Richard Cantillon’s “Essai sur la Nature du Commerce en General” (1755) first gave life to the word entrepreneur. Since then the word is used differently around the world and has acquired culture-specific connotations. In this video we look at the unique way the concept is expressed in small languages such as Irish Gaelic, Maori and Welsh as well as large languages such as Chinese, Japanese and English. The cast of scholars runs in this order: Introduction by Howard Frederick; Dennis Foley, Aboriginal Australian; Whatarangi Winiata, Maori; Dylan Jones-Evan, Welsh; Emer Ni Bhradaigh, Irish Gaelic; Rognavaldur Saemundsson, Icelandic; Erkko Autio, Finnish; Zoltan Acs, Hungarian; Per Davidsson, Swedish; Vyacheslav Dombrovsky, Russian; Liora Katzenstein, Hebrew; Takis Politis, Greek; Jose Ernesto Amoros, Ricardo Hernandez Mogollon, Jorge Jimenez, Antonia Sanin, Spanish; Gloria Talavera, Tagalog; Mona Kassim, Bruneian Malay; Taeyong Yang, Korean; Thanaphol Virasa, Thai; D.M. Semasinghe, Sinhala; Kankesu Jayanthakumaram, Tamil; Yohannes Somawiharja, Bahasa Indonesia; Toru Tanigawa, Japanese; Teng-Kee Tan, Mandarin. >> >> At the very end, there is a wonderful story by Emer Ni Bhradaigh about the life history of Richard Cantillon, the first economist to use the word entrepreneur. .
You can see the confusion in the famous George W. Bush joke below:
US President George W. Bush (who was not known for his mental acuity), as visiting Britain’s Prime Minister Tony Blair and France’s President Jacques Chirac at a summit meeting in Paris to discuss the economy and, in particular, the decline of the French economy. George Bush leaned over to Tony Blair and whispered, ‘the problem with the French, Tony, is that they don’t have a word for entrepreneur like we do’.
Cultural definitions of 'entrepeneur'
Seriously though, in English and in most\nRomance languages, the entrepreneur is someone who undertakes to organise,\nmanage and assume the risks of a business. The definition is broadened so that today\nan entrepreneur is considered to be a social or business innovator or developer\nwho recognises and seizes opportunities; converts those opportunities into workable/marketable\nideas; adds value through time, effort, money or skills; assumes the risks of\nthe competitive marketplace to implement these ideas; and realises the rewards\nfrom those efforts.There are some special words too. For example, an impresario is a theatre entrepreneur. We say also ‘seniorpreneur’, ‘intrapreneur’,\n‘mompreneur’, and many others.
Not all languages follow the ‘undertaker model’, though. In Malay, usahawan means someone who does a commercial activity at some financial risk. In the Thai language, the word for entrepreneur is pupagongan, which means literally ‘someone who assembles other people together’. In Indonesian, wiraswasta has the signification of ‘courageous private sector’. In the Garinagala language of Australian Aborigines, they use egargal or ‘story-teller’ to mean entrepreneurs.
The Māori language of the Polynesians of New Zealand has two words for entrepreneurship. Ngira tuitui means the ‘needle that binds things together’. The other word is tinihanga a Māui, or the ‘tricks of Māui’. Māui in Polynesian mythology is a demigod and cultural hero famous for his exploits and trickery. Māori admire his entrepreneurial spirit, heroism, altruism and brashness. Take the following story, for example:
Every day Māui’s brothers went fishing, but they always refused to take Māui with them because they were afraid of his magical tricks. One day, however, Māui hid in their canoe and revealed himself when they were far out to sea. Māui drew out his fishhook made from the magical jawbone of his grandmother, baited it with some blood from his nose, and then lowered it deep down in the ocean … Māui pulled the greatest of all fishes into the boat … and it miraculously turned itself into land that became the islands of New Zealand.
However we say it, the entrepreneur is the\naggressive catalyst for change in the world of business. They are independent thinkers\nwho dare to be different in a background of common events. Research reveals\nthat many entrepreneurs have certain characteristics in common, including the\nability to consolidate resources, management skills, a desire for autonomy and risk\ntaking. Other characteristics include brashness, competitiveness, goal-oriented\nbehaviour, confidence, opportunistic behaviour, intuitiveness, pragmatism, the\nability to learn from mistakes and the ability to employ human relations\nskills.
