Become an entrepreneur

young entrepreneurs at table in boardroom with charts

What is an entrepreneur?

Entrepreneurship is emerging as an important and viable career option. It enhances economic growth, innovation, and employment opportunities. 

An entrepreneur generates a business idea and commercialises the idea into a new product or service for the market place through the process of research and development.

Entrepreneurship, research and innovation are increasingly becoming an important part of the world of work and should be considered a career option.

Being an entrepreneur

Key competencies and characteristics are common to successful entrepreneurship.

Career competencies

Self-awareness, career exploration, research, planning, intention building, and implementation of career plans are important career competencies and are especially important for entrepreneurs. A well-developed identity achieved through self-awareness assists individuals in identifying good career opportunities which complements their values, interests, characteristics and preferences, and can lead to enhanced career development, stability and success.

Developing entrepreneurial intention and behaviour

Enhancing a positive attitude towards entrepreneurship, developing self-efficacy, and creating an environment supportive of entrepreneurship is strongly correlated to individuals following through with entrepreneurial goals and engaging in entrepreneurial behaviours. This can increase capacity for career success.

Networking and mentorship

‘Individuals who have entrepreneurs in their social networks are more likely themselves to participate in entrepreneurial activity,' (Bosma & Levie, as cited in Terjesen & Sullivan, 2011). Mentoring relationships enhance entrepreneurial attitude and motivation, and entrepreneurs with mentors in their industry are more alert to new business opportunities. Mentoring relationships can be established through social and professional networking, new business contacts, entrepreneurial groups and organisations, and educational settings.

Modern careers are less defined, and linear career progressions offering secure employment are no longer the norm, so individuals need to manage their careers and recognise and create their own opportunities.

Entrepreneurial concepts can enhance your careers and employability. Identifying opportunities, planning your career development, and participating in lifelong learning help maintain your employability.

Commercial entrepreneurship has traditionally been the driving force of most enterprises, where the central focus is placed upon the identification of an opportunity and delivery of a product or service.

However, the concept of social entrepreneurship is becoming a larger driving force for enterprises around the world. Social entrepreneurship recognises a social issue or need and can be defined as innovative activities with a social objective.

Support, information and activities are available nationally and locally for entrepreneurs at all stages in their careers.

National organisations

Local organisations

Also investigate organisations in your area. Relevant organisations in Canterbury include:

Getting started

Our UC Centre for Entrepreneurship (UCE) fuels the innovative and the entrepreneurial spirit of UC students. A range of courses also help develop key skills and attributes for budding entrepreneurs.

  • Master of Engineering Management (MEM) is designed to provide students with management and business expertise. Non-engineering students who have completed a degree in a relevant area are welcome to apply for entry.
  • Masters of Business Administration (MBA) is designed for students who have had at least five years’ experience in the workforce. There is the opportunity to complete an elective in entrepreneurship & small business.
  • Master of Business Management (MBM) develops the skills, competencies and knowledge indicated by industry as necessary for successful strategic business management within a global economy.

To find out more about entrepreneurship