One of the main drivers for practice relating to entrepreneurial competencies is their thought association with business performance and growth, and thereby with economic development.
Venture growth identified in the literature as a crucial indicator of venture success (Covin and Slevin, 1997; Low and MacMillan, 1998). In the context of entrepreneurship, competencies related to the birth, survival and/or growth of a venture (Bird, 1995; Baum et al., 2001; Colombo and Grilli, 2005).
Founders able to accurately conceptualise an opportunity and then commit the necessary resources in order to solve such a problem are in a position to successfully fill the entrepreneurial role.
Reuber and Fischer (1994) suggest 16 areas of expertise including general management, strategic planning and marketing.
In a similar functional approach, Orser and Riding (2003) developed 25 competency scales, which were grouped into nine functional areas.
Man et al. (2002) in their process/behavioural approach based on a review of previous empirical studies identified six competency areas under entrepreneurial competencies; these were opportunity, relationships, conceptual, organising, strategic and commitment competencies.
Baum (1994) formed a list of nine entrepreneurship competencies based on the work of others (Chandler and Jansen, 1992; Herron and Robinson, 1993); these were: knowledge, cognitive ability, self-management, administration, human resource, decision skill, leadership, opportunity recognition, and opportunity development.
The more competent entrepreneurs choose to exploit better venture opportunities, the quality of opportunity and the fit matter equally.
Management competencies related to venture strategy; the more competent entrepreneurs can formulate superior strategies that fit with their business.
One of the major challenges for a new venture is that both the problems faced and the skills necessary change as the firm moves from one stage of development to another (Churchill and Lewis, 1983).
Thus, understanding the changes required as of growth is vital as entrepreneur’s skills and capabilities, as approaches thought expedient for one stage will be unsuitable for another.
A variety of key competencies are associated with the entrepreneurial role. These include recognising and envisioning taking advantage of opportunities (Timmons et al., 1987) and then selecting high quality opportunities to pursue (Hofer and Sandberg, 1987).
Other key competencies mentioned include possessing drive, willingness to work long, hard hours (Hofer and Schendel, 1987), and a capacity for intense effort (MacMillan et al., 1985).
Miles and Snow (1978) suggested that the entrepreneurial problem is marked by the concrete conceptualisation of an entrepreneurial insight or opportunity.
Its solution is characterised by the recognition of the viability of pursuing such an opportunity and commitment of resources toward achieving such objectives.