The concept of Self Reliance and Entrepreneurship

The term “entrepreneur” is derived from the French verb “entrepreneur” which means to attempt to try in hand, to contract for or to adventure.

According to Webster’s New World Dictionary, an entrepreneur is defined as one who organizes and manages a business, and undertakes the risk for the sake of profit.

To us, the essence of entreneurship is the freedom to do what you want or like in order to make profit. The entrepreneurs are persons who feel a sense of pride and a feeling of accomplishment, in the end this sense of fulfillment is more rewarding than money.

Today, many young people express their motivation for becoming entrepreneurs in terms of  satisfaction that entrepreneurship gives them, as well as the sense of being in control of their own destinies. It gives them security and happiness that they will be doing something they created. An entrepreneur has no limits, unless he / she limits him / herself.

In short, entrepreneurship is the act of being an entrepreneur, a French word which means “one who undertake innovations in finance and business into economic goods.” This may result in new organizations or may be part of revitalizing mature organizations in response to a perceived opportunity. The most obvious form of entrepreneurship is that of starting a new business. But in recent years, the term has been extended to include social and political forms of entrepreneurial activity.

Self – Reliance on the other hand, refers to an ability of an individual or community or a nation to depend on one’s own ability and efforts, and not depending on another for one’s survival.

A self reliant person must neither rely on others assistance, nor on government assistance, because nobody cares more about helping you or your family in time of difficulties than yourself.

Example: You were recently laid – off from your job and now you need to look another job, if you do not secure it, you cannot feed yourself and your family, or pay instalments for your home. In such cases you do not sit down and wait for the job to come to you. You go out and look for it. You do anything you can in order to survive.

A self reliant person and an entrepreneur take some initiatives for personal and community development. These two persons are two sides of the same coin. So we must evaluate our level of self – reliance and how prepared are we in this fast changing world.

Qualities of self – reliant person and entrepreneur

1.Self – Reliant person and entrepreneurs are organized and creative in all endeavors. Their main goal is to be successful first, then make money.

2.They provide employment for others and can help their community. Through their endeavors employment opportunities can be created

3.They are responsible for their own success and can determine how far that success will go.

4. They have complete freedom of choice, which means that sky is the limit.

5. They have love of their business and profits they start and undertake.

6. They may make lots of profit and may not have to answer to anyone, depending on who financed the business.

7. They have the ability to plan something, to watch it grow, and be proud to know they made it happen.

8. They have power, freedom, recognition and satisfaction.

9. They are able to take risk without fear of losing. They focus on success only.

10. They are competent in their undertakings, even if their level of education might be low.

Reasons for failure of Tanzania youths to be self – reliant and entrepreneurs:

(i) Lack of education on self –reliance and entrepreneurship. Tanzania education system has tended to create employment seekers, than job creators.

(ii) Lack of initiative to take risk in business, or fearing the collapse of business.

(iii) Strict conditions by loan giving institutions. Institutions like banks, SACCOS and insurance companies have strict conditions for taking loans, including high interest rates.

(iv) Bureaucracy in registration. Some of the business projects or enterprises need to be registered, but it can take many months to receive certificate of registration, resulting to despair.

(v) The nature of innovative task. Some are new tasks (business) so it becomes more difficult to plan and understand, compared to well established and customary activities.

(vi) Reluctance of people to accept changes from accustomed, routine and habitual ways of acting, even if a better alternative is available.

(vii) The fear of social sanctioning the condemnation and disapproval heaped upon iconoclasts and deviants.

Strategies for promoting self – reliance and entrepreurship in our society

(i) To inculcate through education, training and other programmes, values and attitudes that are conducive to self – reliance and entrepreneurship.

(ii) Review school curricula to accommodate self – reliance and entrepreneurship education.

(iii) Introduce entrepreneurial and self – reliance programmes in vocational and technical training.

(iv) Facilitate enrepreneurship and self – reliance programmes for selected target groups e.g. school leavers.

(v) Facilitate capacity building in self – reliance and entrepreneurship development.

(vi) Reduce unnecessary bureaucracy in registration of enterprises, projects etc.

(vii) Direct the financial and loan giving institutions to avail financial capital to entrepreneurs with less restrict conditions.

(viii) Simplify tax system and introduce tax incentives to entrepreneurs and self – reliant people.

Self – Reliance and entrepreneurship skills are demonstrated by the following:

(i) Creativity, risk taking, exploration and opportunity taking.

(ii) They show open – ended opportunities and challenges.

(iii) They make sure that they make profit. Put a lot in and get a lot out.

(iv) They have the skills to make the right decisions.

(v) They are boses of their own destiny.

(vi) They have supervision skills for their undertakings.


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