Kevyn Yong, Prof. of Management and Dean of ESSEC Asia-Pacific, shares his research into the commonly overlooked essentials for entrepreneurial success.
Today, entrepreneurship is in vogue. For the employee with that nagging feeling of dissatisfaction and restlessness, it provides a dream of what and who he or she would really like to be. For the student who realizes that – economic crisis or not – it is still a hard slog to find the job a hard-earned degree deserves, it offers an adventure with the promise of great reward. For teenagers who prefer work to studies, it’s a practical way to be their own boss and build the foundations of an adult life. And for those who may face discrimination, entrepreneurship is a way to prove their worth and gain rightful recognition for their achievement.
There is a lot of idealism in entrepreneurship – and rightly so. But fact is, starting up your own business is a decision that requires as much reflection as it does motivation. An adventure it can be – but with any real adventure, the path through the obstacle course and over the mountains is a tough one and it seems to get even tougher and more complex the closer you get to success.
So you have the idea – a good one. And your instinct tells you that it could be successful. Now is the time to step back, draw breath, and have a good look at the whole picture. Some success stories are built on external factors that may include networks, personal financial situation or pure happenstance. A lot, though, are built on individual characteristics. Popular western belief has tended to create the myth of the ideal entrepreneur being someone who is not afraid to take risks, plan carefully, and who tries and tries again until the goal is reached. It is in this context that the importance of skills and professional experience tend to be forgotten.
Professor Kevin Yong’s research taps into the link between what he calls ‘human capital’ – an individual’s education and job skills – and entrepreneurial success, and comes up with some clear conclusions the budding entrepreneur in us should take into account...
- Visit the ESSEC Asia-Pacific campus
- Decision biases and entrepreneurial finance (K. Yong), Small Business Economics, May 2016