Entrepreneurship & Innovation: Why do they go hand-in-hand?
Entrepreneurs are those who see an opportunity when others see impossibility, creating pathways in unforeseen territories. The desire to create something new, innovative, stems from the entrepreneurial spirit nurtured by these breed of change-makers. According to Joseph Schumpeter, an entrepreneur’s role is “creative destruction” and innovation is the key factor that brings about “dynamic disequilibrium”, which is the symptom of a healthy economy. Innovation, being the characteristic trait of an entrepreneur, has connotations of extroversion and a risk-taking ability attached to it. It is this trait of the entrepreneur that enables him/her to find new solutions to old problems and introduce new products or services into the market. Entrepreneur, Sam Goldman, who invented the LED lantern, to solve the risk of fire caused by kerosene lamps, is a perfect example for a cost –effective innovation to solve a basic but vital problem.
Entrepreneurs hail from diverse cultures and backgrounds leading to innovation across the world. With the adage of “anyone can do it”, attitude attached to it, the Silicon Valley has been a nurturer of budding entrepreneurs, accounting for one-third of the venture capital investment in the United States. Innovative entrepreneurs of the likes of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are benchmarks to be followed. These brand of entrepreneurs have the knack of identifying the gaps in the market, recognize that specific need and build upon it. Identifying new business opportunities with a pro-risk taking attitude, they cater to the untapped market. Thus, they eventually lead to the innovation of a new product, satisfying consumer requirements.
Though Entrepreneurs find new solutions to make life easy for society, they do not re-invent the wheel. New-age entrepreneurs introduce disruptive technology into the market which is responsible for long-term economic and social growth. Disruption, as the name suggests, is the process where smaller companies with new technologies challenge established ventures in the same field. Disruptive innovation is the process of creation of a new market and value network followed by the disruption of existing markets.
Social innovation is another driving factor behind many entrepreneurial ventures. The need to bring about social change is the passion and driving factor for these change-makers. India, which is now considered the entrepreneur’s paradise, is home to many social enterprises. Finding new solutions to problems encountered by the larger section of society, these enterprises range from diverse areas like healthcare, education to art and lead to the highest degree of innovation.
With entrepreneurship leading to innovation in all walks of life, the two entities are inseparable leading to social and economic progress.