Business Fundamentals | Functions of a Business | Entrepreneurship | Finance | Summative Project

Characteristics of Entrepreneurs | Invention and Innovation

Characteristics and Skills of an Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur Slideshow - BBI - Unit 3.ppt

Worksheet - Characteristics of Entrepreneur
Worksheet - Skills of Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurial Characteristics

Not everyone wants to be an entrepreneur and run their own business. Being an entrepreneur requires specific characteristics and skills that are often achieved through education, hard work, and planning.

Risk Taker

Businesses face risk. Entrepreneurs minimize risk through research, planning, and skill development.


Entrepreneurs view problems as opportunities and challenges.


Entrepreneurs like to know how things work. They take the time and initiative to pursue the unknown.


Entrepreneurs are creative. They imagine solutions to problems that encourage them to create new products and generate ideas.


True entrepreneurs face bureaucracy, make mistakes, receive criticism, and deal with money, family, or stress problems. But they still stick to their dreams of seeing the venture succeed.


Entrepreneurs are motivated by the excitement of staring a new business. Once achieved, they seek out new goals or ventures to try.


Entrepreneurs need a great deal of energy to see a venture start and succeed. Yet they are not deterred by the long hours to achieve their goal.


Entrepreneurs believe in themselves. Their self-confidence takes care of any doubts they may have.


Entrepreneurs must be flexible in order to adapt to changing trends, markets, technologies, rules, and economic environments.


An entrepreneur’s desire for control and the ability to make decisions often makes it difficult for them to work in a controlled environment.

Entrepreneurial Skills

A skill is the ability to do something specific or to translate knowledge into action.

Research Skills

Entrepreneurs need to identify what they need to know and use research techniques to obtain it.

Gathering Information

Reliable and relevant sources of information may include
  • Books: Municipal libraries, educational institution libraries (such as universities), bookstores, government resource centres, book stores, etc. are places to access information written about business and business ownership.
  • Periodicals: Magazines, newspapers, newsletters, and trade journals and publications are excellent sources of current and industry specific information and secondary research.
  • Indexes and Databases:
    • A periodical index is a list of all articles published about specific topics over a period of time that gives the title, a brief description, and the name and date of the periodical in which the article appears.
    • A data base is a list of information organized by category, that are usually very specific (kite manufacturers) or very broad (Canadian businesses that export to the U.S.).
    • Some databases charge a fee, others are free.
    • Schools and libraries often provide access to some databases.
  • The Internet: See Table 10.1, “Using the Internet”, on page 319.
  • Consultants: Consultants are knowledgeable experts who charge for their services or work for organization such as universities, government departments and financial institutions that provide services for free to their clients.
  • Professionals: Experts such as accountants, lawyers, sales agents, and individuals who work for advertising agencies can assist entrepreneurs in the start-up stages of a business and on an on-going basis.
  • Schools: Entrepreneurs can access part-time and full-time programs at universities and colleges for a variety of business related subjects.

Using Information

After information is acquired, it needs to be sorted into relevant data that answers the entrepreneur’s initial questions. These questions may lead the entrepreneur to look at new ventures.

Management Skills

Management skills for entrepreneurs involve planning, organizing, directing, and controlling. These are then applied towards their personal, financial, and material goals.


Entrepreneurs develop financial, production, and marketing plans that comprise the overall business plan.


Organizing the venture is vital. The key to this is time-management.


Entrepreneurs learn how to motivate their staff by encouraging initiative and self-direction. This inspires a sense of shared responsibilities to grow the business.


Entrepreneurs need to develop budgets and keep accurate bookkeeping and accounting records.

Relationship Skills

Running a business means building good relationships with staff, suppliers, and customers.

Staff Relationships

Employees need to feel that they are treated fairly, are rewarded for their efforts, and have their needs met.

Supplier Relationships

Communication is the most important relationship skill required to deal with suppliers. They act as sources of information for the new business. Suppliers also require feedback to know how to improve their service.

Customer Relationships

In an entrepreneurial business, the customer is the “boss” and the key to the business’ success. Therefore, the entrepreneur and his or her staff must develop a positive relationship with the customer.

Venture Evaluation Criteria

An entrepreneur must develop a good business plan that is feasible, marketable, and profitable. Key points are below.

  • Feasibility― list the amount required in a budget including the source of capital (bank, credit union, and so on)
  • Location ― explain the location outlining the details (address, rent, taxes, and so on)
  • Licenses and permits ― list the licenses or permits and state how to obtain them
  • Suppliers ― make a list of everything required including the name of the suppliers and their prices and terms
  • Staff ― describe staffing needs and ways to meet them


  • Entrepreneurs need to ask themselves the following questions about their product, service, or charity:
  • Does your target market want this product? Prove it.
  • What is you competition? How much of the market do they own already? How will you take it away from them?
  • Are you competitively priced?
  • Is this a short-term venture? How long will it last?
  • What do you offer that no other product, service, or charity offers? Why would a customer pay money for what you provide?


To expect a profit, an entrepreneur must ensure that revenue exceeds all costs. Listing expected revenue and expenses can help to achieve this.

*special thanks to R. Edmondson for use of various course materials from the YRDSB