Centre for Bioscience, The Higher Education Academy


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What are regarded as entrepreneurial skills?

A wide range of competences are seen as entrepreneurial and useful to entrepreneurs, these include knowledge, skills and personal traits:

  • Management skills – the ability to manage time and people (both oneself and others) successfully
  • Communication skills (e.g. the ability to sell ideas and persuade others)
  • The ability to work both as part of a team and independently
  • Able to plan, coordinate and organise effectively
  • Financial literacy
  • Able to research effectively (e.g. available markets, suppliers, customers and the competition)
  • Self-motivated and disciplined
  • Adaptable
  • An Innovative and creative thinker
  • The ability to multi-task
  • Able to take responsibility and make decisions
  • The ability to work under pressure
  • Perseverance
  • Competitiveness
  • Willingness to take risks (or at least not risk averse)
  • Ability to network and make contacts

Many, if not all of these skills and traits are also useful to intrapreneurs, those who are entrepreneurial within an existing organisation (internal entrepreneurs). These skills and traits would also benefit all employees within a business and so are useful for graduates to have. Many of these skills, for example, communication skills and the ability to work as part of a team, are already promoted within existing degrees.

In addition to those more general skills listed above, other more specific or business related skills, will be of use to entrepreneurs, these may include:

  • being able to draw up a business plan for a new venture
  • being able to market and sell a new product or idea
  • financial skills, such as book-keeping and calculating tax
  • awareness of intellectual property and possibly patent law

For a fuller study of competences required for entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship see An integrated model of Entrepreneurship and Intrapreneurship

But, surely bioscientists don't have to be entreprenurial?