3. The entrepreneurial contexts

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3. The entrepreneurial contexts

Entrepreneurship is considered as situational and differs between countries, regions, over period of time and amongst people. Often entrepreneurship is affected by the environmental factors such as culture, capital, networks, governmental policies and mobility can essentially foster their development. In addition, entrepreneurial settings can also vary depending on the corporate and bureaucratic aspects and entrepreneurial behaviour amongst large and small businesses. However, the distinct qualities in the early stage of entrepreneurial experiences can affect entrepreneurship. This could arise from certain contexts such as the focus of opportunities, uncertainties and deficiency of structures, scarcity of resources, and fluid or dynamic quality (Pendergast, 2003). In this chapter, some of the entrepreneurial contexts are mentioned below.

Opportunity-orientation: Entrepreneurs often pursue opportunities depending on the economic requirement, personal needs or due to their persuasive qualities. An opportunity is a configuration of the business environments which support the creation of a new profitable venture. These opportunities might arise or fade at recurring stages through the external dynamics surrounding the business. As primary junctures, the morphology of entrepreneurial ventures can be able to identify the market conditions, requirements and technologies available in the market. Opportunities can arise from external changes in the economy, industry wide changes for barriers of entry, emergence of new markets, technological developments to meet consumer and organisational demands, and lastly identification of desired, essential or non-essential markets. In some situations, entrepreneurs can also create novel opportunities to create new prospects in the industry and society as well through their creative and purposive activities (Pendergast, 2003).

Uncertainty: As entrepreneurial situations are innately unstructured and uncertain in several cases, the lack of information and knowledge fills them with risks and also opportunities to be explored. The principal sources of perceived risk associated with the decision making process, is due to the ambiguity or uncertainty associated during decision outcomes. Some entrepreneurs focused for growth might find the stable markets unattractive. This is because, in stable markets the market player can be deeply entrenched and they are likely to consolidate their positions and might erect entry barriers for the new entrants. Likewise, customers are also likely to establish expectations on products/service offerings, delivery and quality as well. Any introduction of differentiated product might require enormous amount of investments and resources, which can be out of reach for certain entrepreneurial ventures such as start-ups. By contrast, in entrepreneurial situations, the prospects are not assured and this initial uncertainty can be multiplied by the vagaries in execution. Therefore, the lack of structure creates a requirement to establish a new business, wherein new customers and suppliers are created. In addition, new jobs, tasks and roles are defined and new surprises await the market. All of these aspects provide businesses a margin for unusual means of profitability (Pendergast, 2003).

Resource scarcity: The significant characteristics of entrepreneurships are its means to create businesses for pursuing opportunities. New businesses require entrepreneurs and resources which are usually short when they start their business ventures. Business angels or venture capitalists backed businesses may start flat, but they are often a sub-set or small representation of new business ventures. Most entrepreneurial start-ups often commence with few financial funds, no notoriety, no customers and no intellectual property but new suppliers. Several entrepreneurs sought financial resources from bank loans, personal savings, friends and family to develop their businesses. It is not astonishing to find under-capitalisation as the main draw back for entrepreneurial ventures (Pendergast, 2003).

Fluidity: New business ventures can often face changing business landscapes and fluidity in external surroundings. This is true for novice business ventures, wherein each day is filled with new daunting challenges and other surprising events. Entrepreneurs find dynamic markets attractive, this because they find these sorts of markets have the potentials to offer margins to create innovative and effective products and services. Besides, these conditions, entrepreneurs gain the experience to deal with frequent changes affecting the external business environments as well (Pendergast, 2003).