Entrepreneurship focused on making me a confident leader

Entrepreneurship can be defined as ‘the creation and
development of new business enterprises’ (Ahmad, Ramayah, and Halim, 2015,
pg115). Being entrepreneurial is ‘being creative’ (ibid) and having the mindset
to ‘identify the gap’ (Westhead and Wright, 2013). Smith et al (2006) argues
that ‘having an entrepreneurial attitude aids job searching, preparing for the
market and presenting one’s abilities’ (Rook, 2013, pg204). ‘Existing research
indicated that entrepreneurship and new firm entry fosters innovation and
development; enhances employment creation; and ensure more equitable income
distribution’ (ibid) ‘However, these benefits depend on the institutional
environment’ where institutions are “weak”, entrepreneurs are less likely to
undertake new projects or may instead focus their energies on unproductive
ones’ (Aidis, Estrin, and Mickiewicz, 2009, pg3-4). Whilst at placement I
looked for ways to become more entrepreneurial and what skills are needed for
an entrepreneur.

There are many skills individuals need to possess to
become entrepreneurial. Skills that are entrepreneurial include having
leadership, resilience and the ability to manage and mentor people (Nieuwenhuizen
and De Beer, 2012, pg155). I gained these skills through various aspects of my
placement. A competent way to ‘facilitate the transition of a thriving graduate
population’ (Matlay, 2006) is by being entrepreneurial.

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Demonstrating leadership was a skill I wanted to develop on;
fortunately, I had many ways in which I could demonstrate leadership. For
example, during PAL sessions as well the world toilet day project that I was
involved in. In order to be very competent in this skill I attended a PAL
leader training. This was a very in-depth training which mainly focused on
making me a confident leader and overcoming any problems that may arise by
thinking on the spot. After this training, I had time for reflection and in order
to test myself to see if I was confident enough I approached my mentor, to ask
whether I could have a go on the next training day. While demonstrating
leadership I realised I was quite nervous and that public speaking was another
skill I needed to improve on. I felt that I also needed to improve my
initiative by making resources and planning activities, although I did to some
extent I should have prepared and researched on ways to keep students engaged.
However, by following the acceptance theory the sessions did run smoothly as
the students were getting the content they felt they were weak on covered.
Although sessions ran smoothly I felt by following this theory the students
felt more in charge and therefore some disruption was being caused.

When it came to the public health related project the
students were disengaged but after a few discussions on how this was beneficial
to them and understanding how campaigns work they were motivated to take part.
This allowed me to use my initiative to persuade students making them
understand and raise awareness of the recent global issues as well as their
general life and wellbeing. In order for me to be entrepreneurial I took a
contingency approach proposed by Hersey and Blanchard (1988) which is: telling,
selling, participating and delegating (Lowe, 2013, pg85). The advantages of
this theory are that there was involvement however it was very limited
therefore students felt the pressure that they have to attend the event not
understanding what benefits it holds.

When completing and planning for the project my mentor
used the Timmons model of entrepreneurship which has the three key factors of,
opportunities, teams and resources. (Timmons, 1999, pg46). We understood what
opportunities there was, a team was formed and the resources needed were
collected and the project was put into place.


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