The Youth Entrepreneur Profile - Initial Steps - Part 3 of 4

The Youth Entrepreneur Profile - Initial Steps - Part 3 of 4
Anastasios Vasileiadis
by Anastasios Vasileiadis

According to Javier (2008) the entrepreneur should also have a technical background, and previous job experience.

This point of view is based on an open exposition where the entrepreneur should have:

  • knowledge of business sector and markets
  • knowledge on production process
  • technical knowledge of the product or service to be produced
  • knowledge for potential clients
  • knowledge and relationship with potential suppliers
  • team working
  • management and/or leadership

Moreover, Byer & Fairmont (2002) suggested that the IT ability is crucial for business development while, Velegrakis et al. (2009) in their extensive research stated that the competences that a European SME entrepreneur/manager should have are:

  • Attitude towards uncertainty and risk
  • Innovative spirit
  • Fulfillment of tasks and goals
  • Self-confidence
  • Communication skills
  • Ability to discover new opportunities
  • Conceptual ability (understanding the business as a system)
  • Negotiation and decision-making abilities
  • Time management for own work and team's work
  • Communication to the team of clear expectations of performance
  • Regular provision of information to the team about its performance
  • Fully leverage the capacities and the knowledge of employees
  • Promotion of mutual confidence
  • Development of the autonomy of a group
  • Raising awareness of collective responsibility
  • Ability to build and lead a team (leadership spirit)
  • Project management ability
  • Ability to create and provide Strategic/Tactic/Operational plans
  • Allocation/attribution of tasks to human resources in an organization
  • Management of other (non-human) resources
  • Knowledge of what to think about when deciding whether to found a business or not
  • Awareness of corporate social responsibility
  • Knowledge of legal requirements for business
  • Knowledge of the most important legal forms of business ownership
  • Process analysis and change management
  • Knowledge of the administrative/bureaucratic procedures for a business start up
  • Knowledge of general business conditions and functions
  • Knowledge about foreign trade and international business relations
  • Knowledge about the difference in financial issues between different types of enterprises (manufacturing vs. services, for instance)
  • Knowledge about how to manage the different functions within an enterprise (production, sales, financial management, research & development.)
  • Understanding the different forms of financing (self-financing, external financing)
  • Basic skills for sales planning
  • Knowledge about accountancy and taxes
  • Ability to plan and control: direct costs, overhead costs, cost prices, gross and net sales price, and earnings/profit

Furthermore, a research conducted in the frame of a Leonardo da Vinci project named Studentstarter highlighted several personal and management competences and indicators for entrepreneurship and for the entrepreneur profile. These are:

  • Plan and to organize
  • Awareness of the market
  • Take risks on a calculated base
  • Willfully
  • To be pro active
  • Initiating
  • Perseverance / drive / motivation
  • Sharp notice of chances and possibilities and to use these
  • Communication
  • Decisiveness
  • Customer orientation
  • Environmental aspects
  • Networking

Moreover, Vasiliadis (2009) in his work proposed the knowledge, skills and personal characteristics that an entrepreneur should meet, and these could be seen to the following table:



Personal Characteristics

  • Promotion of entrepreneurial idea
  • Start up and enterprise development
  • Developing strategies to address threats and integrate changes
  • Funding
  • Sustainability plan
  • Financing
  • Small enterprises
  • Low issues
  • Human resources
  • Different types of enterprises
  • Estimating entrepreneurial competences
  • Basic management knowledge
  • Entrepreneurial advantage
  • Entrepreneurship difficulties
  • Successful entrepreneurship
  • Product quality
  • Risk taking techniques
  • Market research
  • Competition analysis and entrepreneurial strategy
  • Funding programming
  • Management skills
  • Sales skills
  • Problem solving
  • Business plan
  • IT skills
  • Writing and oral communication
  • decision making
  • Negotialtion techkniques
  • Identifying business opportunities
  • Management and administration of business resources
  • Pricing
  • Promotion
  • Market analysis
  • Creativity
  • Entrepreneurial potential
  • Self control
  • Innovation
  • Risk taking
  • Tolerance for change
  • Leadership

Finally, Man et al. (2002) categorized entrepreneurial competences in six key areas. The key clusters are opportunity, relationship, conceptual, organizing, strategic and commitment competences. In the literature on competence profiles of entrepreneurs, several competences that meet the outlined criteria and fit in one of these six clusters can be recognized.

Competence cluster


Underlying competences

Opportunity competences

Competences related to recognizing and developing market opportunities through various means

  • General awareness
  • International orientation
  • Market orientation

Relationship competences

Competences related to person-to-person or individual – to - group based interactions

  • Communication
  • Negotiation
  • Networking
  • Persuasiveness
  • Teamwork

Conceptual competences

Competences related to different conceptual abilities which are reflected in the behavior of the entrepreneur

  • Conceptual thinking
  • Problem analysis
  • Vision and judgment

Organizing competences

Competences related to the organization of different internal, external, human, physical, financial and technological resources.

  • Leadership
  • Planning and organization

Strategic competences

Competences related to setting, evaluating and implementing the strategies of the firm

  • Learning orientation
  • Management control
  • Result orientation
  • Strategic orientation

Commitment competences

  • Self-management
  • Value clarification
  • Vision

The above review is only a small part of the discussion for the competences that an entrepreneur should have in order to be successful at starting and running his/her enterprise. On the contrary small amount of literature exists for the description of the youth entrepreneur profile and more precisely for the functions, activities and tasks that he or she should fulfill during the entrepreneurial process and the learning outcomes for these qualifications.