New Age Entrepreneurship: It’s A Mindset Development

By Prof Brian WongRecognizing the role of entrepreneurship in national growth, evidenced by the National Entrepreneurship Policy introduction, is a positive stride towards youth-centric economic development in Malaysia.While the New Economic Policy (NEP) envisions Malaysia as an entrepreneurial leader by …

New Age Entrepreneurship: It’s A Mindset Development

By Prof Brian Wong

Recognizing the role of entrepreneurship in national growth, evidenced by the National Entrepreneurship Policy introduction, is a positive stride towards youth-centric economic development in Malaysia.
SWINSays Swinburne Sarawak

While the New Economic Policy (NEP) envisions Malaysia as an entrepreneurial leader by 2030, a critical lens prompts the examination of its mechanisms, benchmarks, and adaptability.

The stark 50-95% start-up failure rate in countries like Malaysia, per
Universiti Sains Malaysia’s research, raises concerns about policy efficacy.

This highlights the need for nuanced analysis and reevaluation, suggesting a potential gap between policy intent and practical outcomes, urging a deeper understanding of the entrepreneurial mindset for sustained success in national initiatives.

Typically, adopting an entrepreneurial mindset means embracing the idea of working independently rather than being employed by others. The driving force behind this shift is the desire for autonomy, compelling individuals to leave conventional employment and venture into entrepreneurship.

Consequently, entrepreneurship is commonly understood as establishing and managing one’s own business, embracing risks with the anticipation of reaping financial rewards. An entrepreneur is frequently characterized as an individual with a fervour for business ownership, pursuing financial prosperity, and liberating themselves from the pressures of traditional employment.

The relatively high start-up failure rate inspired me to conduct a study in 2018 to investigate the requisites for entrepreneurial success yielding intriguing insights that align with the etymology of the term ‘entrepreneur,’ – which is “an undertaking.” Contrary to conventional or stereotypical notions, the study surprisingly found that the pivotal elements for becoming a successful entrepreneur are not solely rooted in passion or business skills.

In fact, the primary characteristics identified as realistic indicators of effective entrepreneurship boiled down to ‘resourcefulness’, ‘innovativeness’, ‘perseverance’ and ‘enterprising’.

1. Resourcefulness

Resourcefulness stands as the lifeblood of entrepreneurship, a decisive factor in navigating the intricate business landscape. Amid perpetual uncertainty, entrepreneurs lean on this vital competency to conquer challenges, fostering creative problem-solving that transforms obstacles like financial constraints into new opportunities.

Intertwined with resilience, resourcefulness empowers entrepreneurs to rebound from setbacks, optimizing limited resources for efficiency—a key advantage in resource-constrained start-ups. As a well-connected physically and mentally person, resourcefulness propels businesses forward, ensuring adaptability in a swiftly changing market. Integral to strategic decision-making, it enables entrepreneurs to discern pragmatic courses of action for seizing opportunities and navigating risks.

Resourcefulness is more than quality; it’s a cornerstone of entrepreneurial success, alchemizing challenges into opportunities and limited resources into potent tools for growth. In the dynamic and unpredictable terrain of entrepreneurship, resourcefulness stands as an indispensable asset steering ventures toward resilience, innovation, and ultimate success.

2. Innovativeness

With a resourceful character, an entrepreneur’s innovativeness holds the power to propel ventures into uncharted territories of success. In the dynamic landscape of business, where change is constant, innovativeness becomes a strategic imperative. It fuels the creation of novel solutions, setting businesses apart in saturated markets.

Entrepreneurs with a penchant for innovation not only adapt to change but lead it, staying ahead of competitors. The question is whether innovativeness can be learnt. In fact, my study found that the learning process involves not only proper education but also the experience of “failure.”

Being resourceful, the entrepreneur will transform failure into opportunities, fostering resilience and adaptability. In essence, innovativeness is the engine that drives growth, enabling entrepreneurs to carve out a distinctive niche, capture markets, and ensure sustained relevance in an ever-evolving entrepreneurial ecosystem.

3. Perseverance

Together with resourceful and innovative characters, successful entrepreneurs display strong and lasting perseverance. In fact, the study found that it is a non-negotiable trait in the uncertain journey of building ventures. Beyond skills and strategies, it is the unwavering commitment to endure setbacks, learn from failures, and persist in the face of adversity that defines entrepreneurial success.

Entrepreneurs must embrace calculated failures and challenging societal norms that prioritize showcasing success. Only through failure can one cultivate perseverance, fueling the resilience needed to navigate business challenges and uncertainties. It’s a critical paradigm shift—transforming obstacles into stepping stones, essential for long-term sustainability.

In the dynamic and often unpredictable entrepreneurial landscape, perseverance is not just a virtue; it’s the driving force that separates those who thrive from those who falter, making it an indispensable quality for entrepreneurial triumph.

4. Enterprising

Finally, in the ever-evolving business landscape, enterprising skills go beyond conventional expertise, encapsulating a dynamic blend of innovation, adaptability, and strategic thinking.

Entrepreneurs equipped with enterprising skills navigate uncertainties with finesse and identify opportunities that come along. Their ability to seize the moment, take calculated risks, and foster a proactive mindset is paramount. Enterprising skills propel ventures forward, ensuring relevance and sustainability.

For example, an entrepreneur may stumble into situations such as investment indecisiveness, manpower displacement, space repurposing, profit reinvestment, etc. that need informed decisions to be made. Hence, enterprising is not just about running a business; it’s about possessing the acumen to identify, create, and capitalize on opportunities, making enterprising skills indispensable in the entrepreneurial toolkit.

Entrepreneurship is a nuanced journey, not a mere subject. Sustaining it requires more than passion or knowledge—it demands the right entrepreneurial mindset. Resourcefulness, innovativeness, perseverance, and enterprising skills compose the fundamentals of entrepreneurial DNA.

Resourcefulness transforms challenges into opportunities; innovativeness propels into uncharted success territories; perseverance, intertwined with resourcefulness, defines triumph by turning setbacks into stepping stones. Enterprising skills ensure adaptability and informed decisions.

These characteristics, synergizing effectively with passion and purpose, steer ventures towards enduring sustainability and, ultimately, contribute to the success of the nation’s entrepreneurship agenda.