Chapter one introduction 1 Background to the Study



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2.2.1 Theories of Entrepreneurship


The study of entrepreneurship is based on several theoretical backgrounds. These theories form the basis upon which the research on the study of entrepreneurship is anchored. Different theories exist because of the different views of researchers who propounded these theories. Among these theories are;

a) Psychological Theory: Psychological theory as an entrepreneurial theory buttresses traits, motives and personalities as the major motivating factors that instill entrepreneurial spirit in an individual. Psychologists are of the views that there is an inner urge or force in someone that makes an entrepreneur to desire a change of status and environment that may lead to innovation. Considering psychological variables associated with individual’s desire for achievement seems to be the leading factor behind most new ventures. These include desire for achievement, internal locus of control, energy/strength, need for independence/freedom, risk taking to mention but a few.

Under this theory, the work of McClelland was considered. McClelland (1961) in his studies paid much attention on the issues of traits, motives and incentives as the major factors that encourage individual for personal achievement. According to him, “need for achievement” injects strength and energy into a human system that makes him/her to start and continue in business until that particular need is achieved. McClelland in his studies argued that entrepreneurial business is motivated by the individual need for achievement which is a force that inspires an entrepreneur to generate idea(s) and energize him to pursue the idea until it becomes a reality. His conclusion was mainly based on the evidences from art, literature and the responses to questionnaire obtained from the citizen of the societies aimed at showing the relationship between economic growth and achievement.


According to McClelland, entrepreneurs differ in classes, tribes, or nations. This difference arises as a result of different ideologies of personal achievement and not basically due to system of values as argued by other theorists. Moral standard was seen as the main factor for business promotion and provision of skill, capital, management and other resources. In support of this assertion, he stated that;

the problem of course is to develop character by means that will not be rejected out of hand as an unwarranted intrusion into a national way of life. The solution lies in presenting openly the psychological evidence that certain motives and values for economic growth … Then the individual is at last faced with a clear decision of what he wants to do. There is no real substitute for ideological factor (McClelland, 1961).


Drive for achievement is the key factor behind entrepreneurship which McClelland (1961) claimed “exist in every individual some external influences for an individual to be empowered for performance”. Maris (1972) in support of this asserted that

The ideology which draws members into mutual protection may legitimize their economic relationship and as it does so, drive them on for performance…. Racial and cultural loyalties bind a group together, without constant emphasis on the beliefs they share, entrepreneurship may be legitimized by practical economic arguments which underlying value barely stated and it may be stimulated by dominant culture.



Relating this theory to women entrepreneurial motivation, McClellan (1961) view means that women’s drive for achievement acts as a motivating factor for their involvement in business activity. The higher their desire for great achievement, the more their involvement in entrepreneurship.

(b) Sociological Theory: The theory of sociology is another underlying factor behind the study of entrepreneurship. In furtherance of McClelland’s need theory, Hagen (1962) was more concerned with socio-historical process which produces the psychological ‘needs’ behind the entrepreneurial disposition and less with the specific casual connections between such needs and the recruitment of performance of entrepreneurs. He also shows greater awareness of the gap between motivational disposition and actual behavour. In addition to “n”Achievement of McClelland, Hagen incorporates other needs such as intelligence, world news and environment (Akeredolu-Ale, 1975). Sociological theorists of entrepreneurship were preoccupied with the analysis of need distribution among members of a society but strongly criticized the notion that the most fundamental causal factors behind the emergence and performance of entrepreneurs are psychological.
This is based on the argument that the psychological approach is too simple and misleading especially when it is applied to the explanation of business performance (Hagen, 1962). In support of this, Kilby (1968) opined that entrepreneurship results from “adaptation”. To be an entrepreneur, one must be able to adapt to his/her environment. According to him, adaptation is a factor for environment analysis which helps in identification of business opportunity and area of needs in a particular environment. Without adaptation, no matter how good an idea might sound, it will not metamorphose into reality as an enterprise. Also Akeredolu-Ale (1975) argued that “for it is neither necessarily nor invariably true that high ‘n’ Achievement guarantees business success, even when “success” is defined as McClelland defines it in terms of profitability, percentage control of the market, size of firms and rate of growth. To contrast the ideological factor to the study of entrepreneurship, the sociologists argued that a person’s environment is the major motivating factor that can spur him/her into entrepreneurship. Ideas, traits and motives are not enough on their own for entrepreneurship to manifest.
There must be an enabling environment coupled with business opportunities for a new venture to emerge. Johnson (1990) in his view on sociological perspective to entrepreneurship suggested that “a detailed description of the environmental context is required before drive for achievement can be a motivating factor for entrepreneurships”. This social context differs from one environmental setting to another. Reynolds (1991) however, identified four (4) different social contexts that can be used in defining sociological enterprise. These include; social networks, life course stage, ethic identification and population ecology stage. Individual sociological background, acts as push factor that determines the social context of entrepreneurship. In support of this, Reynolds (1991) states that “the inability of traits theories to predict entrepreneurship could result from the ignorance of social context and choices confronting the individual when the decision is made”. In other words there is a positive correlation between the economic factor and social control that exist in a particular environment (Markku, 1996). Women’s ability to scan and assess their environment enhances their entrepreneurial motivation. The environment can act as a pull or push factor to women entrepreneurial motivation.

