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Job Photographs

  • Three people are standing in the doorway of a shop.  There is a yellow ribbon with a large bow stretched across the doorway.  A photographer is taking a photo of the people.

    Entrepreneurs start up their own business. This entrepreneur is opening a new shop. Publicity is very important for a new business.

  • A woman is reading a newspaper.

    This entrepreneur has seen a gap in the market for a cookware shop. She is looking in the local paper for retail premises for sale or rent.

  • An empty shop has a 'To let' sign on the wall beside it.

    Finding the right premises, in the right place, at the right price, is critical to the success of the business.

  • A shop has ornamental trees and bunches of balloons outside it.  The door is wide open and the shop window is full of goods.

    A lot of time and hard work has gone into transforming the shop.

  • A woman stands behind the counter in a shop.  She is looking through a catalogue with photos of brightly coloured cookware.

    Choosing items to sell from a trade catalogue.

  • A woman stands in a shop, unpacking items from a large cardboard box.

    Checking a delivery. Business owners need to keep the right level of stock.

  • A woman is using a spreadsheet on a laptop computer.  She is standing behind the counter in a shop.

    Keeping careful accounts for the business.

  • Two men and a woman, all smartly dressed, are at an awards ceremony.  The woman is holding a winner's certificate.  All three people are posing for a photograph, and smiling.

    Winning the award for Britain's best new retail business. Entrepreneurs aim to use events such as this for publicity and networking.

  • Entrepreneur

  • Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur

Introduction

Entrepreneurs set up and run a business to make a profit. The business could be in any type of industry or service area. Some entrepreneurs run their business alone; others have business partners. They might start, or invest in, other businesses.

Also known as

  • Business Owner

Video: - Pippa: Entrepreneur

Video: - Shelly: Chocolatier

Video: - Sir Richard Branson: Global Entrepreneur, Adventurer and Philanthropist

Work Activities

An Entrepreneur is someone who sees an opportunity to start and run their own business.

You might choose to do this because you have invented a new product or service, or you might be offering a service that doesn't exist in a particular area. Perhaps you might take over an existing business, or you could choose to sell existing products to new markets or in a different way? There are many different business options for you as an Entrepreneur.

Whatever your business involves, you will need to do the following things to get your new company off the ground and to make sure that it's successful:

  • make sure that your ideas are protected (by patents where relevant)
  • have a prototype or samples of the product made and tested where necessary
  • carry out market research to make sure that there is a need, and a market, for your product or service
  • decide who your target customers will be
  • carry out research into any competitor companies, products and services
  • make sure that you have a unique selling proposition
  • think of a good name for your company
  • work out prices for your product or service
  • put together a solid business plan
  • raise money to finance your company
  • let customers know about your product or service
  • work out ways to sell to customers
  • find a place to run your company from, or perhaps decide to trade online
  • keep accurate financial records
  • work with suppliers, manufacturers and other companies
  • employ and manage staff if necessary
  • provide good customer service
  • comply with laws and regulations governing your business area
  • organise and review business operations to make sure that the business is running efficiently
  • develop new ideas to make sure that your business thrives and grows

As an Entrepreneur, who is selling a brand new product, you might be responsible for making that product yourself, or you might arrange for another company to make it.

Some Entrepreneurs start, or invest in, other businesses once their first company is running successfully. You might sell one company in order to buy another.

You could choose to manage and run a small business on your own, without outside finance and without expansion. However, if your company grows you might decide to have one or more business partners who share the company's profits.

You might have to travel as part of your work - for example, to visit customers, manufacturers or suppliers. Some international travel might be necessary.

Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.

Personal Qualities and Skills

To become an Entrepreneur, you'll need to be able to:

  • think creatively
  • turn ideas into practical action
  • understand how businesses operate
  • plan and forecast
  • influence and persuade people
  • solve problems
  • make presentations/communicate your ideas to other people
  • manage money and keep accounts
  • organise your own work and, often, the work of other people
  • take calculated and informed business risks
  • make decisions and take responsibility for the consequences
  • listen to advice and act on it where needed
  • be confident
  • be motivated
  • be well organised
  • be prepared to work long hours
  • be resilient

You will usually need other specialist skills relating to the product or service you are selling in your business. For example, a Chef starting their own restaurant will need very different specialist skills from someone who has invented a new piece of technical equipment for use in the solar power industry. However, both these people will need the same business skills and personal qualities to make their company a success.

