The concept of entrepreneurship has a wide range of meanings. On the one extreme an entrepreneur is a person of very high aptitude who pioneers change, possessing characteristics found in only a very small fraction of the population. On the other extreme of definitions, anyone who wants to work for himself or herself is considered to be an entrepreneur.
The word entrepreneur originates from the French word, entrepreneur, which means “to undertake.” In a business context, it means to start a business. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary presents the definition of an entrepreneur as one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise.Someone who exercises initiative by organizing a venture to take benefit of an opportunity and, as the decision maker, decides what, how, and how much of a good or service will be produced.
An entrepreneur supplies risk capital as a risk taker, and monitors and controls the business activities. The entrepreneur is usually a sole proprietor, a partner, or the one who owns the majority of shares in an incorporated venture. According to economist Joseph Alois Schumpeter (1883-1950), entrepreneurs are not necessarily motivated by profit but regard it as a standard for measuring achievement or success. Schumpeter discovered that they (1) greatly value self-reliance, (2) strive for distinction through excellence, (3) are highly optimistic (otherwise nothing would be undertaken), and (4) always favor challenges of medium risk (neither too easy, nor ruinous).
The early history of entrepreneurship in India reflect from the culture, customs and tradition of the India people. The Baliyatra Festival of Cuttack, Orissa reminiscence of past glory of International trade. To process of entrepreneurship therefore passed through the potential roots of the society and all those who accepted entrepreneurial role had the cultural heritage of trade and business. Occupational pursuits opted by the individual under the caste system received different meaning of value attached to entrepreneurship. Which is based on social sanctions. Vaishyas are considered to venture in to business pursuits. As society grew and the process of business occupation depended and the value work tended towards change and the various occupational role interchanged with non-role group and sub-groups. People from different castes and status also entered into the entrepreneurial role.
The emergence of entrepreneurship in this part of the country got localized and spread effect, took its own time. The concept of growth theory seems to be closely related in explaining the theory of entrepreneurship development as well. After the Second World War entrepreneurship received new meaning for attaining economic development within the shortest possible time. But in the process they were seriously handicapped by the rigid institutional setup, political instability, marketing imperfection and traditional value system.