Skills necessary for successful entrepreneurship hence skills such as oral presentation skills, interpersonal skills, and the ability to prepare and present a business plan (Ronstadt, 1988; Vesper and McMullan, 1988) is part of the entrepreneurial competencies.
It is important to remember that although the term entrepreneurship is often associated with new venture creation and small business management (Gibb, 1996) not all owner managers can be regarded as entrepreneurs, nor are all small businesses entrepreneurial.
Very few entrepreneurs possess all the traits and attributes as entrepreneur. Addressing this, Lessem’s (1986) propose that there are various types of entrepreneurs, with different clusters of traits, based on personality type.
The nature and characteristics of entrepreneurial competencies has been researched, investigated and applied.
There is a general consensus that entrepreneurial competencies are carried by individuals, who begin and transform their businesses.
Entrepreneurial competencies are carried by individuals – the entrepreneurs who begin or transform organisations and who add value through their organising of resources and opportunities (Bird, 1995).
In her work Bird (1995), concurs with researchers on managerial competence when she notes the importance of distinguishing between competency which contributes towards success and competence as a minimum or baseline standard.
Bird (1995) suggests that entrepreneurial competencies are defined as underlying characteristics such as specific knowledge, motives, traits, self images, social roles and skills which result in venture birth, survival and/or growth.
Man et al. (2002) defined entrepreneurial competencies as the total ability of the entrepreneur to perform a job role successfully.
Johnson and Winterton (1999) observe that the range of skills and competencies required to run a small firm are qualitatively as well as quantitatively different from those needed in larger organisations.
In a study conducted by Bartlett and Ghoshal (1997) three categories of competencies, attitudes/traits, knowledge/experience, and, skills/abilities were identified.
Stuart and Lindsay (1997) similarly also defined competencies as a person’s skills, knowledge, and personal characteristics.
Entrepreneurial competencies have also been understood in terms of traits, skills and knowledge (Lau et al., 1999) and there has been interest in how these skills are applied in different contexts (Hunger and Wheelen, 1996).
Most researchers recognise that there is a major dichotomy in entrepreneurial competencies, and differentiate the entrepreneurial competencies necessary to start a business from those necessary to manage the business through growth (Chandler and Hanks, 1994a, b, c; Chandler and Jansen, 1992; Man et al., 2002).
Mitchelmore, Siwan & Rowley, Jennifer; Entrepreneurial competencies: a literature review and development agenda; International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research Vol. 16 No. 2, 2010