(c) Anthropological Theory: Anthropological factor, according to Bull and Willard (1993) concentrates on social and cultural processes. They further argued that “the outcome and the degree of entrepreneurial activity depend on opportunity structure, which consists of both objective structure of economic opportunity and a structure of different advantage in the capacity of the system participants to perceive and act upon such opportunities. Cultural norms and beliefs can positively influence an individual’s value system and help him to develop an entrepreneurial skill for economic vitality. Socio-cultural factors however are subject to personal skills and ability to take decisions in a particular environment. The value a woman places on her cultural values has a way of motivating her entrepreneurial behaviour and performance.

(d) Ecological Theory: This examines the relationship between the environmental factors and the survival of an organization. Its major focus is on a symbotic relationship between environment and organization; meaning that environment and organization co-exist. Theorists under this theory see the need for the existence of entrepreneur ecology (Boime, 1976). Buttressing this further, Boime (1976) argued that:

if it is feasible to speak of an entrepreneur psychology, it is also appropriate to speak of an entrepreneur ecology. The entrepreneur, in so far as his activities transform the experience, creates what I call the entrepreneur ecology. The term as I use it expresses the changing character of contemporary world through material signs of modernity. Not only do entrepreneur furnish conspicuous evidence of change, they are the first to call attention to it by their lifestyle.

Ideas, traits and characteristics are not enough to produce successful enterprise. Enterprise must co-exist with environment for survival. Ecological theory as observed by Low and Macmillan (1988) developed from a simplistic and deterministic metaphor to a rich theoretical framework which is capable of incorporating other theoretical perspectives. Although the omission of important factors such as the entrepreneur and the management team used by the venture capitalists exposed the ecology theory to criticism. Amit, Glosten and Muller (1993) in support of Boime (1976) questioned “to what extent is success determined by the environment rather than the skill, ingenuity and the decision of the entrepreneur”. The answer to this question attracted the views of other theorists to the study of entrepreneurship. “The ecological perspective is dynamic and process oriented which can act as a motivating factor to entrepreneurial process” (Virtanen, 1996). The focusing of ecological theory only on the environment without considering the entrepreneur, managerial skill and ingenuity really reveal the deficiency of the theory. The focuse of the ecological theory on the environment rather than on the entrepreneur limited the development of entrepreneur ecology.

(e) Economic Theory: The theorists here saw an entrepreneur as an agent of economic

change. They argued that changes either in the environment or organization are a transformation that can occur as a result of the reaction of some economic forces. Economists assume that entrepreneurs behave rationally towards some economic forces (business opportunities, resources etc.) that result to change in environment in form of enterprise. Entrepreneurship was seen as a process or positive event to every economic revolution. Without entrepreneurs, the other factors of production such as land, labour and capital cannot transform themselves into economic value (product and services). Theorists such as Knight, et al (1978) argued that:

entrepreneurs play a distinct role in the market system through their evaluation of factors of production. While consumers evaluate goods in use, entrepreneurs evaluate the productivity of goods towards generating value in use – they assess the value of the factors of production in generating value useful to consumers.
Unlike other theories, economic theory placed values on each of the factors of the production and saw them as distinct economic agents in the production process. With this distinction, the contribution of these agents was able to be demarcated and assessed individually for the avoidance of confusion. Hence the relationship between entrepreneurs and other factors of production was clearly distinguished. Mackenzie, also argued that:

these distinctions make the categorization of labourers, consumers and entrepreneurs simple, clear and consequently, enable us to avoid confusion as we sort out the contributions of different theorists. The assessment of these contributions does, however, requires us to relate the essential functions of entrepreneur to other functions of entrepreneur as well as to the functions of other agents. These relationships are the center of economic theory.

Knight (1978) also saw entrepreneurs as agents that bear risks and uncertainty. Hayek (1948) and Kirzner (1999) as economic theorists saw competition as a motivating factor for the acquisition of entrepreneurial skill. Women entrepreneurs are not exception from this economic persepective to entrepreneurial study. Women play a distinct role in the market system through their ability to manage and control other factors of production. Hence their motivation to entreprneurship. The more their perception as agents for economic revolution, the more their motivation into entrepreneurship and vice versa.

