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Enterprise Skills



If you use initiative and like to get involved with new ventures then you are an enterprising person or entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship takes place in many areas from technology and music through to cookery and broadcasting. Well know entrepreneurs and enterprising businesses include Virgin Group's Richard Branson, Google, Walt Disney, Oprah Winfrey, Microsoft's Bill Gates, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and Apple's Steve Jobs. However you don't need to be famous to be an entrepreneur, in this article we discuss the different types of enterprise skill.

Diagram showing three key enterprise skills

The Diagram above shows the three enterprise skills

Risk Taking

To set up a new business and be entrepreneurial you have to take on a element of risk; you are risking your time and any assets that you choose to invest in the business. This is because there is a probability that the new business idea will fail. However if the new business idea is successful than the risk has paid off. As an entrepreneur you have to decide what level of risk you are willing to take on, this may involve weighing up the level of risk against the benefits of a successful business idea. When assessing whether to pursue a business idea you may decide to use tools such as Kurt Lewin's Force Field Analysis where you can weigh up the reason's for and against a business decision.


Businesses have to stay ahead of the competition, initiative is one way of doing this. The concise oxford dictionary defines initiative as "the ability to initiate things (enterprise), taking a first step without being prompted". In business you have to show initiative in all aspects of your business from market research through to product design, distribution and post sales activity. Initiative is all about spotting new business opportunities, gaps in the market or areas that have been fully exploited by your competitors. Enterprise initiative can also include exploring how to make your business more efficient. If you show initiative throughout the life of your business there is a greater chance it will be successful.

Willingness to Take Up New Ventures

Opportunities come and go. Someone with enterprise will take the risk and is willing to take up new ventures. By new ventures we mean business opportunities and ideas. For example restructuring the business, changing internal procedures, changing suppliers or buying a new business through a Merger or Acquisition. To learn more about how businesses can grow through buying another business visit our article about Mergers and Acquisitions.

Dragon's Den

Dragon's Den is an excellent example of a TV programme demonstrating entrepreneurs and enterprise skills. Dragon's Den (which is broadcast by the UK's BBC) involves entrepreneurs pitching their ideas to a panel of successful business leaders and established entrepreneurs (dragons). The objective of the presentation is to persuade the dragons to invest in the business idea and the entrepreneur.

Dragon's den has featured a large selection of dragons including Sarah Willingham. Sarah Willingham is a serial entrepreneur with a multi- million pound business empire and several industry awards. Sarah's path to success demonstrates the enterprise skills and motivation required to be a highly successful entrepreneur.


Enterprising skills have three key activities risk taking, initiative and undertaking new ventures. An enterprising person will not always be successful some ideas and activities will not work out, whilst others could prove to be very successful. The key to enterprising success is working out at the right point whether to continue with an idea or to stop immediately as it is unlikely to succeed.


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