An entrepreneur is:
“Any person who identifies an opportunity in the market, gathers resources and creates and grows a business venture to meet these needs. He or she bears the risk of the venture and is rewarded with profit if it succeeds”.

An entrepreneur therefore organizes and manages a business and assumes risk for the potential of profit. This shows that opening a small business involves both risk and a financial investment. An entrepreneur decides to take control of his / her future and become self-employed, whether by creating his / her own unique business or working as a member of a team.

The next definition to consider is the word “success”.

The dictionary definition of success is:
“Fortune, prosperous progress, achievement, attainment of wealth, influence or acclaim”.

More than 95% of businesses in Tanzania are small enterprises. Together, they contribute about 35% of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). There are currently in excess of a million entrepreneurs in Tanzania, running small, medium or micro enterprises (SME’s) responsible for generating up to 40% of total employment.

Micro enterprises
The majority of micro enterprises fall under the informal sector. They also include survivalist enterprises, whose income generation is less than the minimum income standard or poverty line, often there are no paid employees and asset value is minimal. For example, vendors and hawkers.

Small enterprises
These are mostly formalized undertakings. The distinguishing factor is that a secondary coordinating managerial structure is in place.

Medium enterprises
Here there is further decentralization of decision-making, with a more an advanced management structure and an increased division of labour.

Large enterprises
These have a hundred and above employees and their capital investment in machinery is large (above 800 million Tanzanian Shillings).

The cultures and societies of sub-Saharan Africa all have the following characteristics in common:

  • High Power Distance: this is typical of cultures where there is a strong hierarchy of authority, based on age and family status.

  • High Uncertainty Avoidance: unwillingness to take risks, a need to stick with what is familiar.

  • Low Individualism: “Ubuntu” and “Ujamaa"; a drive towards conformity within a group.

  • Low Masculinity: a low individual need for achievement.

Before embarking on your journey, it is important to get a clear idea of the advantages and disadvantages of running your own business. This will assist you to assess your risks and weigh up the benefits.

The Disadvantages:

  • Financial risk

  • Stress

  • Greed

  • Getting to grips with it all

  • External factors

The Advantages:

  • Sense of achievement

  • Financial freedom

  • Independence

  • Contribution to society

  • Personal growth

  • Incentives

Successful business owners, large and small, generally have a few things in common:

  • Business Experience

  • Drive and Attitude

  • Determination and Commitment

  • Interpersonal Skills and Leadership

  • Family Support and Lifestyle

  • Money Handling Skills

  • Planning and Organizational Ability

  • Creativity and Innovation

  • Health and Stress Management

QuoteIf you can dream it, you can do it.”- Walt Disney

QuoteMan is a goal seeking animal. His life only has meaning if he is reaching out and striving for his goals”.- Aristotle

SMART Goal Setting The criteria for SMART goals are:

S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Attainable
R = Realistic
T = Timely

The word “idea” comes from an ancient Greek word meaning “a specific thought which arises in the mind”.

The entrepreneur must first evaluate whether the idea presents a viable business opportunity or not.

  • Durable The product / service will be around long enough for you to capitalize on the opportunity fully.

  • Timely The product / service is offered at the right time for meeting the needs of the market.

  • Add value The product / service must create value for the end user / customer.

  • Attractive The end user must want to buy it.

* Buy the SME Toolkit for more details about Entrepreneurship