Opinion

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Are entrepreneurs born or made?

3 Mins

Surely I can’t be the only person wishing they would put these resources into helping those of us who have actually taken the leap into business already?

I don’t want to come over as a miserable you-know-what, but I’m not even sure that promoting entrepreneurialism as a career option to the masses is a great idea – and the reason I say this is because I tend to think that entrepreneurs are born.

I take myself as a case in point. My mother, a teacher for more than 35 years, always encouraged me to take the conventional route of education followed by a traditional career. I complied and greatly enjoyed the experiences of college and university, but I always knew I wanted to run a business.

By the second year of my law course at university I was sure I didn’t want to enter a legal career and wanted to run my own business, despite the fact that I had been brought up with the idea that a profession would be the best way for me to go.

You only need to look at entrepreneurs like Alan Sugar, Duncan Bannatyne and Richard Branson to see that the best entrepreneurs are gifted with certain personality profiles that make them designed for the job. They simply find themselves becoming entrepreneurs against the odds – not because someone has suggested it as an alternative to being an engineer or a doctor.

As many of you reading this will no doubt agree, being an entrepreneur is not a job; it’s a lifestyle. People going into business need to have the energy, enthusiasm and motivation to carry them through the inevitable challenges they will face, ensuring that usually only those who want it badly enough can get moving as entrepreneurs.

That said, I am very prepared to be proven wrong and will be the first to congratulate anyone who does well as a result of these government schemes. I am actually more than willing to help if possible and have accepted an invitation to form part of a panel for a Q&A session for 500 or so young people, aged 16 to 20. This will be held in Manchester in November in conjunction with the IoD, so perhaps it will change my mind. Until then, I remain a sceptic.

These various government bodies have a budget they must spend on highlighting an already popular (yet often difficult) lifestyle choice. I just can’t help but imagine what existing businesses could do with this money.

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