Today, we recognize that entrepreneurship is a dynamic process of vision, change and creation. It requires an application of energy and passion towards the creation and implementation of new value-adding ideas and creative solutions. Essential ingredients include the willingness to take calculated risks in terms of time, equity or career; the ability to formulate an effective venture team; the creative skill to marshal needed resources; and, finally, the vision to recognise opportunity where others see chaos, contradiction and confusion.
Source: Excerpted from Frederick, H. H., A. O’Connor, and D. F. Kuratko. Entrepreneurship Theory Process Practice. 5th Asia-Pacific edition. Melbourne, Australia: Cengage Learning Australia, 2019. https://bit.ly/cengage-etpp.\n \n\n\n\n
 For a compilation of definitions, see Ronstadt, R. C. (1984). Entrepreneurship.Dover, MA: Lord\nPublishing, 28; Stevenson, H. H. & Gumpert, D. E. (1985). The heart of\nentrepreneurship. Harvard Business\nReview, March/April, 85–94; Barton Cunningham, J. & Lischeron, J.\n(1991). Defining entrepreneurship. Journal\nof Small Business Management, January,45–61; Audretsch, D. B. (2003).\nEntrepreneurship: A survey of the literature.\nLuxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities;\nBerglann, H., Moen, E. R., Røed, K. & Skogstrøm, J. F. (2011).\nEntrepreneurship: Origins and returns. Labour\nEconomics,18(2), 180–93; McMullan, W. E. & Kenworthy, T. P. (2015).\nModernizing Schumpeter: Toward a new general theory of entrepreneurship. In Creativity and Entrepreneurial Performance.\nSpringer International Publishing, 57–72.
 Craig, R. D. (2004). Handbook\nof Polynesian mythology. ABC-CLIO, 168.
 See Dana, L. P. (2011). World\nencyclopedia of entrepreneurship. Cheltenham, UK; Northampton, MA: Edward\nElgar; Kent, C. A., Sexton, D. L. & Vesper, K. H. (1982). Encyclopedia of entrepreneurship.\nEnglewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall; Montagno, R. V. & Kuratko, D. F.\n(1986). Perception of entrepreneurial success characteristics.American Journal of Small Business,\nWinter, 25–32; Begley, T. M. & Boyd, D. P. (1987). Psychological\ncharacteristics associated with performance in entrepreneurial firms and\nsmaller businesses. Journal of Business Venturing, Winter,79–91; Kuratko, D. F.\n(2002).Entrepreneurship. International\nencyclopedia of business and management (2nd ed.). London: Routledge\nPublishers, 168–76.
Have you ever wondered why we use the French word entrepreneur instead of the original, proper English word?
What is the definition of entrepreneur? The word entrepreneur is derived from the French entreprendre, meaning ‘to take in between’, or ‘to undertake’. English doesn’t really have its own word for entrepreneur – or better said, it once had such a word but tragically lost it.
Is an entrepreneur a funeral director?
The originator of the word is the Irishman living in France Richard Cantillon’s in his book Essai sur la Nature du Commerce en General (1755). When his book, originally written in French, was translated back into his native English, ‘entrepreneur’ was translated as ‘Under Taker’.… Read the rest
For thousands of years, entrepreneurs have raped and pillaged the environment with impunity. Today we might call it entrepreneurial ecocide, namely large-scale environmentally catastrophic business activities by an entrepreneur. Ecocide is also a term for killing a species in an ecosystem to disrupt its structure and function. However, it has only recently been classified as a crime. For centuries people admired the entrepreneurial spirit that launched such ecocidal industries as whaling, the felling of indigenous forests, and the harvesting of coral reefs. In New Zealand, both Europeans and Indigenous Polynesians, the Māori, carried out mass exterminations of species in the name of enterprise.… Read the rest
Warning: This article may offend sensibilities because it deals with jihadist norm entrepreneurship. Obviously, this is a fantasy teaching case to make a point.
What is norm entrepreneurship?
