It is proposed that the process of entrepreneurship initiation has its foundations in person, intuition, society and culture. It is much more holistic than simply an economic function and represents a composite of material and immaterial, pragmatism and idealism. The essence is the application of creative processes and the acceptance of a risk-bearing function, directed at bringing about change of both economic and social nature. Ideally, but not necessarily, the outcomes would have positive consequences. The key to initiating the process of entrepreneurship lies within the individual members of society and the degree to which a spirit of enterprise exists or can be initiated.
Culture is important in any discussion of entrepreneurship because it determines the attitudes of individuals towards the initiation of entrepreneurship. Each era produces its own models of entrepreneurship according to its specific needs of the host society, however it has been described consistently using terms such as innovative, holistic, risk taking and co-ordinating ways of behaviour. Certain cultural institutions may facilitate, or hinder, entry into entrepreneurship. Thus, it is proposed that the culture of societies and the charateristics of people living in these societies, impacted by certain innate personality traits, will influence the degree to which entrepreneurship is initiated.
It appears that there is a significant relationship between entrepreneurship and cultural specificity, combined with an intuitive response by individual members of the society, albeit part innate and part cultural conditioning. Certainly, the cultural context in which persons are rooted and socially developed plays an influencing role in shaping and making entrepreneurs, and the degree to which they consider entrepreneurial behaviour to be desirable. Cultural dimensions that are significant to the extent to which entrepreneurial behaviour is supported by a society have been identified as: communal versus individual; conformist versus divergent; and equal versus elitist.
Furthermore, the role of the family, immediate and extended, is recognised as having the potential to make a positive contribution towards entrepreneurial behaviour through the provision of inter-generational role models. Finally, the profile of an entrepreneur which emerges through the study is one who is intelligent and analytical; is an effective risk manager and networker; possesses a strong set of moral, social and business ethics; exhibits a basic trader’s instinct; and is dedicated life-long learning in its many forms.