Your assignment is to prepare and submit a paper on myths of entrepreneurships. Similarly the National Commission on Entrepreneurs (NCOE) report, ‘Five Myths About Entrepreneurs: Understanding How Businesses Start and Grow’ (March 2001, pp 9-19), five such myths are analyzed in detail, giving examples. Another NCOE report, ‘Entrepreneurial Growth Companies: How Do They Start and Grow in Communities Oct 2001, also sheds light on the matter. In ‘Myths About Entrepreneurs’, Marriott School, 15 such myths are listed, though some of the myths flow out of the more common ones as listed by Kuratko & Hodgetts. Interestingly, a contrary view is given in ’11 Myths of the Small Business Entrepreneur, which highlights the misconceptions under which people tend to become entrepreneurs, these examples, written from the point of view of the entrepreneur tend to reinforce the points made by previous authors.
There is a common thread running between the myths as listed by various authors, most of which, are applicable to the interviewee. These myths, which analyze key theories and concepts covered in the interview are.
‘J’ comes from a humble family background, and is not particularly gifted in any manner. By his own admission he just sort of drifted into business. There was no particular goal or vision as such either. Subsequent testing reveals that ‘J’ possesses certain traits that are normally associated with successful entrepreneurs such as “aggressiveness, the nature and drive a willingness to take risks, analytical ability, and skill in human relations” (Kuratko & Hodgetts). However, these skills are normally to be found in successful people in all walks of life, and are not confined to entrepreneurs alone. In fact, the “creative capacity to envision and then pursue an opportunity is a direct descendent of at least 10 years or more of experience that lead to pattern recognition” (Marriott School: Myths about entrepreneurs). This aspect is particularly relevant to ‘J’ who took more than 10 years including some wrong decision on the way before making a mark for himself in the retail business. The recognition of this fact has also led to more and more universities offering courses in Entrepreneurship. The London Business School teaches entrepreneurship to 70% of its student intake (Levie, J 1990), which they would not do unless they believed that entrepreneurship, could be taught and hence, that entrepreneurs can be made.
The Venture Capital Myth
Coming from a modest background, ‘J’ had no money but his own to start his business. He was soon in debt and had to borrow money from a friend to the tune of $3000. This profile in fact is more consistent with that of most entrepreneurs, except for some high profile start-ups in high-technology sectors. Figures for 1999 show that only 4000 of 700,000 new businesses were support by venture capital (NCOE Report 2001a, p 17). Moreover, many new companies started out with as little as $5000, with the average funding being $ 25,000 (Bhide, A 2000 as cited in NCOE Report 2001a). At these finding levels, personal savings and money from family and funds are more than enough to do the job (NCOE Report 2001a, p18). This was also the case with ‘J’.