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Opinion - Role of entrepreneurs in innovation, economic development

2022-01-04  Staff Reporter

Opinion - Role of entrepreneurs in innovation, economic development
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Entrepreneurs are a catalyst agent for the expansion and promotion of economic activities in every sphere of the economic life of a country. Namibia in particular has taken great strides to support its entrepreneurs by introducing entrepreneurship development to its school curriculum. 

Namibia has its own history of successful entrepreneurs such as Frans ‘Aupa’ Indongo and many more. Entrepreneurship can be a long journey, requiring key traits such as perseverance, intelligence, tenacity and self-belief. To make Vision 2030 a reality, Namibia needs more Aupas. They are known for introducing new combinations, improving already existing productive resources, the proper utilisation of resources and the creation of employment opportunities. Thus, the well-planned and well-coordinated actions of entrepreneurs in a country can bring about a high economic growth rate and development. Entrepreneurship plays an influential role in the economic growth and standard of living in a country. As a start-up founder or small business owner, you may think that you are simply working hard to build your own business and providing for yourself and your family. But you are actually doing a whole lot more for your local community, state, region and the country as a whole. 

Entrepreneurs seek to resolve economic problems by making available products and services needed by the country. These commodities are made possible through entrepreneurs’ active innovations to the market, leading to increased productivity and intensified competition among the various industries within the economy. 

Entrepreneurs strive for solutions, innovation and create wealth by putting together the factors of production needed to produce, offer and sell the desired products and services. They invest and risk the resources available to them to generate wealth for themselves and their country. By creating job opportunities for people, an entrepreneur provides wealth to the people. This is with their innovation, the use of a country’s resources, market competition, the payment of levies, duties and tax generating wealth for their country. In Namibia, about 46% of young people are unemployed, and there is mounting pressure on government institutions and departments to provide employment opportunities for them. Entrepreneurship is an important factor for economic growth and development through job creation and innovation. The main focus is the contribution of entrepreneurship and private sector factors as drivers of economic growth in Namibia. The country has a mixed economy, characterised by a high rate of poverty and a relatively low GDP per capita. Namibia’s long decline in the rate of self-employment has been attributed to regulatory burdens, low rates of start-up enterprises, and the level of economic development. Skills’ shortages and unemployment continue to be of great concern. It is of great importance to note that the combination of enterprises like small, micro, medium-sized as well as large national and international firms determine the state of the economy. 

Entrepreneurs face various problems while starting an enterprise. And there are solutions for almost  every  problem,  but it  does  not  mean  that  entrepreneurs will  never  face  any  problem  by knowing  the  solutions  for  every  problem.  Finance  is  the  major  problem  faced  by  many  of  the entrepreneurs when  starting  their entrepreneurial  venture. By personal savings, getting a loan from the bank and by getting government subsidies, this problem can be rectified.  They must have enough strength to face the challenge and succeed in their business. The other challenges faced by entrepreneurs are competition in the market, financial challenges and marketing woes, amongst other things. The way in which they overcome  the  barriers are  through applying  practical  knowledge and  a proper business  plan  in  the  enterprise.  The main strength of entrepreneurs is self-confidence and weakness is fear of failure, which they have while starting their business. Thus, one has to have confidence in his or her capacity to deal with the world, and take practical steps to attain the goals. Entrepreneurs must understand the customer who is likely to purchase their product, what market they are seeking to serve, what the competition looks like, what they could offer to give themselves a competitive advantage, if their target market is large enough to support the product, or if their target market is too broad, and a host of other issues.

Technological advancements continue to provide new opportunities, ranging from drones to artificial intelligence. Increased globalisation drives entrepreneurship by allowing importing and exporting to flourish. Globalisation also helps spread ideas for new products and services to a world market, instead of a local or regional market. Combined with the Internet and computer technology, even small businesses can compete and sell their products around the globe. Strategically placing your business and brand in the centre of conversations and creating a culture around your brand will effectively separate your business from your competitors by truly connecting to customers on issues they care about.

In conclusion, for these reasons, sustainability boosts innovation and economic development through enterprise performance. The relationship between entrepreneurship, innovation and economic development is complex. Similarly, innovation serves as the engine of economic development, and also behaves differently in different economic development phases. In addition, the role of sustainability in innovation, entrepreneurship and economic development is vital. That is because sustainability helps entrepreneurship generate competitive advantages and promote innovation and economic development. Furthermore, it is suggested that an entrepreneur should concentrate on innovation and perform sustainably in order to generate competitive advantages and boost economic development.

2022-01-04  Staff Reporter

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