What Is Entrepreneurship?
Recently, Illinois Extension initiated a novel new project called
the Agricultural Entrepreneur Development Initiative. This project
seeks to promote the development of entrepreneurial activity in
agriculture. The word entrepreneurship literally means, "to
take or carry between" in the sense of an economic transaction;
to be a market-maker. It does not literally convey the notion
of innovation that we commonly associate with the term. Joseph
Schumpeer (1883-1950), one of the more well known theorists on
entrepreneurship, defined an entrepreneur as one who reorganizes
economic activity in an innovative and valuable way. That is,
an entrepreneur is one who engages in a new economic activity
that was previously unknown. An entrepreneur is a risk taker because
being innovative means there are few rules or history for guidance.
This definition has great application to modern agriculture as
producers are searching for new ways to increase their incomes.
Commodity markets in recent years have failed to provide the typical
Midwest producer with a proper return on investment. No matter
how hard producers attempt to reduce costs and improve efficiency
they cant seem to get ahead. This has forced many in agriculture
to look for new business models that allow for greater value creation
and most importantly greater value capture. If you would like
more information on this topic, please contact Dr. Peter Goldsmith
at: firstname.lastname@example.org or
contact Dan Beccue for assistance in evaluating options for your
The Ag Entrepreneurship website is http://web.extension.uiuc.edu/iidea/index.html.