An entrepreneur is an individual who has the ability to turn what could be considered as a profitable venture to productive activity. An entrepreneur can be conscious, latent, or duty-bound (Burggraaf & FlöRen, 2008, p.40). Entrepreneurs are creative and innovative people who spend a lot of time building business success. This differentiates an entrepreneur and a businessman. They are known to assume and manage risks and operate business even when obstacles and uncertainties loom on their way (Awe 2006, p.1).
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Some of the characteristics of an entrepreneur are persistence, risk-taking, compelling passion, willingness and ability to take risks, and unwillingness to fear failure, among others. On the other hand, entrepreneurship can be defined as a process that involves the creation of new opportunities either individually or by teamwork. The aim of the study is to identify the entrepreneur I admire most and why he qualifies to be an entrepreneur.
Milton Hershey profile
The entrepreneur I most admire is Milton Hershey. He was born in 1857 and proceeded to become one of the greatest entrepreneurs in the history of America. With only four years of working experience, Milton Hershey went on to start his own company in 1976 (Ament, 2006). Although the company failed, he never gave up. His breakthrough come by in 1920 when he founded the Caramel business based on Lancaster, PA, and it becomes a great success (Ament, 2006).
Milton Hershey started numerous companies with no prior experience as an entrepreneur. With no enough capital and skills, he had the enthusiasm and the urge to own a business and change his life. He had little formal education, unlike other successful entrepreneurs. After visiting the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, he learned about the manufacture of chocolate (Ament, 2006).
This was followed by the selling of the Carmel Company in 1900, and at the year he introduced the Hershey Bar and dedicated the time he had in the manufacture of chocolates. His business flourished and sold chocolate products all over the world. He passed away in 1945 in his hometown of Pennsylvania. He is remembered for his entrepreneurship and philanthropic attitude. All the products, town, company and institutions bear his name. Despite his demise, the company continues to grow; the company has grown from Hershey Chocolate Corporation to the Hershey Foods Corporation (Ament, 2006).
The reason why Milton Hershey qualifies as an entrepreneur
The reason why he has been chosen as an entrepreneur is because of his ability to start-up business fail several times and never gave up. Milton had an entrepreneur mind, coupled with the ability to start a business from scratch and making the corporation a world-renowned corporation. His demeanour and profile fit the definition of an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship can be defined as having the ability and the willingness by a particular individual either on their own or in teams to “perceive and create new economic opportunities” (Stokes, Wilson &Mador 2010, p.7). The individual usually has the capacity of facing uncertainty as well as facing the obstacles that come by head-on (McDaniel 2002, p.69).
Hershey possessed and showcased the three major characteristics of an entrepreneur which are creativity, collaboration, and entrepreneurship (McDaniel 2002, p68). For creativity, Milton Hershey was able to develop business from scratch until his dream company was established, and it became a success. He was able to collaborate with others like the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, where he learned about the chocolate machinery and used the knowledge to develop his company.
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On the bit of entrepreneurship, Milton was able to identify the new opportunities displayed in the marketplace. For instance, after Hershey Milton discovered that there was a need for chocolate in the industry, he dedicated his whole life in making chocolates and sold the prior company. The Hershey chocolate bar the major brand of the Hershey Food Corporation, was later turned to the household brand name and further to profits.
Concepts and models for classifying an entrepreneur
The three major entrepreneurship dimensions are outcomes, behaviour and processes. Based on the profile of the Milton Hershey can be classified as an entrepreneur using the three dimensions of entrepreneurship. On the basis of entrepreneurship as a process, it is defined as a process through which individuals on their own pursuit pursue opportunities regardless of their resources (p.7). For example, Hershey started his company on the pure ground with little capital with barely any formal experience in management and finance. Although he failed in his first business, he continued and started other businesses that went on successfully. This portrays the entrepreneurship process that Milton had to undergo until the Hershey Food Corporation became a big company.
One of the characteristics of an entrepreneur portrayed by Hershey on this instance is persistence or diligence to keep on trying the same thing. Persistence is based on the attitude of trying and trying even after failure until success is achieved (McDaniel 2002, p.69). Hershey was not successful in his previous ventures, but persistence helped him develop one of the profitable and successful companies in the confectionery industry.
Like Henry Ford, Milton can be classified as an entrepreneur who undertook entrepreneurship as a process. During this process of entrepreneurship, one to qualify as an entrepreneur has to be having the ability and the willingness to undertake calculated risks (McDaniel 2002, p.69. This means that they develop a new product and take the risk of looking for new markets. They undertake the calculated risks until they succeed in their ventures (McDaniel 2002, p.69).
Milton was willing to undertake the calculated risks and develop companies until he succeeded. Supposing that Milton Hershey backed up before succeeding, then he would not be classified as an entrepreneur.
On the other hand, entrepreneurship can be classified as behaviour (Stokes et al. 2010, p.7). In this context, the individuals manifest the willingness and the ability to create or perceive new opportunities on their own and create the opportunities which are presented in a market full of obstacles and uncertainty. Hershey had the willingness and the ability to create new ideas and present them in the market.
Entrepreneurship is also defined “as a process of action entrepreneur undertakes to establish his enterprise” (Charantimath n.d, p.51). This process involves doing things in a different way, mainly under uncertainty conditions. It can also be defined as a process which involves the conversion of profitable idea to the productive undertaking (Charantimath n.d, p.51). This process can be achieved only by hardworking people in the corporate world.