(f) Innovation: Innovation as a theory of entrepreneurship is accredited to Schumpeter (1934) and it is also called Schumpeterism (Wood, 2005). Innovation is the prime driver of economic progress as Schumpeter recognized it. Entrepreneurs create many of the innovations that shape our lives in small and medium scale businesses (Kickul, Welsch and Gindry, 2001). According to Schumpeter (1934), “innovation is the major force behind entrepreneurship”. He further argued that “Every growth oriented venture is a function of innovation and without innovation, the theory of entrepreneurship does not exist”. To buttress more on his point, he proposed that:

in part it (bourgeois society) appeals to, and in part it creates, a schema of motives that is unsurpassed in simplicity and force. The promises of wealth and the threats of destitution that it holds out, it redeems with ruthless promptitude where ever the bourgeois way of life asserts itself sufficiently to deem the beacons of other social world. These promises are strong enough to attract the large majority of supernormal brains and to identify success with business. The fundamental impulse that sets and keeps the capitalist engine in motion comes from the new consumers’ goods, the new methods of production or transportation, new processes and new merchant. The new markets, and the new forms of industrial organization that capitalist enterprise creates - innovation is what entrepreneurship is all about (Schumpeter, 1949).


Schumpeter also saw entrepreneurship as a fundamental factor in the economic developmental process and an entrepreneur as an innovator who is different from a bureaucratic executive of an organization that merely runs an establishment. He argued that “an entrepreneur must not necessarily be a developmental planner or an inventor but should be able to manipulate a specific enterprise that is already in existence, create and carve new things out of its form – innovation” ( Schumpeter, 1943). Schumpeter gave several examples of what he meant by a new combination in the area of the economy: “the introduction of a new quality of goods, or a new use of an already existing goods, … a new production method, … the opening up of a new market (and) the change of economic organization, e.g., in founding a trust, establishing a large corporation, etc.” He also stated that “the most common form of entrepreneurship is to create new firms. The most typical case representing all the different possibilities and all the different sides of the matter, the organizational, commercial, technical side, etc. is the founding of a new enterprise.” He further emphasized that
what is absolutely crucial for the entrepreneur is to be able to envision a new combination; and as opposed to the static person, this is something that comes easily to him. While the universe of the static person is limited to the combinations that already exist, the entrepreneur wants to move away from these and create a new combination in some part of the economy. Where the static person sees nothing but routine, the entrepreneur knows that there exists a nearly endless number of new ways of doing things.
He also saw entrepreneurs as extraordinary beings with supernormal brains. In support of

Schumpeter theory, Baumol (1993) drew a distinction between an organizing- entrepreneur and an innovating - entrepreneur. According to him, “an organizing entrepreneur creates, manages, organizes and operates a new business firm while an innovating entrepreneur transforms ideas into economically viable entities”. Baumol (1993) in his assertion attacked the economic theory by emphasizing that:

An entrepreneur is a person whose behaviour is difficult to be described or analyzed and his actions cannot be controlled rigidly by the dictates of sophisticated optional calculations or models. Entrepreneurs’ attitude of continuous change makes their behaviours and actions more difficult to be predicted.
Drucker (1985) also supported Schumpeter theory of entrepreneurship by adding that entrepreneurs must not only be innovative but should also be creative. Drucker saw creativity as an important force behind entrepreneurship. According to him, creativity births innovation and without creativity, economy will remain in a static position or what he called equilibrium stage which does not enhance development. Drucker (1985) further argues that what can be learned from the Japanese firm behaviour during the 1980s and beginning of the 1990s is that innovation and entrepreneurship are disciplines with their own - fairly simple - rules. This supported Schumpeter argument that’

There is no such thing as a dynamic equilibrium. Development, in its deepest character, constitutes a disturbance of the existing static equilibrium and shows no tendency at all to strive again for that or any other form of equilibrium…If the economy does reach a new state of equilibrium then this is achieved not by the motive forces of development,

but rather by a reaction against it. Other forces bring development to an end and by so doing create the first precondition regaining a new equilibrium (Schumpeter, 1954)
Entrepreneurship therefore destabilizes the state of equilibrium in the economy and set forces of disequilibrium in motion which births economic entities in form of ventures. Without innovation, creativity and invention add no value to an economy. According to Schumpeter the entrepreneur is bearer of the “mechanism for change”. Change can occur from both inside and outside the economy. Changes, development or entrepreneurship is defined “by the carrying out of new combinations. “The carrying out of new combinations we call “enterprise”; the individuals whose function it is to carry them out we call “entrepreneurs” (Schumpeter, 1934). The ability to identify new opportunities in the market is a central entrepreneurial activity which creates disequlibrium in the economy (Philipsen, 1999). Women are seen as initiators of ideas and production process that can birth new products and services in a particular environment.

