Understanding Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is a way of thinking; reasoning and acting that is fixated on an opportunity and is driven by great leaders. While inventors create something new, an entrepreneur assembles and then integrates all the resources needed to transform the invention into a viable business. Entrepreneurship results in the development and deployment of value, not just for owners but for all customers and stakeholders. The entrepreneurial process involves all the functions, activities, and actions associated with perceiving opportunities and creating organisations to pursue them. The crucial ingredients for entrepreneurial success are: an outstanding entrepreneur with a first rate management team, and an excellent market opportunity.


This unit seeks to provide a better understanding of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs. It defines critical concepts and terms. It identifies three types of entrepreneurs. In order to build a profile of the successful and effective entrepreneur, this unit presents and discusses a framework that details the essential characteristics or traits of the entrepreneur. The unit then focuses on the entrepreneurial process. First it presents the Timmons model. This model details the key elements in the process, namely opportunity, resources and teams. Next the unit presents a descriptive model. This model focuses on the key stages in the entrepreneurial process and discusses each of these in some detail. The unit concludes by presenting a list of some of the factors that contribute to start- up failures.


Learning Objectives

When you have successfully completed this unit you will be able to:

  • Define key concepts such as ‘entrepreneur’ and ‘entrepreneurship’
  • Determine key characteristics and traits of successful entrepreneurs
  • Explain the entrepreneurial process
  • Describe factors that contribute to new venture failure 



EN NL - ES - CAT - EL - PL

Unit Elements

                         Learning Activity 1 'The Quest'

              Learning Activity 2
Group Discussion



How to set up a company in different countries

National case studies on Entrepreneurship






Ent-teach- Entrepreneurship Teaching - project code 2011-1-NL1-LEO05-05202. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission through the Leonardo da Vinci - Lifelong Learning Programme. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.