Factors impacting emergence of Entrepreneurship

Factors impacting emergence of Entrepreneurship


Various researchers world over have identified the factors that contribute to the development of entrepreneurship. Economists agree that the lack of entrepreneurs is not caused by economic conditions alone. It is also due to the whole set of socio-cultural and institutional environment prevailing in the less developed countries. Various environmental factors influencing the entrepreneurship are as follows:

I. Economic Factors

Economic environment exercises the most direct and immediate influence on entrepreneurship. The economic factors that affect the growth of entrepreneurship are the following:


Capital is one of the most important perquisites to establish an enterprise. Availability of capital facilitates is required to purchase the land, machine and raw material for producing goods. Capital is therefore, regarded as lubricant to the process of production. Our accumulated experience suggests that with an increase in capital investment, capital-output ratio also tends to increase. This results in increase in profit, which ultimately goes to capital formation. This suggests that as capital supply increases, entrepreneurship also increases.

2. Labor

The quality rather quantity of labor is another factor, which influences the emergence of entrepreneurship. Most less developed countries are labor rich nations owing to a dense and even increasing population. But entrepreneurship is encouraged if there is a mobile and flexible labor force. And, the potential advantages of low-cost labor are regulated by the deleterious effects of labour immobility. The considerations of economic and emotional security inhibit labor mobility. Entrepreneurs, therefore, often find difficulty to secure sufficient labor. They are forced to make elaborate and costly, arrangements to recruit the necessary labor. It can be dealt by utilizing labor-intensive methods like Japan. In contrast, the disadvantage of high-cost labor can be modified by introduction of labor-saving innovations as was done in US.

3. Raw Materials

The availability of raw materials is very important for establishing any industrial activity. In the absence of raw materials, neither any enterprise can be established nor can an entrepreneur be emerged.

4. Market

The fact remains that the potential of the market constitutes the major determinant of probable rewards from entrepreneurial function.. The size and composition of market both influence entrepreneurship in their own ways. Practically, monopoly in a particular product in a market becomes more influential for entrepreneurship than a competitive market. However, the disadvantage of a competitive market can be cancelled to some extent by improvement in transportation system facilitating the movement of raw material and finished goods, and increasing the demand for producer goods. Whether or not the market is expanding and the rate at which it is expanding are the most significant characteristics of the market for entrepreneurial emergence.


Expansion of entrepreneurship depends upon properly developed communication and transportation facilities. It not only helps to enlarge the market, but expand the horizons of business too. Take for instance, the establishment of post and telegraph system and construction of roads and highways in India. It helped considerable entrepreneurial activities, which took place in the 1850s. Apart from the above factors, institutions like trade/ business associations, business schools, libraries, etc. also make valuable contribution towards promoting and sustaining entrepreneurship’ in the economy. You can gather all the information you want from these bodies. They also act as a forum for communication and joint action. In the fast changing world of business, entrepreneurs have to move-collectively in order to be more effective and more efficient. They need to constantly check and influence the Government’s thinking and decision-making.

II. Social Factors

Social factors can go a long way in encouraging entrepreneurship. In fact it was the highly helpful society that made the industrial revolution a glorious success in Europe. The main components of social environment are as follows:

  1. Caste Factor

There are certain cultural practices and values in every society which influence the actions of individuals. These practices and value have evolved over hundred of years. For instance, consider the caste system (the varna system) among the Hindus in India. It has divided the population on the basis of caste into four divisions. The Brahmana (priest), the Kshatriya (warrior), the Vaishya (trade) and the Shudra (artisan): It has also defined limits to the social mobility of individuals. By social mobility we mean the freedom to move from one caste to another. The caste system does not permit an individual who is born a Shudra to move to a higher caste. Thus, commercial activities were the monopoly of the Vaishyas. Members of the three other Hindu Varnas did not become interested in trade and commence, even when India had extensive commercial inter-relations with many foreign countries. Dominance of certain ethnical groups in entrepreneurship is a global phenomenon. The protestant ethics in the west, the Sammurai in Japan, the trading classes in US and the family business concerns of France have distinguished themselves as entrepreneurs.

2. Family background

This factor includes size of family, type of family and economic status of family. Zamindar family helped to gain access to political power and exhibit higher level of entrepreneurship. Background of a family in manufacturing provided a source of industrial entrepreneurship. Occupational and social status of the family influenced mobility. There are certain circumstances where very few people would have to be venturesome. For example in a society where the joint family system is in vogue, those members of joint family who gain wealth by their hard work denied the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of their labor because they have to share their wealth with the other members of the family.

