step. While there are some key characteristics a successful entrepreneur must have, it also depends on your individual goals, your past experiences, and your baseline understanding of business and management.
Key Characteristics of an Entrepreneur
There are a few consistent characteristics all successful entrepreneurs display, regardless of their demographics or industry.
Curiosity: Entrepreneurs are known for asking a lot of questions and not being satisfied with the status quo. This allows you to continuously seek new opportunities and identify ways to make the world better in big and small ways!
Flexibility: Since entrepreneurship does require you to shoulder a certain level of risk and uncertainty, it’s crucial to be able to adapt to changes quickly. Learn from your mistakes and don’t be afraid to approach things from a totally new angle.
Persistence: Entrepreneurship is not for the weak of heart. It requires self-motivation, dedication, and an unnatural level of perseverance! Get comfortable with failure, trial and error, and being told “no”, and you’ll start to pave a path for your new idea or innovation that actually works.
Benefits of Entrepreneurship
There are so many benefits that come with the entrepreneurial journey — for both yourself, your community, and for the coming generations.
A recent study showed that the top three reasons entrepreneurs were motivated to go into business for themselves was to be their own boss, start something from scratch all by themselves, and an opportunity to earn more money than ever before. Beyond the autonomy and ability to create a career you are passionate about and that aligns with your values and beliefs, there are a variety of benefits that extend to the larger community.
As new businesses begin to grow, so does the job market and local economy. Entrepreneurs provide new job opportunities, boosting productivity and competition in new and existing markets. They are also instrumental in introducing innovative technologies, which positively impact the larger community on both a work and personal level.
And each of these benefits will continue to solidify a strong and thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem that will continue to grow, innovate, and expand for the future generations to come.
A Thriving Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
An entrepreneurial or business ecosystem is classified as a diverse set of individuals, businesses, and systems that support the creation and growth of new ideas and innovative possibilities within a community.
In order for this ecosystem to succeed, it must have four very crucial elements: people, technology, capital, and infrastructure.
Each of these entities within the ecosystem affects and is affected by others, creating a constantly evolving relationship between one another that must be characterized by flexibility and adaptability in order for the whole to survive.
The most successful entrepreneurial ecosystems act as talent magnets and innovation incubators, leading to greater economic and populace growth within a geographical region.
How Innovate Marquette Can help
Innovate Marquette is dedicated to providing valuable and accessible resources to innovators, entrepreneurs, and local businesses in the Marquette area. By identifying, nurturing, and cultivating new and innovative ideas, together we can uplift Marquette’s unique business ecosystem, driving new growth and success into every corner of our community. See how Innovate Marquette’s services and programs are driving the local entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Frequently Asked Questions About Innovation:
What does entrepreneurship really mean?
Entrepreneurship is defined as the process of setting up a new business, bearing most of the risks of the opportunity as well as the rewards. An entrepreneur is often viewed as an innovator, someone with new, fresh ideas, about certain goods, services, or business possibilities. Successful entrepreneurs will often grow their business concept into a full-fledged business, known as a startup.
What are the different types of entrepreneurship?
Not every version of entrepreneurship is the same — here are a four different types of businesses that can result from entrepreneurship:
Small Business Entrepreneurship: This is the concept of opening a business without any plans to build it into a large corporation or open multiple chains.
Scalable Startup: These companies start with a unique concept and after getting established, look to scale continuously, requiring multiple investors and large amounts of capital to grow the idea and reach multiple markets.
Large Company Entrepreneurship: This is a new division of business created within an already-established company. The existing company is able to branch out into other markets and industries, while maintaining their original business model as the parent organization.
Social Entrepreneurship: This type of entrepreneurship primarily looks to benefit society and all of humankind. It’s driven by helping communities or the environment through its products or services, never driven by profits but rather by helping the larger community.
What does Innovate Marquette mean by the term, “entrepreneurial ecosystem”?
An entrepreneurial or business ecosystem is a diverse set of individuals, businesses, and systems that support the creation and growth of new opportunities for the larger community. In order for an ecosystem to succeed, it has to have four important elements: people, technology, capital, and infrastructure. Each entity in the ecosystem affects and is affected by others, creating a constantly evolving relationship between each other that must be characterized by flexibility and adaptability in order to survive. The most successful entrepreneurial ecosystems act as talent magnets and innovation incubators, leading to greater economic and populace growth within the geographical region.
What is an example of a healthy entrepreneurial ecosystem?
In order for an ecosystem to succeed, it needs to have four very important elements: people, technology, capital, and infrastructure. Right now in Marquette, we’re seeing each of these components come together within our community. With the help of Innovate Marquette and other essential partners, there are a variety of accessible opportunities for businesses to leverage new technology, receive capital funding, and build the physical infrastructure needed to attract the best talent from around the world to the Marquette area.