Starting up: The cyclical process of entrepreneurship


#BizGuide from The Accra Hub with TERRY MANTE

See… Seize… Start… Secure

Building anything from the ground up is not easy. Starting and running a business is definitely not a small burden. The well-known verdict about business start-ups is that 90% of them fail. Many start-up entrepreneurs make a lot of sacrifices to steer their enterprises. Yet, only 10% remain viable. In spite of the challenge of sustaining a business enterprise, it offers a credible basis for inner satisfaction and fulfilment for both the entrepreneurs and their stakeholders.

When a new business is started, it opens a window to many opportunities – new products and services, jobs, economic growth and more. The process to start and sustain a business is initiated by entrepreneurs and business leaders who have a desire to make a difference. Entrepreneurs create, innovate and build ventures of value around perceived opportunities. Entrepreneurship can be approached in four cyclical steps.

  1. See the opportunity

Entrepreneurs can see. They are visionaries. You cannot be an entrepreneur if you don’t have the ability to see through the binoculars of the entrepreneur. You have to see what non entrepreneurs do not see. The question is, “What must one be able to see in order to embark on the entrepreneurial journey?” Three things:

First, see opportunity. Opportunity often presents itself as a problem, need, deficiency, question on the minds of people, issues of complaint and so on. Take the case of Ghanaian businessman Kofi Amoah. As a diasporan, he observed the challenges Ghanaians who lived abroad faced whenever they needed to wire money to family and friends in Ghana. While everybody complained, Kofi Amoah struck a deal with global money transfer service provider Western Union and got a franchise for Ghana. Amoah thus capitalised on the problem and got a business out of that.

Nevertheless, it is not every opportunity you spot that can be a business opportunity for you. You have to pay attention to your heart. See your passion. You have to consider whether you have the internal motivation and energy to travel that road. Consider your natural interests, ambitions, values and principles. If you want to be an entrepreneur, the second thing you have to see is your heart.

Third, you must see your talents and abilities. Before you embark on an entrepreneurial venture, you have to conduct a self-check and know what you have and what you don’t have. You have to know what your competencies are so that you may proceed on a strong footing.

  1. Seize the moments

Entrepreneurs don’t only see opportunities; they seize opportunities. They garner insight about the venture they want to embark upon by learning. They also incubate the idea through strategic planning and inspire themselves with a positive attitude. If you do not take hold of your opportunities, you cannot run with them.

Don’t just proceed with an idea simply because it looks juicy. Take time to nurture the idea and prepare yourself before you hit the ground running. If you do this, you will be able to leap over the rumps and walls along the way.

  1. Start the journey

It’s good to see and seize an opportunity but if you don’t start running with your idea, you will not overthrow the status quo. There are many people with viable business ideas but because they never run with them, they do not get to see the fruit of their ideas. By all means, you have to begin your business. Start with whatever you have. Form a team of competent and trustworthy people. Look for the other resources that you don’t have. It will be tough but there is no other option. You’ve got to set your ideas in motion.

  1. Secure the enterprise

Definitely, you have to deliver outcomes. You have to show some results. You have to ensure that what you build is not a blue dog. Your business must endure. It must stand the test of time. That is the best evidence of success. You can achieve this by ensuring that your organisation has good leadership; leadership that is characterised by vision, integrity and competence. You must also have a system that focuses on the most important aspects of your business.


THOUGH I have broken down the entrepreneurial journey into four simple steps, I dare warn that entrepreneurship is not a four-day journey. It’s a lifetime process. And throughout the journey, you will always go through all the four steps at every stage of your enterprise-building adventure. Not that simple but definitely worth the risk and effort.–

Terry Mante is an author, Lead Consultant at Terry Mante Exchange (TMX) and Community Lead/CEO at The Accra Hub, Osu. Email: [email protected]

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