What Drives Entrepreneurship?

Bowden GroceryThis is a question often asked regarding how entrepreneurs get started. Does something push them to that end or are they pulled into it?

Over the years the general agreement has been that both represent entrepreneurial paths and there is nothing to suggest that either way is more or less likely to result in a successful entrepreneurial business, if success is measured by remaining in business and making a profit.

Last week I had the opportunity to spend some time in Detroit, MI. During my time there I met several entrepreneurs. You know the struggles of Detroit during the last several years. In most cases, the struggle for the entrepreneur represented the push needed to start their own business – they lost their jobs. While I am sure that was devastating, today they are running successful businesses that remain in existence. The entrepreneurs talk about how after a hard beginning they are slowly growing. Several have added employees. The businesses have allowed them to provide support for their families.

One entrepreneur started out driving a taxi. He now has a fleet of five vehicles meaning his business has developed new jobs. A few of the other business owners also indicated that they have hired one or more employees. This supports the recent Kauffman report that again found, after several years, new small businesses are beginning to be the leading source of new jobs. The taxi driver indicated that his road to success had not been easy and he sees challenges ahead. It was, he said, a difficult transition after working over 20 years for the automotive industry. But he was upbeat and saw opportunity in the future.

I found the conversations offered new perspectives and understanding.

When you are in conversation with new entrepreneurs ask why they decided to “take the plunge.” Share their response along with their outlook for the future. The readers of this blog would be interested in hearing their stories.

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