Instinct refers to the inborn pattern of behaviour often responsive to specific stimuli. In terms of entrepreneurship that could imply the inborn pattern of behaviour a person exhibits in response to the stimuli from the environment the person finds him/herself in; with specific reference to opportunity recognition and then applying human energy (mentally, emotionally and physically) to initiate a concept and realise a value creating venture.
I think instinctively mankind desires to “make meaning,” to “create value,” to “satisfy needs and wants” in response to the stimuli of our physical environment. From the invention of the wheel around 8000 BC to the advent of the Internet this is evident. Surely, this instinct is more acute, more “awake” in some people than in others. This more intensified state in some, I posit, could be ascribed to exposure to learning though education, training and development, whether informal (in family or communal context) or formal (schooling). In other words, entrepreneurial instinct is akin a seed that lies dormant in all humans, and is fertilised by upbringing, social interaction, primary-, secondary and tertiary schooling – what I call total societal exposure. In other words, exposure to the collection of relationships between individuals, that consists of distinctive cultural, economic, educational, political, religious, and technological properties. It is in this exposure that entrepreneurial conditioning takes place (or do not take place) – subliminal conditioning – conditioning that takes place below the threshold of conscious perception.
Yes, I hear voices that argue a case for certain attributes that are desirable for entrepreneurial success, attributes not prevalent in all people, and, yes, I’m in accord. However, looking at human ability in general, most people can run, albeit not all at the same speed; most people can hold their breath, albeit not all for the same length of time; most people can pick up things, albeit not all the same weight; most people can sing, albeit not all at the same tone. There are thus abilities inherent to all people, and I propose, entrepreneurship is one of them. Rather than to categorise people in two distinct different groups, i.e. those who can be entrepreneurial en those who cannot be entrepreneurial, I propose that, generally speaking, most people can be entrepreneurial
Yes, I am generalising, and that is exactly my thesis: All humans with a sound mind, ceteris paribus, have the innate potential to think and act entrepreneurially. The antithesis would juxtapose that not all people with a sound mind has the innate ability to be entrepreneurial, a proposition I submit that is not grounded in sufficient empirical evidence.
We are often led to believe that entrepreneurship is the domain of a select few. Of course, not everyone will become entrepreneurs, but that is not the issue; the issue is human potential; what people can become because of dormant instinct. We know that entrepreneurship is fundamentally a human, creative act, and involves: (1) a process, (2) the creation of value where there was none before, (3) putting resources together in a unique way, and (4) opportunity driven behaviour. I therefore propose that entrepreneurship is a blend of instinct and learned behaviour – It is inherently part of human nature and manifests in relation to the extent of the total social exposure. The extent of the exposure will thus determine the extent of the orientation.