Md. Joynal Abdin
The Independent on August 21, 2019
Entrepreneurs are businessmen, investors and organizers who organize all factors of production, bear business risks to create products or provide services as profitable venture. A good entrepreneur not only takes profit but also creates self-employment and generates employment opportunities for others. Entrepreneurs are tax payers, revenue collectors, innovators, catalyst of technology transfer, commercialize new innovations, contributors to economic development and finally facilitate improvement of living standards of mass people. Academicians and scholars provided many definitions of entrepreneurs few of those could be narrated as follows:
- An entrepreneur is a businessman who assumes the risk of bringing together the means of production including capital, labor, and materials and receives his reward in profit from the market value of his product (Encyclopedia Americana, 1988).
- Entrepreneurs are people who have the ability to see and evaluate business opportunities together with the necessary resources to take advantages of them and to intimate appropriate action to ensure success (International Labor Organization (ILO).
- An entrepreneur searches for change, responds to it and exploit opportunities. Innovation is the specific tool of an entrepreneur (Peter F. Drucker).
From the above discussion, it is clear that an entrepreneur takes risks, organizes factors of production i.e. land, labor, capital, management, technology, and knowledge etc. to produce products or provide service from a profit motive. Easiest task of an entrepreneur could be buying product in lower price and selling the same at higher price to earn profit. But from the value addition point of views, higher value additions have chances to earn more profit.
It is a long debate among the scholars that, whether entrepreneurship is a by-born quality or could be created through proper mentorship and congenial business environment.
Some traits of entrepreneurs like creativity, opportunity identification capacity, innovation, dynamism, and risk taking ability etc. seems to be by born quality. On the other hand some entrepreneurship traits like self-motivation, self-confidence, time management, persistence, problem solving, flexibility, vision, leadership and technical knowledge etc. could be created through proper training and guidance. After a long debate it is proved that, entrepreneur can be created through proper training in a pro-business environment with adequate policy support from the government. Now come to the question, who are responsible for creating entrepreneur and why entrepreneurship is important for the society?
Primarily and most importantly, it is the government of a country who is responsible for enacting entrepreneurship friendly policy regime and creating pro-business environment by facilitating business logistics and other supports in a country. But there is a tendency among the bureaucrats that, businessmen will do business what the government have to do? & why the government will bear this pain to provide business support services? In general sense these questions are seems to be logical. But in dipper knowledge, there are clear distinction among the role of entrepreneurs and the government in creating a congenial business environment in a particular country.
Role of an entrepreneur includes idea generation, risk and uncertainty bearing, arranging finance, staffing, manufacturing, marketing, promoting etc. but the role of government includes policy / act inaction, implementation of appropriate policies, development of road, port and other logistics facilities, country branding, signing bi/multilateral agreements to promote products and investment so on and so forth. Therefore it is clear that; role of government could not be played by the entrepreneurs and vice a versa. To understand role of entrepreneurs concretely, we may have a look at the types of entrepreneurs from different points of views. For example; from the functional perspective entrepreneurs are 4 types as follows:
i. Innovative entrepreneurs: Entrepreneurs continuously strive to introduce new products in the market, new technologies and new markets to do business. Innovative entrepreneurs are generally having sound information and knowledge to introduce something novel in the market.
ii. Imitative entrepreneurs: Entrepreneurs imitate techniques and technologies innovated by others to start their own enterprise. They are ready to adopt the new innovations of successful entrepreneurs.
iii. Fabian entrepreneurs: Entrepreneurs are cautious and skeptic about bringing any change in their modus operandi or enterprises. They are reluctant to experiment with any change in their enterprise.
iv. Drone entrepreneurs: Entrepreneurs believe in status per quo. They suffer losses but never change the methods of doing their business.
Besides the above types, based on nature of business entrepreneurs are manufacturing entrepreneurs, service entrepreneurs, trading entrepreneurs, private entrepreneurs, state or public entrepreneurs, Joint entrepreneurs etc. All of the above mentioned roles are in-control of entrepreneurs but there are many factors uncontrollable to a person or community but could be controlled by the government, relevant agencies or other stakeholder. For example; economic condition of the country, political interference and law and order situation of the country etc. These factors are not controllable by private sector entrepreneurs but government or relevant government agencies are responsible for each of these functions. From the above discussion, role of government and role of entrepreneurs are quite clear.
To create entrepreneurs government has great roles including but not limited to create a policy framework and proper implementation, Co-ordinate with industry associations or Chamber of commerce and other trade bodies, Encourage entrepreneurship and support small entrepreneurs through grants and aid, Improve the education ecosystem to create well-paying jobs and ensure a pipeline of industry demanded skilled candidates for industry to hire, Create a business-friendly and people-friendly tax regime, Partner with countries around the world (free trade agreement, investment agreements etc.) so that the country can leverage economies of scale and innovation from across the world, Branding and Promoting the Country to get foreign investment as joint venture or FDI, Protect Intellectual Property and punish copyright infringement, Ensure comprehensive rule-of-law and protection to businesses and entrepreneurs etc.
Government should be active to create good entrepreneurs because entrepreneurs are to create new businesses, to generate employment opportunities, to organize the productive resources of the society, to organize capital, to reduce regional disparity, to encourage investigation and research, to minimize socioeconomic problems, to increase national income, increase standard of living, to pay taxes and increase government revenue etc. First step of creating good entrepreneurs could be establishing a specialized entrepreneurship development university / institute in Bangladesh. Secondly; government can identify most demanding requirements of tomorrow’s business world and facilitate training facilities to develop entrepreneurs of the identified skills.
Finally we can say that, Regulatory Reform Commission and Better Business Forum types of platforms could be reinstalled in any existing ministries / agencies to identify legal barriers / policy anomalies and suggest amendments in existing laws and policies which are hampering entrepreneurial ecosystem in Bangladesh. This will lead us towards a better entrepreneurial ecosystem in near future.