What is Entrepreneurship?
Every industry needs people who can evaluate its needs and find ways to fill them. These people thrive on meeting the needs of people and businesses and enjoy building businesses from the ground up. They take a need, create a way to fulfill it, then put all the pieces together so that the industry and its customers are satisfied. For example, a person once realized that the world needed a way to catch mice (other than cats), so they invented a mouse trap. Cars were invented because a person realized that if people could travel further faster, this could benefit other businesses. These people are called entrepreneurs (though some of them are also inventors), and without them we would live in a vastly different world. Their strengths lie in identifying needs and coming up with ways to solve problems.
Banking and finance, Delaware’s largest industry, is always looking for smart people who can create innovative ways to better serve customers. If you enjoy being a problem solver and like to work on ideas from the thought process through execution, this might be an area for you to consider. Information on what entrepreneurs do and how to become one are below.
An entrepreneur is a person who loves to create from the ground up. An entrepreneur notices that there is something missing and then sets out to fill the need. Some entrepreneurs do the creating themselves, coming up with the solution, creating, and implementing it, while others will identify the need and then put together a team of experts to come up with an idea or item that fills the need they discovered. They might be the CEO of their business, but they may not be interested in maintaining the business once it’s been created and is in full swing. Once that goal has been reached, they are often ready to start their next challenge and they may sell the business or leave another manager in charge as they move onto a new goal.Read More
Entrepreneurs are excellent short-term managers in that they are excellent at putting together groups of people to complete a project. They also have excellent skills in keeping all parts of a project working so the result is achieved.
Entrepreneurship Education in Delaware (AS, BS, MS, PhD)
Technically, you don’t need a formal degree to be an entrepreneur. Most of the skills required to be a successful entrepreneur are innate, you either have them or you don’t. However, a formal education helps when you want to specialize, or you want extra credibility. If you’re going to round up a team to create a new banking application, knowing how the banking industry operates will help when its time to approach people in the industry to help enact your new idea. Also, many entrepreneurs are born after they have worked in an industry for a period and can see where products or services are lacking, and many have worked in some form of management at some point in their careers. In Delaware and around the world, to get into management at least some formal education is required. The amount of education you might need can vary by industry.
Associate Degree in Entrepreneurship (AS)
As with most associate degrees, an associate’s in entrepreneurship takes around two years to complete if you attend full-time. Some community colleges opt to offer a certificate program instead.
The programs consist of classes that help people who want to start businesses, so they study practical concepts including the following:
- Accounting / Bookkeeping
- Business Law
- Business Math
- Business Statistics
This degree will often be enough to get an entry-level position in many companies and is a good foundation for someone who wants to start their own business. But, if a person wants to work in management, more education is often required.
Bachelor's Degree in Entrepreneurship (BS)
At the four-year college level, entrepreneurship is generally included in the business department, which has its pros and cons. Although being an entrepreneur is obviously a business-related concept, it’s not just business majors who are entrepreneurs. Musicians, scientists, and teachers can be entrepreneurs. That said, there are a lot of courses that revolve around the running of a business included in entrepreneur programs.
Along with the courses listed in the associate degree section, students may also take:
- Corporate Finance
- Quantitative Business Analysis
- Human Resource Management
- Business Ethics
- Managerial Accounting
- Cost Accounting
For those just starting out in their careers, this degree could get them into a lower-level management position, especially if their have prior work experience. And, for those who are already operating their own businesses, this degree adds credibility.
Master's Degree in Entrepreneurship (MS or MC)
Entrepreneurship is generally included as a specialization for a Master of Business Administration (MBA). If it is a standalone program, it includes most of the courses offered in an MBA program but may add some special classes that might or might not be included in a regular MBA program.
Some of these classes include:
- Portfolio and Marketing Kit Creation and Presentation
- How to Find and Speak with Investors
- Creating Entrepreneurial Teams
- Relationship Building
- Business Grant and Plan Writing
- Idea Generation
A graduate degree takes from 18 months to three years to complete, depending on the program. With this degree, positions in upper management become available, as do teaching opportunities at colleges and technical schools. And it does give a business owner more credibility in the industry to earn this type of degree, especially if they are looking to break into finance.
