Entrepreneurship in engineering
An Institution of Engineering and Technology case study

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Page 3: Characteristics of an entrepreneur

Iet 17 Image 3There is no such thing as a typical entrepreneur. Some entrepreneurs are quiet and hard-working, while others are more outgoing and flamboyant. The key to being a successful entrepreneur lies in the ability to take an idea and then, through the process of innovation, develop it in such a way that it becomes a marketable product or service. Research indicates that there are a number of characteristics that are quite likely to be present in high-achieving entrepreneurs:

  • The ability to learn from others – entrepreneurs tend to be good at networking. They benefit from being members of organisation like the IET where they can learn best practice ideas from others.
  • Self confidence – a belief in their own abilities and ideas.
  • Being innovative/inventive – being able to generate ideas, either for new products/services or new ways of applying them.
  • Self motivation and determination – the drive to keep going and see things through.
  • Showing initiative – it is necessary to have not only the ideas for the business, but also the detailed plans to achieve objectives (both thinking and doing).
  • Analytical abilities – capable of researching and evaluating each aspect of the business, from development, through finance, production, to marketing and sales.
  • The ability to make decisions and to take (considered) risks.
  • A focus on results that ensures products are sold for a profit.

The combination of many of these skills and qualities, with the right support, ensures ideas do not just remain as dreams but become real, viable businesses.

Institution of Engineering and Technology | Entrepreneurship in engineering