3. Education

Education enables one to understand the outside world and equips him with the basic knowledge and skills to deal with day-to-day problems. In any society, the system of education has a significant role to play in inculcating entrepreneurial values.

In India, the system of education prior to the 20th century was based on religion. In this rigid system, critical and questioning attitudes towards society were discouraged. The caste system and the resultant occupational structure were reinforced by such education. It promoted the idea that business is not a respectable occupation. Later, when the British came to our country, they introduced an education system, just to produce clerks and accountants for the East India Company, The base of such a system, as you can well see, is very anti-entrepreneurial. The unfortunate result of it is that young men and women in our country have developed a taste only for service. Their talents and capabilities have not been made much use of. Rather it has been wasted in performing routine conventional jobs. Our educational methods have not changed much even today. The emphasis is till on preparing students for standard jobs, rather than marking them capable enough to stand on their feet.

4. Attitude of the Society

A related aspect to these is the attitude of the society towards entrepreneurship. Certain societies encourage innovations and novelties, and thus approve entrepreneurs’ actions and rewards like profits. Certain others do not tolerate changes and in such circumstances, entrepreneurship cannot take root and grow. Similarly, some societies have an inherent dislike for any money-making activity. It is said, that in Russia, in the nineteenth century, the upper classes did not like entrepreneurs. For them, cultivating the land meant a good life. They believed that land belongs to God and the produce of the land was nothing but god’s blessing.

5.Cultural Value

Motives impel men to action. Entrepreneurial growth requires proper motives like profit-making, acquisition of prestige and attainment of social status. Ambitious and talented men would take risks and innovate if these motives are strong. The strength of these motives depends upon the culture of the society. If the culture is economically or monetarily oriented, entrepreneurship would be applauded and praised; wealth accumulation as a way of life would be appreciated. In the less developed countries, people are not economically motivated. Monetary incentives have relatively less attraction. People have ample opportunities of attaining social distinction by non-economic pursuits. Men with organizational abilities are, therefore, not c dragged into business. They use their talents for non-economic ends. The absence of proper economic motives is a general characteristic of agrarian societies in which people do not attach great value to business talents, industrial leadership etc.

III.  Psychological Factors

Many entrepreneurial theorists have propounded theories of entrepreneurship that concentrate especially upon psychological factors. These are as follows:

1.Need Achievement

The most important psychological theories of entrepreneurship was put forward in the early1960s by David McClelland. According to McClelland ‘need achievement’ is social motive to excel that tends to characterize successful entrepreneurs, especially when reinforced by cultural factors. He found that certain kinds of people, especially those who became entrepreneurs, had this characteristic. Moreover, some societies tend to reproduce a larger percentage of people with high ‘need achievement’ than other societies. McClelland attributed this to sociological factors. Differences among societies and individuals accounted for ‘need achievement’ being greater in some societies and less in certain others. Analyzing this phenomenon, Paul Wilken has said, “entrepreneurship becomes the link between need achievement and economic growth”, the latter being a specifically social factor.

The theory states that people with high need-achievement are distinctive in several ways. They like to take risks and these risks stimulate them to greater effort. The theory identifies the factors that produce such people. Initially McClelland attributed the role of parents, specially the mother, in mustering her son or daughter to be masterful and self-reliant. Later he put less emphasis on the parent-child relationship and gave more importance to social and cultural factors. He concluded that the ‘need achievement’ is conditioned more by social and cultural reinforcement rather than by parental influence and such related factors.

2. Withdrawal of Status Respect

There are several other researchers who have tried to understand the psychological roots of entrepreneurship. One such individual is Everett Hagen who stresses the-psychological consequences of social change. Hagen says, at some point many social groups experience a radical loss of status. Hagen attributed the withdrawal of status respect of a group to the genesis of entrepreneurship. Giving a brief sketch of history of Japan, he concludes that it developed sooner than any non-western society except Russia due to two historical differences. First, Japan had been free from colonial disruption and secondly, the repeated long continued withdrawal of expected status from important groups in its society led them to the technological progress through entrepreneurial roles.

