9 Main Functions of an Entrepreneur


By: Site Engineer, Staff

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The mastery of the necessary function of the entrepreneur by the entrepreneur himself goes a long way in helping him achieve his set goals.

It becomes an easier task when an entrepreneur knows what he is supposed to do as his own function which is already enumerated above though not exhaustive. For a successful entrepreneurship programme to take root in any country, the government should equally play its own role, which is as important as the entrepreneurs’ role.

For the success of entrepreneurial business pursuit, a lot of activities are involved which constitute the functions of an entrepreneur.

These activities include creative thinking, identification of investment opportunities, making decisions, bearing risks, establishing the business enterprise, creation of employment opportunities, marketing, and innovation, management, planning and control of the enterprise.

Economic and social freedom of any country has a great locus on seriousness placed on the entrepreneurship pursuit by such country.

Presently entrepreneurship is now gaining a firm ground in developing countries as a practicable academic discipline, which if properly harnessed will propel their economic reliance in this contemporary world.

The entrepreneurial functions are:

1. Creative Thinking

This involves new ideas and the capability of an entrepreneur to do something in a new way that nobody has thought of. It is the duty of an entrepreneur to be creative. In fact, as long as he lives, he has to continue to develop new products, new marketing territories or new techniques in doing things to improve efficiency.

Creativity can be in different forms:

  • Duplication or ideas in a more creative form
  • Synthesis of information or ideas from newspapers, journals, magazines, salesmen, and consumers into integrated filtered creative thought for usual works
  • Filling up the missing things in original ideas

Creative thinking an equally come in different ways like innovation which enables the entrepreneur to develop new products, new distribution outlets, new suppliers, new technology etc and extension, which involves expanding the current boundaries of the enterprise, by making use of the already worked ideas in other ventures in one area or country.

2. Identification of Investment Opportunities

One of the major functions of an entrepreneur is to be able to identify the business or investment opportunities surrounding him. The entrepreneur should be able to identify the consumer’s needs and wants and how best to satisfy them through the accurate provision of goods and services.

The entrepreneur should identify these investment opportunities and have certain things clearly in his mind namely:

  • Examine of himself as per his capacity to provide or fill the needs through the provision of goods and services.
  • The ability of such needs to create a satisfactory profit for the entrepreneur through size or volume of the market therein.
  • The availability of the present unsatisfied needs and wants of the consumers in a given environment which the entrepreneur will set out to satisfy.

These business opportunities are not always easy to identify unless one has “entrepreneurial eye”, which will help him to intuitively recognize those opportunities. Such business opportunities could equally be recognized through market research, business survey or Industrial Development Centers (IDCS) or any financial institutions, like Bank for Commence and Industrial (BCI) and Industrial and Development Bank (NIDB) and so on.

3. Acquisition and Selection of Opportunities

The right acquisition and resources by entrepreneur would enable him to achieve his objectives. As a function he has to do it well and how well and qualitatively these resources are chosen to determine how efficiently and effectively these resources are managed. These resources are materials, men, money, and machinery, also known as the 4Ms.

4. Making Decisions

At this regard, a decision has to be taken from a myriad of investment opportunities facing an entrepreneur on which one to pursue.

In taking a decision, the entrepreneur should take many things into consideration like his personal capabilities and interest which will encourage him to pursue aggressively the venture despite its attendant problems.

The entrepreneur should equally take a decision on how to cope with the risks involved, the technical capacity he has on the venture involved and the availability of resources to start the project. To sum up, the entrepreneur should take a decision on whether the profit of the venture will be able to cover the risks involved so as to ensure continued growth, with the regular supply of infrastructures like electricity, water, telephone services, and good roads.

5. Risk Bearing

One of the major functions of the entrepreneur is risk bearing, which is borne in two ways, namely:

  • Insurable risk
  • Unsystematic risks

These risks are avoidable and diversifiable, which means they can be reduced or transferred to a third party, for example, an insurance company, such as the risk of accident, theft, fire, flood and other disasters. Risk bearer is another name for the entrepreneur.

Also, the entrepreneur bears non-insurable risk or systematic risks. These are risks that cannot be passed to a third party (i.e., non-diversifiable or unavoidable), such as overall market risks, as changes in government policy, tax reform by the government, changes in interest rate and foreign exchange adverse natural accidents, etc. The entrepreneur can minimize these risks through proper training, forecasting and experience.

6. Creation of Employment Opportunity to People

The whole idea about entrepreneurship is about self-employment and which will generate employment opportunity to others that must work with him as he cannot work alone.

7. Marketing and Innovation

The whole concept of marketing is about consumer satisfaction; so the objectives of any business should lie outside the business by satisfying the customer through innovation of ideas, goods and services.

The provision of new skills, improvement of management, modification of modem technology and changes in the actual production, all constitute an innovation, which the entrepreneur must articulate, if he is to deliver properly.

8. Establishing the Enterprise

Establishment of the enterprise is another major function of the entrepreneur because after having identified the opportunity, selected the identified opportunity taken the decision and born the inherent avoidable and non-avoidable risks, without establishing the enterprise, the entrepreneur cannot claim to have succeeded, unless the enterprise is established and properly managed.

9. Management, Planning and Control

These three elements of entrepreneurial function are paramount because they are the anchor point in the success or failure of the entrepreneur who must plan, manage and control his enterprise if he is to survive in this highly dynamic and turbulent business landscape that characterizes the contemporary business world.

The entrepreneur should be advised that as he plans with the expected, he should equally plan to cope with the unexpected.


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