Other Contributors to the Theory of Entrepreneurship

The theory of entrepreneurship can be looked at from the perspective of the contributions made by some theorists towards entrepreneurial development. These include;



(i) Max Weber (1846- 1920) (Socio-Ethical Theory of Entrepreneurship)

Max Weber is of the view that religious ideas can stimulate entrepreneurial spirit which leads to economic development. He emphasized its occurrence in the context of religious belief system, thereby suggesting that the belief systems of some do not encourage entrepreneurship. Max Weber suggested a direct relation between ethics and economic system as both interacted intensively. The role of cultural-socio-religious factors has been debated for its role on the economic development, which can be extended to entrepreneurship development as well. He maintained that certain teachings and attitudes prevalent in the society are a crucial prescription for economic growth. He used the Protestant ethics to support his claims which he substantiated with a practical example from Mexican villages. As Weber (1930 asserted;

an investigation was conducted to find out the changes that occurred as a result of the introduction of a new religion (Protestant) in one of the towns. It was discovered that the settlement of a Protestant reformation in that village brought a lot of changes and development such as the establishment of missions, schools and clinics through which the village became more enlightened. Children become more ambitious, parents were enlightened, they demonstrated this by taking their illness to clinic, their children to school, their savings to the bank, forsaking witch-crafting, drinking and marrying of many wives. Hard work, thrift, exploitation of economic opportunities and planned living were seen as the service of God and as a result of this, their businessmen faced risks and challenges. The resultant effects of these were economic growth and evolution of capitalist entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship development predominant arises only within a social group, which holds values similar to the Protestant ethic as seen above. This consecrated life commended specialization in one’s calling, diligence, acquisition of profit and an ascetic self-denial which discourages – the use of the business profit rather more investment in new ventures was encouraged.

The ethical rationalization according to Weber is therefore a reflection and justification of economic changes because individual cannot manipulate their values at will but must draw them from stronger authority.

To justify this; Max Weber (1930) has this to say

The modern man is in general, even with the best will, unable to give religion, ideas, etc the significance for culture and national character which they deserve. But it is of course not an attempt to substitute for a one sided materialistic affairs with an equal one sided spiritualistic affairs for casual interpretation of culture and history.

In conclusion, he argued that system of value facilitates entrepreneurship in the following ways:


  1. Value embodies in an institution defines groups with social cohesion and brings economic advantage.

  2. A system of value can also provide a coherent moral argument for entrepreneurial behaviour.

  3. Moral beliefs act autonomously on men’s mind, forming character, which conceives entrepreneurship as a duty.

Max Weber although was attacked by other intellectuals, on the ground that in his argument, he failed to address the question, whether there is a particular pattern of value which if derives either from Christianity or other ideological roots, must first develop and mould the entrepreneurial character in a person, who in turn redeems his unsatisfied ambition in business.

(ii) Frank Knight (1921): This is also known as “Knightian entrepreneurship”. It is based on expression of self-confidence in one's abilities to forecast the future, undertake and secure the factors that will help someone to start and manage successfully an enterprise towards production of goods for an unknown future demand by consumers, with superior opinion in the face of uncertainty (Wood, 2005). The focus of this theory is on making decision for production of goods/service in a state of uncertainty. Uncertainty and risk are the basic building blocks in Frank Knight’s (1921) definition of entrepreneurship. Knight discussed what will happen if uncertainty is introduced to the economy. “With uncertainty present, the actual execution of activity, becomes in a real sense a secondary part of life; the primary problem or function is deciding what to do and how to do it”. Knight emphasized the "forward-looking (ness) of action in the face of uncertainty ("imperfect knowledge") of the future as the cause of entrepreneurial profits as the excess of the return on sales in the future, which cannot be perfectly known, over the contracted price of factors in the known present. Knight describes the most important characteristics of the social organization by introducing uncertainty.

In the first place, goods are produced for a market on the basis of an entirely impersonal prediction of wants, not for the satisfaction of the wants of the producers themselves. The producer takes the responsibility of forecasting the consumer’s wants. In the second place, the work of forecasting and at the same time a large part of the technological direction and control of production are still further concentrated upon a very narrow class of the producers, and we meet with a new economic functionary, the entrepreneur (Knight, 1971).