Hershey was considered as a hardworking man and believed that hard work always paid. He was a man who had big dreams that were turned into entrepreneurship. According to his father, men who had big dreams and had the capability of undertaking “chances become millionaires overnight” (Eboch &Henderson 2008, p.1). Based on this, it can be argued that the willingness by Hershey to become an entrepreneur was innate.
Entrepreneurs have the “unwillingness to accept failure and the ability to learn from mistakes (McDaniel 2002, p.68). This means an entrepreneur is not deterred by failure but instead they perceive failure as a learning process which can be used to achieve success. The information on failure is used as a strategy and used in the future to develop other successful enterprises. The unwillingness and the ability of not accepting failure is the major reason why entrepreneurs succeed.
Based on this characteristic of an entrepreneur, then Milton Hershey qualifies to be an entrepreneur. For example, he started his company in 1876, and it failed after a period of six years, in 1882, he started another candy business in New York that also failed. Hershey was not daunted by these multiple failures. He had the unwillingness to accept failure since he pushed on and on until he made it.
Based on the history of Heresy, his third venture, which was the Carmel business was a great breakthrough. This led to the formation of the Hershey Chocolate Company, which has been the greatest chocolate producer in the U.S. This analysis makes him an entrepreneur because of his unceasing will and power to continue on even when the situation is full of failures. Based on these arguments, it is clear that Milton Hershey becomes an astute and shrewd businessman because of the challenges and the failures he went through (Ament, 2006). His belief was that hard work paid, and failure was no excuse but an opportunity to succeed.
An entrepreneur is an achievement-oriented person who makes decisions through intuition and limited information (Stokes et al. 2010, p.19). It can be argued that Milton Hershey was determined to achieve in life based on his level of knowledge and the persistence to be a successful businessman. For example, he only reached the fourth grade, and with no other formal education, he ventured in business and started a business that becomes a success (Ament 2006).
Milton Hershery ventured in multiple businesses before a breakthrough was arrived at. This can be well explained by the lifecycle model of development where business grows in stages of growth and failures (Parker 2006, p.379). The model is dependent of the time factor where they grow and decline but peak up in a given time. According to the life cycle models, entrepreneurial ventures usually undergo evolution over a period of time where it passes through several stages (Stokes 2010, p.116).
The different stages involved have different characteristics where different skills and experiences are required. One of the life cycle models that can be used to elaborate Hershey Food Corporation is the Greiner five stage models that is characterized by evolution and revolutionary stages. For instance, prior the Hershey Food Corporation was incepted; other three companies had been developed where two had failed and one succeeded. For example, the first company underwent all the stages until it failed in the fifth stage of crisis. This makes the venture entrepreneurial making Milton Hershey an entrepreneur. The Hershey Food Corporation underwent the last stage of crisis in the 1920s when the stock market was hit by financial crisis (Houts & Whitenack 2001, p.55).
Entrepreneurial strategy deployed by Milton Hershey
Based on the five commonly applied entrepreneurial strategies, Milton Hershey deployed the growth strategy. The growth strategy is characterized by the excitement which makes people want to develop faster (Peng 2009, p.130). According to the analysis of the history of Milton Hershey he developed one company after another. For instance, the Carmen business was immediately followed by the Hershey Chocolate Corporation. This indicates the urge or excitement Milton had as an entrepreneur in developing his business. It also involves the use of underutilized resources for the growth of an enterprise (Peng 2009, p.130).
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The establishment of the Hershey Chocolate was based on the availability of raw materials which were unused as well as a ready market for the chocolate. Entrepreneurs that use the growth strategy focus more on action than analysis (Peng 2009, p.130). This can be argued as the prime aspect that Milton Hershey deployed in running the enterprise. He was a man of action because he believed in success rather than failure. He had little formal education which could be used for analysis purposes. This ensured that he become more of action oriented entrepreneur than one who took time to analyse. He was a risk taker who was driven by the urge to grow the company.
Why Milton Hershey is unique
The reason why Milton Hershey is my entrepreneur of admiration is found in his uniqueness of operation. Compared to other entrepreneurs, of his time Hershey had little formal education and skills. This is a captivating aspect as he was able to try hard even after he failed until he was successful. Not many people with his level of education would showcase that level of will and ability to take risks even with little skills and education.
Another aspect that makes him unique is that by the time he was 30 years he was already a bankrupt person. But, because of his willingness and investment orientation mind set, he was able to go back to work get some capital to start another company which also failed. Even after he failed consecutively he never gave up because he had the urge and persistence to become an entrepreneur.
However, after his breakthrough in the 1900, he continued investing more in other opportunities that come. In other words he created new opportunities and took advantage of the ready available market and exploited it to the maximum. Lastly, Milton Hershey invested a lot in building schools and other institutions in his hometown to reciprocate to the society and provide the amenities he never enjoyed during his childhood.
Based on the analysis it can be concluded that Milton Hersey qualifies to be called an entrepreneur. He portrayed entrepreneur characteristics like persistence, willingness and ability to succeed, resilience, diligence, unwillingness to accept failure, and need to grow. Although he had low level of education and skills he used the failures as learning experience and as foundation for the next entrepreneurial venture. It was a process that was based on the life cycle models where he would fall and rise. His operations where characterized by the growth entrepreneurial strategy that ensured that he would use the available resources to grow. Therefore, Milton Hershey is an entrepreneur I admire most in the world.
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