"The french dont have a word for entrepreneur" so stated President Bush supposedly. The truth is the word itself does conjure up different images and thoughts that are in fact quite misleading, and we are probably all guilty of that.

The french meaning is quite simple since its just means to undertake a venture. However the english or more accurately american version means to set up a business with some financial risk. The key words are set up business, financial and risk.

Most so called entrepreneurs are in fact not. Many are founders - who have the idea but no business acumen or money. Some are just investors and take on the Financial risk but dont engage in the business. A true entrepreneur has vision and tenacity. He or she has drive, energy and commitment. But may have no idea about the technology. Branson is a classic example of this type. Often, the entrepreneur is brought into the company to help build the business. As such it is likely he or she will be the first real CEO. Its interesting that in the music industry the entrepreneur is rarely or never the performer. It is generally the manager, who is rarely seen. The most famous one would probably be Brian Epstein who was the driving force behind the Beatles.

Most start up business will not have an entrepreneur at the helm. And most dont need it. The key for investment is the management team. We look at the team and not the individual. Entrepreneurship is really not a solo sport but a team effort.

As such it is the team that is the key ingredients for all business. No matter at what stage the business is at.

A few weeks ago I published an article called The Entrepreneurial Board where I discussed the need for boards to become more forward looking and predictive; be able to balance risk against opportunity so that they can continue to grow and develop in a disruptive market. I postulated that many companies are going to become disrupted or blindsided by new technologies and business models entering the market. As such the need for entrepreneurship within all organizations is becoming critical. We should be ensuring that management and boards have a level of entrepreneurial flair otherwise the chances of sustained growth at any stage of development will never be achieved.

Maybe the remarks of President Bush were those of a thought leaders; a man ahead of his time. Nah - I doubt it

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