PhD Degree in Entrepreneurship (PhD)
A PhD is considered a terminal degree because it is the highest degree you can achieve in an industry. Doctorate degrees can take seven or more years to complete, depending on the program and a detailed report of paper solving a problem in an industry (called a dissertation) is often required. A program for entrepreneurship is very detailed and customized for each person, so there isn’t a set curriculum, but all the courses covered in the master’s program are included, along with other courses that are meant to set the student up as a subject matter expert at the completion of the program. PhDs are valuable to educators, as they are often sought after to take teaching and research positions at colleges and universities. For those who strive to be entrepreneurs, the doctorate sets them up as the expert and makes creating teams to fix problems and fill needs that much easier.
Become an Entrepreneur in Alabama
The easiest way to become an entrepreneur in Delaware, or anywhere for that matter, is to identify a need, fill it, and then do this repeatedly. Most entrepreneurs have little interest in the daily operations of an already established business, so being able to identify areas where needs are met is one of the first skills an aspiring entrepreneur must attain. One way to do this is to learn everything possible about a particular industry and then see where needs aren’t being met. This can be accomplished by getting a formal education in the industry and then working in the industry for a period of time.
Another way to become an entrepreneur is to start your own business and use it to fill needs where they are found. An education in business can help you learn what a business is supposed to do, and that information can help you determine where an industry is lacking. Using this approach, you don’t have to focus on one particular industry, you can create a team from different industries that can present you with the problem which you can then investigate and, if deemed necessary, gather experts in that field to create a solution. This is usually the more common path for an entrepreneur. They own their business, but they usually have a manager to handles the day-to-day operations leaving the owner free to do what they do best, solve problems.
A formal education will give you the tools to identify problem areas, an overall idea of how businesses operate, and how to manage employees and teams of experts who aren’t your employees - but you still need to lead. Once you have solved several issues for businesses, it will become known that you are good at finding problems and solving them, and that you are good at organizing and implementing solutions. And, if you’re adept at building businesses from the concept through opening, that will also set you apart from others in your field. Although most entrepreneurs focus on one industry, such as technology or finance, some create think tanks and work in a variety of industries.
Careers for Entrepreneurship Graduates
When most people think of entrepreneurs, they think of trailblazers who created products and technologies that revolutionized the world. And, though that is true in many cases, entrepreneurs also work on a smaller scale and solve smaller issues. The key to being an entrepreneur is enjoying the process of solving a problem, whether that means leading a team to create a new product, revamping how a current system is used or providing a service that is needed, on a local or global level. This can be done in any industry. Below are some examples of jobs entrepreneurs might work either while being an entrepreneur or while on their way to becoming one.
- Business Owner
Many business owners start businesses because they recognize a need and decide to fill it. In the true sense of entrepreneurship, once the business is up and running, they choose someone to run the business for them, or they sell it to another company for a profit. They then take those proceeds and use them to fund their next idea.
Appraising is a field where entrepreneurs work because it gives them the skills to valuate. Knowing the worth of something is one way to determine if it can or should be improved. It is also a good way to determine if companion products or services could be offered in a field or industry. An entrepreneur working as an appraiser will be able to answer these questions. And when they are ready for break out on their own, they’ll be able to identify ideas that are worthy of investment and those that are not. Real estate and art are popular industries for appraisers.
- Marketing Manager
Marketing managers are on top of all the trends in an industry. They know what’s hot and what’s not and they know how to present information to potential customers. This skill is invaluable to an entrepreneur because, once they identify a need, they know how to market the solution. Most business either have a marketing department or a firm they use, do working in this department is a good learning opportunity for someone who plans to step out on their own.
- Sales Manager
Sales managers manage a sales team. The ability to motivate others to sell products and services is an important skill to have, especially since entrepreneurs spend a lot of time motivating groups to execute their ideas. Also, since sales and marketing often go together, the sales manager often learns how to share the business sales vision with the marketing department, two groups that often clash. But, as an entrepreneur, having this skill can help head off these issues for your business.
- Business Consultant
Most entrepreneurs work under the umbrella of business consultant. They are often called in to help an already established business solve a problem or identify a need and present solutions, but they can also create new businesses and industries from scratch. Consultants work with a variety of people, so the ability to speak confidently and with authority when necessary is a requirement. Whether they are talking to an employee while trying to identify problems, or presenting their findings to the CEO, a consultant needs to speak clearly and with the expertise that brough them there in the first place.