Motivations for Becoming an Entrepreneur

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People are being encouraged by the Government to become entrepreneurs - to start up and develop their own businesses - as part of the strategy to get the UK economy growing. The main reason for setting up your own business is usually to make money! A successful business can be profitable; making money for the business owner. However, there are other benefits to be gained and for some entrepreneurs these may be more important than simply making money.

Inside any entrepreneur there will be other desires and drives to being satisfied which may be minor or additional to profit making or may even be the key driver for the individual. Such benefits come through the individual addressing personally held beliefs, needs or wants, beyond economic success, and might include:

  • Having ideas about a product, service or invention, feeling ownership of your ideas, and simply wanting to see how far you can go with them in a business proposition.
  • Itching to address what you see as a gap in a market, a niche, an opportunity to do something that is new and different.
  • Wanting to be your own boss, wanting to show that you have the capacity to make decisions and manage for success.
  • Doing something different - something you have always wanted to do but never had the opportunity, for example, coming out of a line of work and developing a hobby into a business.
  • Doing something with the family, wanting to create something that will benefit you and the family now and maybe with a retirement value for the generations to follow.
  • These examples are all positive as non-economic drivers for creating benefits through business development. Others may come from negative prior experiences, for example, starting your own business because the benefit that you want is job security. The business might fail but at least no-one else is sacking you or making you redundant!

Overall, there is more to life than making money. In starting your own business the less tangible benefits to be gained in terms of your beliefs, desires and feelings may be more significant. For example, growth in self-esteem, self-confidence or your capacity to relate and care for others, may for certain entrepreneurs become much more important than the healthy balance sheet.