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Entrepreneurship is the terminal stage of the entrepreneurial process wherein after setting up a venture one looks for diversification and growth.

An entrepreneur is always in search of new challenges.

An entrepreneur is not a routine businessman he might not have resources but he will have ideas. He is innovative and creative.

He can convert a threat into an opportunity.

Entrepreneurship is a creative activity.

It is the ability to create and build something from practically nothing.

It is a knack of sensing opportunity where others see chaos, contradiction and confusion.

Entrepreneurship is the attitude of mind to seek opportunities, take calculated risks and derive benefits by setting up a venture. It comprises of numerous activities involved in conception, creation and running an enterprise.

According to Peter Drucker, entrepreneurship is defined as ‘a systematic innovation, which consists in the purposeful and organized search for changes, and it is the systematic analysis of the opportunities such changes might offer for economic and social innovation.’

While according to Stevenson,  ‘entrepreneurship’ is “the process whereby individuals become aware of business ownership as an option or viable alternative, develop ideas for business, learn the process of becoming an entrepreneur and undertake the initiation and development of a business” (p.10)

Drawing upon the above definition of entrepreneurship, ‘youth entrepreneurship’ is defined as the “practical application of enterprising qualities, such as initiative, innovation, creativity, and risk-taking into the work environment (either in self-employment or employment in small start-up firms), using the appropriate skills necessary for success in that environment and culture” (Schnurr and Newing, 1997).[1]

The application of these qualities, a process known as ‘entrepreneurism’ (Schnurr and Newing, 1997), leads to ventures in the social, political or business spheres. The emphasis in this paper is on self-employment. We define ‘self-employment’ as anyone who works for himself or herself but for anyone else, except under arm’s-length contracts (OECD, 2001). The OECD definition includes those who work alone – at home, from a workshop-truck or in separate businesses.[2]

In the context of employment generation the three terms- Income generation, Self-employment and Entrepreneurship are often used interchangeably.

Income generation is the initial stage in the entrepreneurial process in which one tries to generate surplus or profit. They are often taken on part- time or casual basis to supplement income.

Self-employment is the second stage in the entrepreneurial process and refers to an individual’s fulltime involvement in his own occupation.

Youth-run enterprises (YREs) also provide valuable goods and services to society, especially the local community (OECD, 2001; Stone, et al., u.d).[3]

This results in the revitalization of the local community. It has also been observed that new small firms tend to raise the degree of competition in the product market, thereby bringing gains to consumers (Curtain, 2000).

In addition, the enterprises may create linkages between youth entrepreneurs and other economic factors, such as through sub-contracting, franchising, and so on (White and Kenyon, 2000).

Youth entrepreneurship also promotes innovation and resilience as it encourages young people to find new solutions, ideas and ways of doing things through experience-based learning (OECD, 2001; White and Kenyon, 2000).

In certain circumstances, young entrepreneurs may be particularly responsive to new economic opportunities and trends. This is especially important given the on-going globalisation process.

It is increasingly accepted that youth entrepreneurs can present alternatives to the organization of work, the transfer of technology, and a new perspective to the market (White and Kenyon, 2000).


[1]This definition assumes the following: young individuals developing and making full use of their own abilities, alone or in groups; young people defining their own problems, identifying solutions and finding resources to realize their vision; and young people realizing their own potential and vision, growing in confidence and taking active roles in their own communities.

[2] This embraces an enormous range of activities, from the humble to the exotic: artisans, craft and other manufacturers, writers, consultants, shop keepers small and large, new internet marketers, and so on. Excluded from this definition are illicit activities that are prohibited by law such as drug trafficking, smuggling, tax evasion and prostitution.

[3] Stone, et al., u.d, in a survey of YREs in Minnesota, USA, observed that they build houses, publish books, run restaurants, staff child care centres, provide business services, and offer others services and goods.