Knight established a multi-step process of entrepreneurship: (1) estimating (forecasting) the future demand which he is striving to satisfy, (2) forecasting the future results of his operations in attempting to satisfy that demand (3) the evaluation of the accuracy of the forecasts and the likelihood of their achievement (called by Knight "control of the future), and 4) the choosing of the plan which is considered most likely of success ("increased power of prediction") element is a "psychological" process. According to Wood (2005) Knight did not discuss the details of the process of co-ordinating different plans, but he did point out the time-transcending forecast of the mind to see into the uncertain future more successfully than do others as the cause of successful entrepreneurship. In his words, Knight argued that “we perceive the world before we react to it, and we react not to what we perceive, but always to what we infer” (Knight, 1971). Applying Knight concept of entrepreneurship to women entrepreneurial motivation, the force of uncertainty acts as an important factor either in case of intrinsically or extrinsically motivation into entrepreneurial venture. Knight understood that the successful entrepreneur sees the future more accurately than do others and will be ready to take the risks involved. As Fasua (2007) puts it, a knightian entrepreneur must be prepared to take risk involved in such business. And Knight use of the verb "infer" implies that the entrepreneur creates a vision of the future which is unique to his own mind: According to Knight (1971)

the universal form of conscious behavior is thus action designed to change a future situation inferred from a present one. It involves perception and, in addition, twofold inference. We must infer what the future situation would have been without our interference and what change will be wrought in it by our action....none of these processes is infallible, or indeed ever accurate and complete. We do not perceive the present as it is and in its totality, nor do we infer the future from the present with any high degree of dependability, nor yet do we accurately know the consequences of our own actions. In addition, there is a fourth source of error to be taken into account, for we do not execute actions in the precise form in which they are imaged and willed.... It must be recognized further that no sharp distinction can be drawn between perception and reason...The function of consciousness is to infer, and all consciousness is largely inferential, rational. By which, again, we mean that things not present to sense are operative in directing behavior, that reason, and all consciousness, is forward-looking;...

The issue of uncertainty and risk in business requires tool for forecasting and evaluation in order to meet up with future demand of goods/services. Knight emphasized that decisions to act were two-fold in nature: first a forecast of the events which will result from an action, and second, an evaluation of the degree of the correctness of the forecast. Entrepreneurial intention or action is therefore a forecast result in dealing with the issue of uncertainty and its consequences. "A business woman herself not merely forms the best estimate he can of the outcome of her actions, but she is likely also to estimate the probability that her estimate is correct." This is how an entrepreneur plans: he looks at alternative sets of plans, and he also evaluates the likelihood of correctness of each forecast, selecting not necessarily the "best" plan (i.e., the most profitable), but the plan most likely to succeed; i.e., the correct forecast. Forecast as a tool for dealing with uncertainty is futuristic. To confirm this, Knight emphasized that successful entrepreneurs had a high opinion of their own accuracy of forecasting, so that even though they are mindful of the uncertainty of the future, still they believe that they have selected the most-likely-to-be-successful plan of action-from among all of those which they have identified. "The 'degree' of certainty or of confidence felt in the conclusion after it is reached cannot be ignored, for it is of the greatest practical significance.

(iii) F. A. Hayek (1937): "Hayekian entrepreneurship" The emphasis of this concept of entrepreneurship is on the co-ordination and dissemination (bringing into greater and greater agreement) by entrepreneurs, of the knowledge held by different market participants, of new factual events which have occurred and which are not yet fully appreciated, by all market participants in the market for goods (such as a collapse of a copper mine in South America which caused a reduction in the supply of copper in the world) (Wood, 2005). The co-ordination by entrepreneurs (women) of the expectations of market participants in the market for goods, bringing them closer into agreement with each other and closer to correct accuracy of forecasting of future events and condition so that the plans of market participants, are more closely co-ordinated and the economy is closer to equilibrium as a result of this co-ordination (Hayek, 1937). The Hayekian entrepreneurial function focused on the ability of an entrepreneur to coordinate existing knowledge, scattered over many parts of the economic system and disseminates the market knowledge thus gained to other market participants, thereby improving the co-ordination of the economy (Wood, 2005).

Hayek’s entrepreneurial theory lays much emphasis on the flow market for goods. His concept of the entrepreneurial co-ordination of the expectations of market participants, which is necessary for progress toward equilibrium, has not been addressed by economists. Applying this theory to women entrepreneurial motivation, Hayek’s opinion is that women reaction to information either negative or positive can lead to entrepreneurial action. For instance, information on women discrimination in the labour market can cause more women’s desire to go into entrepreneurship as a reaction against such knowledge and as a result more women entrepreneurs emerge in the market. Hayek, however, merely assumed that new information would be acted upon. Unlike, Schumpeter, he did not explain why a change in the supply or demand for a commodity would cause individuals to act differently. It was Mises (1962) and Kirzner (1982) who explained why and when the process of market transactions will occur in response to price differentials. Hayek also believed that a "...long-term equilibrium...in an ever changing world can never be reached" (Hayek, 1937). As long as the market is concerned, attainment of equilibrium is a temporary situation that requires information concerning new opportunities for entrepreneurial activities.



