Entrepreneurs have their day – even inside corporates

An entrepreneurial spirit is one of the key competencies required by major companies looking for executive talent when job specifications are drawn up

This is according to Auguste Coetzer, a Director of Signium Africa (previously Talent Africa), a leading South African-based executive search and talent management company servicing sub-Saharan Africa.

National Entrepreneur’s Day on 19 November has been presidentially proclaimed in the USA and has now been joined by National Entrepreneurship Month, National Entrepreneurship Week and Small Business Saturday.

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With November being #EntrepreneurMonth, Coetzer penned an article in which she says entrepreneurial spirit is also high on the list of competencies when job specifications are drawn up by major companies looking for executive talent.

“Though entrepreneurs are rightly applauded, there appears to be some confusion about what it takes to be one.

“Media coverage of entrepreneurship and the qualities required of the next Steve Jobs or Jeff Bezos confirms the confusion, as many commentators are just as keen to outline misconceptions around entrepreneurship, while others fail to distinguish between subsistence-level small business and game-changing innovation,” she writes.

She says those with real entrepreneurial fire go out to revolutionise their industries and some of them are set on changing the world.

“Opening yet another nail bar will hardly revolutionise the industry, though earning your own living without reliance on a boss is certainly a commendable goal,” she says.

She writes that for the type of entrepreneurship that creates boundless new opportunities, it appears that a vision beyond financial security is required.

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In fact, financial insecurity and frugality may be the lot of the visionary entrepreneur in the early days.

She says although creative people have ideas, entrepreneurs not only have them, but also implement them and act swiftly to effect change.

“It takes a committed entrepreneur to get the job done and turn vision into a paying proposition.”

“Of course, the start-up visionary does not monopolise entrepreneurship. Increasingly, we see major corporates committing themselves to a culture that embraces judicious risk-taking and champions ongoing innovation. Only a self-motivated initiator (or several) can instil such a culture,” she says.