Hagebelieves that the initial condition leading to eventual entrepreneurial behavior is the loss of status by a group. He postulates that four types of events can produce status withdrawal:

(a) The group may be displaced by force;

(b) It may have its valued symbols denigrated;

(c) It may drift into a situation of status inconsistency; and

(d) It may not be accepted the expected status on migration in a new society.

He further postulates that withdrawal of status respect would give rise to four possible reactions and create four difference personality types:

(a) Retreatist: He who continues to work in a society but remains different to his work and position;

(b) Ritualist: He who adopts a kind of defensive behavior and acts in the way accepted and approved       in his society but no hopes of improving his position;

(c) Reformist: He is a person who foments a rebellion and attempts to establish a new society; and

(d)Innovator: He is a creative individual and is likely to be an entrepreneur.

Hagen maintains that once status withdrawal has occurred, the sequence of change in personality formation is set in motion. He refers that status withdrawal takes a long period of time – as much as five or more generations – to result in the emergence of entrepreneurship.

3. Motives

Other psychological theories of entrepreneurship stress the motives or goals of the entrepreneur. Cole is of the opinion that besides wealth, entrepreneurs seek power, prestige, security and service to society. Stepanek points particularly to non-monetary aspects such as independence, persons’ self-esteem, power and regard of the society.

On the same subject, Evans distinguishes motive by three kinds of entrepreneurs:

(a) Managing entrepreneurs whose chief motive is security.

(b) Innovating entrepreneurs, who are interested only in excitement.

(c) Controlling entrepreneurs, who above all other motives- want power and authority.

Finally, Rostow has examined intergradational changes in the families of entrepreneurs. He believes that the first generation seeks wealth, the second prestige and the third art and beauty.


Thomas Begley and David P. Boyd studied in detail the psychological roots of entrepreneurship in the mid 1980s. They came to the conclusion that entrepreneurial attitudes based on psychological considerations have five dimensions:

  • First came ‘need-achievement’ as described by McClelland. In all studies of successful entrepreneurs a high achievement-orientation is invariably present.
  • The second dimension that Begley and Boyd call ‘locus of control’ This means that the entrepreneur follows the idea that he can control his own life and is not influenced by factors like luck, fate and so on. Need-achievement logically implies that people can control their own lives and are not influenced by external forces.
  • The third dimension is the willingness to take risks. These two researchers have come to the conclusion that entrepreneurs who take moderate risks earn higher returns on their assets than those who take no risks at all or who take extravagant risks.
  • Tolerance is the next dimension of this study. Very few decisions are made with complete information. So all business executives must, have a certain amount of tolerance for ambiguity.
  • Finally, here is what psychologists call ‘Type A’ behavior. This is nothing but “a chronic, incessant struggle to achieve more and more in less and less of time” Entrepreneurs are characterized by the presence of ‘Type A’ behavior in all their endeavors.

IV. Political Factors

An entrepreneur, however creative he/she may be, cannot function without the supportive actions of the Government. It is for the government/society to ensure the availability of required resources for the entrepreneurs and also the accessibility to them. This is because the successful entrepreneur contributes to the well being of the society. Policies relating to various-economic aspects like prices, availability of capital, labour and other inputs, demand structure, taxation, income distribution, etc. affect growth of entrepreneurship to a large extent. Promotive government activities such as incentives and subsidies contribute substantially to entrepreneurial performance. At the same time, Government policies like licenses, regulations, favouritism, government monopolies, etc. are undesirable for the growth of business enterprises. Above all, a Government that is politically stable and united can affect entrepreneurial activities in a significant manner. Is there a business entrepreneur in your neighborhoods? Try to gather information on his/her views on various government policies, for example, on taxation, finance, labour etc. Also ask him/her about the opportunities and growth prospects of a business unit. Write down your observations.

India, all the above-mentioned environmental forces have turned in favor of enterprising men and women. There is a visible change for the better in the highly inactive entrepreneurial field in the country. The tight grip of religious and traditional, ideas and practices have begun to loosen. It is encouraging the ‘non-commercial’ classes to consider economic opportunities more sympathetically. As a result, occupational division based on caste system has undergone tremendous traditional activities, social approval etc. have become less important. More important now, are the economic factors such as access to capital and possession of entrepreneurial attitudes and business I knowledge.

Development of infrastructure changes in government policies in favor of business and industry and of course, rise in demand for products manufactured are some of the other factors that have led the Indian entrepreneurs to look for new business opportunities.