(iv) Ludwig Mises (1962) : "Misesian entrepreneurship" This theory emphasizes the acting for personal gain in the face of the uncertain future by bringing about a ‘future state superior’ (entrepreneurship) to what the actor expected to exist if he had acted differently. An entrepreneur as actor must be expected to achieve a personal gain that is higher than risk and the uncertainty involved. Mises sees ability to make gain in the face of uncertainty, as a factor determining entrepreneurial performance. According to him, since all market participants face uncertainty, all action involves entrepreneurship, and all market participants are to some extent entrepreneurs (Mises, 1962). The Misesian entrepreneurship focus is on all individuals not merely the specialist captain of industry of Schumpeter (Wood, 2005). "Economics, in speaking of entrepreneurs, has in view of a definite function and not men. This function...is inherent in every action...Action is always uncertain" (Mises, 1962). Applying Misesian entrepreneurship to women entrepreneurial motivation, the act of either intrinsically or extrinsically responding to a stimulus that will lead to an entrepreneurial action is the function towards satisfying personal gain in the face of uncertain future that leads to the emergence of entrepreneurship. According to Wood (2005), Misesian entrepreneurship is the most general and all-inclusive concept of entrepreneurship. Mises also emphasized that, even though the entrepreneur knows the future is uncertain, still he believes so much in the correctness of the forecast on which he acts that he "sees only profits (personal gain)."
Entrepreneurship was seen as a potent agent for moving the economy to a state of equilibrium. He emphasized that since equilibrium does not exist, entrepreneurial action (men and women ) moves the economy closer to the potential equilibrium state from the initial state, but the cause of the entrepreneurial action was the uncertainty and dis-co-ordination of the economy (Mises, 1962). Mises did not delimit or define in detail entrepreneurial action to certain categories of men or women; rather, it was for him all human action (both men and women), which is aimed at improving the state of things from the point of view of the actor. Entrepreneurship is human action that seeks improvement of the perceived situation of the actor. The tool of forecasting was seen a predicting tool for future profit. It is the entrepreneur’s ability to predict accurately against uncertain future that produces profit which sustains the entrepreneurial action. According to Mises, (1962) the entrepreneur earned profits by forecasting more accurately than did others the future prices of products, so that he was able to purchase the factors of production for prices which, seen from the later point of view were too low. "The task of the entrepreneur is to select from the multitude of technologically feasible projects those which will satisfy the most urgent of the not yet satisfied needs of the public (Wood, 2005). The ultimate source of profits is always the foresight of future conditions. An entrepreneur’s ability to predict and predetermine his profit expectation from a particular business is important. The world is in ever changing situation. Adapting this theory to women entrepreneurship, the activities of women entrepreneurs in the market place neutralizes the stagnancy that may result to what is ‘static economy’. Entrepreneurs (women inclusive) are seen as market players that destabilize the state of long run equilibrium. Mises (1962) also did not believe in the existence of long-run equilibrium According to him "there is no such thing as ‘a static economy’ i.e., there is an evenly rotating economy or the unequilibrium state.

