Centre for Bioscience, The Higher Education Academy


Bioscience ImageBank


Do employers want entrepreneurs?

Depending on the job, many employers will want their employees to demonstrate at least some entrepreneurial skills. Employees who are well motivated, thinking ahead, seeing new opportunities can all help to provide a business with a competitive edge and thus remain profitable in the market place.

Many of the so-called "entrepreneurial skills" would benefit companies and employers, such as; the ability to work within a team, the ability to communicate effectively, management skills and research and analytical skills.

Just a quick look at the desirable traits for applicants for some graduate training schemes shows many are asking for skills and traits considered to be entrepreneurial:

  • Local Government "... can make a real contribution to local authorities by challenging accepted wisdom and practice"
  • Cancer research UK "It's a considerable challenge, calling for strategic thinking, innovation, and a determination to pursue fresh possibilities."
  • NHS "If you've got loads of leadership potential and have what it takes to mastermind complex services, create new ways of working and inspire a world class workforce"
  • John Lewis "a versatile, quick-thinking and business-minded individual... an inspiring motivator who can get the best out of others"
  • Macmillan publishers "People who succeed in publishing are adaptable, curious and adventurous."

Companies may also look for individuals who are intrapreneurial rather than entrepreneurial. Intrapreneurs are entrepreneurial within an existing business or organisation (internal entrepreneurs). People who, for example, implement changes or develop new products, within the organisation in which they work.

However, this does not mean that all employees should be entrepreneurs, but many employers would welcome the skills associated with being an entrepreneur.  So, how do students demonstrate their entrepeneurial skills to employers?