A small literature has emerged on norm entrepreneurship. Norm entrepreneurs seek to change social norms. If they are successful, they can cause ‘norm bandwagons’ and ‘norm cascades’. Norm entrepreneurs are the central actors during the first stage in the life cycle of a norm, the norm emergence. Just think of Princess Diana’s campaign to eliminate landmines. Or Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s campaigns to overthrow racial oppression in America. [i]
Ibrahim al-Badr was studying religion and education at the University of Baghdad when he had a brilliant idea. He had been reading about how norm entrepreneurs are necessary precursors to revolutionary change. He had been particularly impressed with a noted Stanford University psychology professor who said that “human beings are capable of totally abandoning their humanity for a mindless ideology, to follow and then exceed the orders of charismatic authorities to destroy everyone they label as “the enemy”. Ibrahim wanted to become that charismatic authority.
Some people believe that The Economist magazineis the greatest magazine in the world. It is required reading for every aspiring entrepreneur. The scope of reporting spans the globe, from the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka to the furniture industry of North Carolina. But it is the back few pages of each edition, called ‘Weekly Indicators’, that are the most important for globally oriented entrepreneurs. Using either the magazine itself or the website http://www.economist.com/markets/indicators/, study the following information and answer the questions below.
Market measures consist of weighted values of the components that make up certain lists of companies.… Read the rest
Women in Business Development Incorporated (WIBDI) introduced fine mat weaving as an income earning strategy for rural village women and their families. At that time the art of weaving very fine mats was almost lost. WIBDI staff ran workshops to teach the skill of weaving the fine mats to rural women. WIBDI seeks ‘sponsors’ (or buyers) for the fine mat, who are generally urban-based or overseas Samoans. The sponsors specify the type and size of mat that they want and pay WIBDI. WIBDI then arrange for a village woman to weave the mat. The fine mat weaving micro-entrepreneurs are paid on a weekly basis and WIBDI retains a small commission to cover some of their costs.… Read the rest
While still often perceived as just a music group, the successful Australian band known as ‘The Wiggles’ (http://www.thewiggles.com.au/) is born global entertainers business model success story. Its core business provides family entertainment through concerts, CDs, DVDs, television, toys, play centres, theme parks and online communities.
The Wiggles are active in New Zealand, the UK, the Republic of Ireland, the US, Canada and Taiwan, and are considering additional markets in Asia and South America.… Read the rest
Don’t think for a moment that global entrepreneurship is for the private sector only! Today, no government, company or group, working alone, can solve a major issue. They have to work together. They are called ‘born global social entrepreneurs’. Ageing population, unemployment, mental illness, cutting carbon emissions: solutions to these and many other world problems are being exported, licensed, franchised and sold around the world. All over the world, social innovators are importing and exporting solutions to the most pressing problems facing society today – from fair trade, distance learning, hospices, urban farming and waste reduction to restorative justice and zero-carbon housing.… Read the rest
After a family friend gave the Jacksons a Super 8 cine-camera with Peter in mind, he began making short films with his friends. When he was 16 years old, Jackson dropped out of school and worked as a photo-engraver for a newspaper. Living at home with his parents, he saved his money to buy film equipment. His Oscar-award winning company, Weta Digital, is a digital visual effects company based in Wellington founded in 1993 to produce special effects for Jackson’s first film, the psychological drama Heavenly Creatures.… Read the rest
A born-global business is a firm that has deliberately ventured overseas soon after their establishment (within two years).[i] Thirty-five per cent of respondents to the 2017 Australian Business Foundation’s Born to be Global are ‘born global’ by this definition.[ii]
Acquired by TripAdvisor in 2014 for $200m, ‘curated’ travel site Viator was founded in Sydney in 1995 by high school drop-out Rod Cuthbert. ‘[I didn’t like] the American model of finishing high school, going straight to college, getting a degree, going to work for a large corporation . . . I just couldn’t be bothered taking exams in my final year of high school.… Read the rest
In many countries, it is nearly impossible to get the latest products introduced in the US market until they ‘diffuse’ down. One Australian couple spotted lucrative global opportunities delivering US-introduced (but not yet internationally introduced) products to customers wanting it all now. Melbourne’s Phillis Chan and Ben Chaung picked up stakes from Melbourne and moved to consumerlandia, she leaving law and he his ops manager for Blue Apron. Their friends back in Oz were constantly asking them ‘Can you get us’ this or that product and mail it. They figured right that they were not the only people in the world who had friends that wanted things
In 2014, they launched Big Apple Buddy, a ‘shopping concierge’ service, helping customers across the globe get the latest laptop, smartwatch or gadget as soon as it is released in the US. Shoppers fill out a form about their desired product and ask for a quote.… Read the rest