(v) G. L. S. Shackle (1958) : "Shacklian entrepreneurship" It is focused on the response; i.e., with new production plans, of entrepreneurs to differentiate in events from what they had earlier expected (e.g., the sales of a product whose production was recently expanded). This means entrepreneurs' responses to newly-discovered previously-made mistakes in forecasting, and the creation of alternative imagined patterns of future forecasts (rival diverse hypotheses) inspired by the new knowledge of events, from which the ‘inspired" selection is made of the path to follow (Shackle, 1958; Wood, 2005). Decision is a choice between alternatives and is choice in face of bounded uncertainty. Shackle created the concept of the "kaleidic society, a society in which sooner or later unexpected change is bound to upset existing patterns" (Shackle, 1958). Applying this to women entrepreneurial motivation, the issue of job dissatisfaction, discrimination and marginalization against women in the labour market will provoke entrepreneurial among many women hence, unexpected emergence of women entrepreneurs in the society to up set existing pattern. Fasua (2007) argues strongly that Shackle believes in a society "interspersing its moments or intervals of order, assurance and beauty with sudden disintegration and a cascade into a new pattern and expects market players to be creative, imaginative and original in their opportunities identification.
Shackle's entrepreneur creates in his mind inspired (not dependent only on observable facts) multiple visions of alternative futures, from which he chooses the best and most likely to be achieved, and then acts to implement that chosen direction. As he argued, “we can choose only what is still unactualized; we can choose amongst imaginations and figments. Imagined actions and policies can have only imagined consequences, and it follows that we can choose only an action whose consequences we cannot directly know, since we cannot be eyewitnesses of them because they are events in the future” (Shackle, 1958). Applying this theory to the motivational patterns of women entrepreneurs, consequences of women decision for embarking on entrepreneurial venture is expected to have positive effects on their business performance and in solving the challenges confronting their business operation. According to Shackle, a choice among several alternatives leads to entrepreneurial action that is expected to result to profitability. To confirm this, Shackle opined that “if we knew what would be the sequel of each of the different and mutually exclusive courses (decisions) open to us, we should choose the act whose sequel we most desired”. Shackle began also the analysis of "speculative" decision-making, based on structures of changing subjectively-chosen expectations of the decision-maker within patterns of expectations of other market participants in an asset market, whether the stock market or the market for real physical assets.
In the pattern of Knightian "risk" comprising probability distributions of alternative possible future outcomes, but without the concept of probability upon which Knight depended, (unlike Knight, Shackle rejected probability as a useful tool for dealing with uncertainty or risk). The concept of patterns of expectations formed as a sort of spectrum of possible outcomes in the market in the mind of the actor, from which a choice is made (Shackle, 1958). Commenting on Shackle’s assertion, Wood (2005) emphasis that “In the absence of knowledge there is room for many answers, all of which we must provide for ourselves; and since the number of suggestions which our visible circumstances will supply, which bear on the matter, can be endless, it will be natural to construct many such answers in rivalry to each other”. The concept of choice was introduced by Shackle based on the relative "potential surprise" (a subjective concept) which a particular outcome would evoke from the decision-maker, as contrasted to the choice of the probabilistic outcome possessing the largest expected value (an objective concept) as suggested by knightian entrepreneurship. However, Shackle’s theory received strong support from theorists such as of Lachmann (1976), Hebert and Link (1982) and Wood (2005) who have continued this line of thought regarding asset markets. In support of this, Wood (2005) opined that

Shackle has created a theory of entrepreneurial decision making under uncertainty (as opposed to Knightian probabilistic "risk") from memory time through the present moment into expectational time i.e., in the real world, in which the created, forecasted alternative plans of action and possible outcomes from which choice is to be made are not initially specified, but are created (and hence unpredictable because in part uncaused) in inspired acts of thought in the present moment by the entrepreneur, and, because they are inspired, were previously unknown and unknowable.


Shackle emphasized his rejection of the calculus of probability as a tool for dealing with action in a world of uncertainty. To deal with "uncertainty" as opposed to Knightian "risk" Shackle created the concept of "potential surprise" to replace the probability distribution of known possible outcomes, and used that new concept to analyze the thought concept of the decision-making process of a world of uncertainty, reaching through conclusions different from those of the mainstream community analyzing "decisions under risk" (Shackle, 1958).

(vi) Israel M. Kirzner (1982): This also known as "Kirznerian entrepreneurship”. The theory emphasizes on the alert discovery by entrepreneurs due to their seeking of gain of previously unnoticed opportunities for co-ordination (i.e., previously unnoticed existing disco-ordinated situations) or of previously-unanticipated changes in valuations by consumers of particular goods or services (which may not yet exist) which they will wish to consume in the future in the flow market for goods and the actions taken by these entrepreneurs to achieve this improved co-ordination (Wood, 2005). Kirzner (1973) disagreed with neoclassic economics about the existence of equilibrium, because he does not believe in the assumption of complete information. To Kirzner, the entrepreneur contributes to a movement towards economic equilibrium by pursuing opportunities, though an equilibrium situation never will be reached. Essential for Kirzner’s view on entrepreneurship is the imperfect distribution of information. The economy is described as a process characterized by discovery and learning. The entrepreneur takes advantage of the imperfect distribution of information and tries to profit from the superior information and knowledge he poses. A central concept added by Kirzner to entrepreneurship is alertness (Philipsen, 1999).
According to Adaman and Devine (2000) Kirzner used the Misesian notion of ‘human action’ to analyse the entrepreneurial role: ‘the human action concept, unlike that of allocation and economizing, does not confine the decision-maker (or the economic analysis of his decisions) to a framework of given ends and means. Thus, the entrepreneurial element in human decision-making is defined by Kirzner (1973) as ‘the element of alertness to possibly newly available resources and to possibly newly worthwhile goals which is absent from economizing behaviour but present in human action. Kirznerian entrepreneurship brings the economy closer toward equilibrium, the condition in which all valuations are co-ordinated and consistent, by "spontaneously" correcting disequilibrating dis-coordinations among values, plans, and goods (Kirzner, 1973). Explaining this further (Wood, 2005) emphasized that

the Kirznerian entrepreneur buys factors in the present at a relatively low price, and turns them into finished goods which he sells at a later time at a relatively high price, thereby creating entrepreneurial profits. Necessarily, the purchase of factors occurs earlier in time than the sale of products, so the Kirznerian entrepreneur sees, and acts, through time, and must, therefore, correctly anticipate the as-yet-unrealized future in which products will be salable at high prices, at the time in the present when he purchases the "too-cheap" factors of production.


