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Entrepreneurship and cultural specificity

Morrison, A.J. (2001) Entrepreneurship and cultural specificity. In: Internationalising Entrepreneurship Education and Training. Josef Eul Verlag.

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Within this chapter it is argued that there is a significant relationship between entrepreneurship and cultural specificity. The key to initiating the process of entrepreneurship lies within the individual members of society, and the degree to which a spirit of enterprise exists, or can be initiated. In this respect Kirzner (1979) believes the source to be within the human spirit, which will flourish in response to uncertainty and competition. This enterprising spirit is described in inspirational terms by Gilder (1971, p. 258) as: The spirit of enterprise wells up from the wisdom of ages and the history (of the West) and infuses the most modern of technological adventures. It joins the old and new frontiers. It asserts a firm hierarchy of values and demands a hard discipline. It requires a life of labor and listening, aspiration and courage. But it is the source of all we are and can become, the saving grace of democratic politics and free men, the hope of the poor and the obligation of the fortunate, the redemption of an oppressed and desperate world. The key question is, what triggers the release of this invaluable enterprising spirit, which leads to the initiation of entrepreneurship? This paper seeks to make a small contribution towards an explanation by focusing on one aspect - the relationship of certain cultural and societal factors to the initiation of entrepreneurship. At the same time it is recognised that non-cultural and contextual factors will undoubtedly play a significant role in shaping entrepreneurial behaviour and action.