Pay and Opportunities

Pay

Pay rates for Entrepreneurs vary widely, depending on a number of factors, such as type of business, location and demand for products or services. The pay rates given below are approximate.

Entrepreneurs starting a new business might earn less than the national minimum wage. An Entrepreneur with an established small business could earn around £30,000 a year. For Entrepreneurs with large, successful businesses £100,000 a year is certainly possible and there are no upper earnings limits.

Hours of work

Entrepreneurs set their own hours of work, which could be long and irregular, especially when starting a new business.

Where could I work?

Entrepreneurs operate in every business sector and in every industry. Entrepreneurship is possible anywhere in the UK.

Those with the skills, experience and confidence might decide to establish a business in another country, or enter their products or services into overseas markets from this country. Mobile phones, email, internet video calls and e-commerce make overseas trading easy, quick and accessible.

Self-employment

Entrepreneurs are self-employed. Some work part-time as an employee while they are establishing their business.

Where are vacancies advertised?

Entrepreneurs generate opportunities through their own initiative and assessment of risk.

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes

There are many different routes to becoming an Entrepreneur. Relevant work experience of working in a business environment is a great place to start. Various relavant vocation qualifications are available, such as BTECs, City and Guilds, and Cambridge Technicals.

Some people decide to start their own business after they have been working for another organisation, sometimes for many years. Others might start a business after taking a degree or other higher education course.

There are some specific degree and foundation degree courses relating entirely to entrepreneurship and business enterprise. Other courses have options to study business enterprise as part of a completely different degree. Many universities and colleges run enterprise and entrepreneur competitions.

Some people have a new product or service idea while studying for any qualification.

Training

Several organisations run training courses and offer help to people who are thinking of starting their own business. They include:

  • British Chambers of Commerce
  • Enterprise Agencies
  • Entrepreneur First
  • Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs
  • SFEDI
  • Shell LiveWire (for people aged between 16 and 30)
  • The National Centre for Entrepreneurship in Education

You might be able to get help and advice from a business mentor.

You might decide to take a general business or management course or qualification, or a more specific business start-up/enterprise qualification. There are certificates and diplomas available in business, management and business start-up, at levels 2 and 3.

You might be able to get a grant or loan to help you set up your business. This could be from a government scheme, a private business or a charity. You might be able to get advice and a loan from a bank. People aged 18 and over who have been claiming Jobseeker's Allowance for 26 weeks or more can apply for support through the New Enterprise Allowance.

Some new Entrepreneurs set up their companies in business incubation units (often run by universities, local authorities or development agencies). These offer affordable, flexible accommodation and business support.

If you are aged between 18 and 30, you might be able to get help from The Prince's Trust.

You need to:

  • have a good business idea
  • be ready to work for yourself
  • be unemployed or working less than 16 hours a week
  • be unable to find funding from other sources

Progression

Entrepreneurs aim to progress by working to make their business grow and flourish. Some Entrepreneurs then start other businesses or invest in other people's businesses. Successful Entrepreneurs often give advice to people starting their own business.

Qualifications

There are no minimum qualifications needed to start your own business.

Some Entrepreneurs are graduates. For entry to a degree course in any subject, the usual requirement is:

  • 2/3 A levels
  • GCSEs at grade C/4 or above in 2/3 other subjects

Alternatives to A levels include:

  • BTEC level 3 qualifications
  • the International Baccalaureate Diploma

BTEC level 1, level 2 and level 3 qualifications are available in relevant subjects, including:

  • applying an entrepreneurial approach (level 3)
  • business start-up with entrepreneurial skills (level 2)
  • developing an entrepreneurial approach (level 2)
  • enterprise and entrepreneurship (level 3)
  • understanding an entrepreneurial approach (level 1)
  • understanding enterprise and entrepreneurship (level 2 and 3).

Relevant level 2 and 3 City & Guilds and Cambridge Technical qualifications are also available, in Business related subjects.

Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to 1 A-level.

Adult Opportunities

Age limits

It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.

Some activities require a minimum age, for example, working as a self-employed large goods vehicle driver.

Entry

Some types of enterprise require professional qualifications, for example, working as a self-employed chartered engineer, or work-related qualifications, such as the Gas Safe Register (formerly known as CORGI registration) for self-employed gas service technicians.

Many people start new enterprises or take over existing enterprises in the same industry in which they have gained a thorough understanding as an employee.

Some people negotiate a contract with their employer to provide a product or service as a self-employed supplier after leaving their employment.

Some people decide to buy a franchise (an established business offering a designated area of trading under a brand name). Franchisees trade under the brand name and pay a percentage of their profits in return for business support, such as training, advertising and marketing.

The National Enterprise Network has a directory of local enterprise organisations on its website. These enterprise organisations can help specific groups and individuals to set up in business.

People considering self-employment can get business start-up advice from the government website GOV.UK - see 'Businesses and Self-Employed' under Further Information. Organisations such as The Prince's Trust can provide advice and financial support for people aged between 18 and 30.

People over 50 can access free advice and mentoring from Prime (Prince's Initiative for Mature Enterprise).

Access courses

If you don't have the usual qualifications needed to enter your chosen degree or HND course, a college or university Access course could be the way in.

These courses are designed for people who have not followed the usual routes into higher education. No formal qualifications are usually needed, but you should check this with individual colleges.

Distance learning

A number of universities offer degrees in relevant subjects by distance learning, such as Business Studies.

The University of Liverpool offers an MBA in Entrepreneurship by distance learning.

Funding

Funding might be available to help you set up your business. This could be from a government scheme, a private business or a charity.

Further Information

Open University (OU)

Tel: 0845 3006090

Website: www.open.ac.uk

Getting into Business & Economics Courses

Author: Carly Roberts Publisher: Trotman

Website: www.prospectseducationresources.co.uk/products/9781911067382.html

Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS)

Address: 1 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0ET

Tel: 020 7215 5000

Email: enquiries@bis.gsi.gov.uk

Website: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-business-innovation-skills

Shell LiveWIRE

Website: www.shell-livewire.org

Prince's Trust

Address: 18 Park Square East, London NW1 4LH

Tel: 0800 842842

Email: webinfops@princes-trust.org.uk

Website: www.princes-trust.org.uk

Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise (PRIME)

Tel: 0845 8622023

Email: info@prime.org.uk

Website: www.prime.org.uk

National Enterprise Network (NEN)

Address: 12 Stephenson Court, Fraser Road, Priory Business Park, Bedford MK44 3WJ

Tel: 01234 831623

Email: enquiries@nationalenterprisenetwork.org

Website: www.nationalenterprisenetwork.org

British Chambers of Commerce (BCC)

Address: 65 Petty France, London SW1H 9EU

Tel: 020 7654 5800

Email: info@britishchambers.org.uk

Website: www.britishchambers.org.uk

Business Wales

Welsh enquiries

Tel: 0300 0603000

Website: business.wales.gov.uk

Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs (IoEE)

Address: Enterprise House, 18 Parsons Court, Welbury Way, Aycliffe Business Park, Durham DL5 6ZE

Email: info@ioee.uk

Website: www.ioee.co.uk

SFEDI Awards

Address: Enterprise House, 18 Parsons Court, Welbury Way, Aycliffe Business Park, Durham DL5 6ZE

Tel: 0845 2245928

Email: customerservice@sfediawards.com

Website: www.sfediawards.com

Enterprise Nation

Website: www.enterprisenation.com

Business Gateway

Scottish enquiries

Tel: 0845 6096611

Website: www.business.scotland.gov.uk

Youth Business Scotland

Scottish enquiries

Address: 6th Floor, 17 Renfield Street, Glasgow G2 5AH

Tel: 0141 2044409

Website: www.psybt.org.uk

Businesses and Self-Employed

UK government services and information

Website: www.gov.uk/browse/business

People Exchange Cymru (PEC)

Public sector recruitment portal for Wales

Email: peopleexchangecymru@gov.wales

Website: www.peopleexchangecymru.org.uk/home

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