The Kirznerian entrepreneur notices ‘profit opportunities that exist because of the initial ignorance of the original market participants and that have persisted because of their inability to learn from experience’ (Adaman and Devine, 2000). In this setting,

the knowledge required for entrepreneurship is alertness, defined as ‘knowing where to look for knowledge’ and it is assumed that by using this superior knowledge the entrepreneur will capture profits. Now I choose ... to label that element of alertness to possible newly worthwhile goals and to possible newly available resources ... the entrepreneurial element in human decision-making. It is this entrepreneurial element that is responsible for our understanding of human action as active, creative, and human rather than as passive, automatic, and mechanical. (Kirzner, 1973).


In the mind of Kirzner a pure entrepreneur has nothing but his alertness (Philipsen, 1999). The demand function determines the entrepreneurial behaviour of Kirznerian entrepreneur. His anticipation of the future state of demand determines how, when and the amount he sells his products. He would not be able to sell his newly-produced products at the anticipated higher prices, or he would incur losses. As regard to this, Wood (2005) affirmed that
the Kirznerian entrepreneur, like the Schumpeterian entrepreneur, changes the future from what it would have been in his absence, to a better state (unless the entrepreneur has made an error in forecasting, in which situation the entrepreneur bears the associated losses, suggesting some dimension of capitalist function also embodied in the entrepreneur, despite Kirzner's protestations against that inclusion). The Kirznerian entrepreneur must foresee the future valuations of consumers which do not yet exist, but which the entrepreneur believes will exist in the future, when he seeks to sell those goods he has produced in anticipation of this change in consumer valuations (Wood, 2005).
In support of this assertion, Kirzner (1992) emphasized that ownership and entrepreneurship are completely separate functions. According to him, the pure entrepreneur starts out his or her business with no means and must acquire from the capitalist the capital with which to initiate entrepreneurial activity. However, the capitalist’s decision to lend to an entrepreneur also contains an entrepreneurial element, since in conditions of uncertainty it involves being alert to whether or not an investment offers a real possibility of gain.
Explaining further, Kirzner defines "alertness" as "this motivated propensity of man to formulate an image of the future. And Kirzner explains that the entrepreneur must create the future in a different form than it would have existed in his absence: "In particular, the futurity that entrepreneurship must confront introduces the possibility that the entrepreneur may, by his own creative actions, in fact construct the future as he or she wishes it to be. In the multiperiod case entrepreneurial alertness must include the entrepreneur's perception of the way in which creative and imaginative action may vitally shape the kind of transactions that will be entered into in future market periods (Wood, 2005). Kirzner also accepts that entrepreneurship involves an element of risk but argues that this does not mean rejecting the view that the essence of entrepreneurship is perceiving opportunities. To this end he said

to recognize that alertness in a world of uncertainty may call for good judgement and lively imagination does not, surely, affect the centrality of the insight that entrepreneurship refers, not to the deliberate exploitation of perceived opportunities, but to the alert perception of opportunities available for exploitation. While the entrepreneur operates under uncertainty, and therefore displays imagination, judgment and creativity, his role is not so much the shouldering of uncertainty as it is his ability to shoulder uncertainty aside through recognizing opportunities in which imagination, judgement and creativity can successfully manifest themselves (Kirzner, 1994 ).


Applying this theory to women entrepreneurial motivation, availability of resources can help, women to be alert to the existence of certain business opportunities in her environment, which she will later discover in the future because of her possession of the required resources at her disposal. This is what Kirzner called an "arbitrage" exchange ("the discovery of something obtainable for nothing at all"), the supreme confidence of the entrepreneur in the correctness of his forecast, such that he had no doubt of the existence of the previously-unnoticed opportunity to sell for high prices those products which he proposed to make, even though that opportunity existed only in the uncertain future, and behaved as though there were no uncertainty. In arguing that the entrepreneur does not "bear risk" in the ordinarily-understood sense, according to Wood (2005) Kirzner remarked that "the entrepreneur does not shoulder uncertainty so much as he shoulders aside uncertainty" and pointed out that Mises had emphasized that "The entrepreneur sees only profits." The entrepreneurial profits are therefore not the function of any objective preidentifiable quantities, and cannot be payments to any identifiable "factor of production" the supply of which can be expanded by suitable known actions, so they appear to the superficial mind, to be created out of nothing(Kirzner, 1992;1997).
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