Competencies are key skills needed by employees to do their jobs well. A competent employee is more productive and adds better value to the workplace. Therefore, competency evaluation is becoming one of the most popular ways to analyze skill gaps in the current workforce and devise methods of filling the gap. There are a lot of competencies required by modern employees; one very vital category is entrepreneurship competency.

Entrepreneurship is not a new term. It refers to the process of setting up and successfully managing a business idea, creating monetary value, and helping the business grow. Ideally, the person(s) who owns any organization is an entrepreneur, and people working for the entrepreneur are employees.

If this idea is right, why are organizations looking for employees with entrepreneurial competencies? Why are such employees with an entrepreneurial zeal preferred over others? Keep reading to know more. While thinking about entrepreneurial competencies, read our blog on the basics of competency assessments and their importance to get better insights into competency assessments.

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What is entrepreneurial competency?

Entrepreneurial competency is a set of skills and behaviour needed to create, develop, manage, and grow a business venture. It also includes the ability to handle the risks that come with running a business. Without a doubt, business owners and startup founders must possess most of the entrepreneur competencies to succeed.

Just like other types of competencies, there are different sub-categories here. The competencies could be technical, behavioural, attitude-based, or productivity-based.

Those with an entrepreneurial zeal need to play three prominent roles.

  1. Creator
  2. Organizer
  3. Market maker

So the competencies for entrepreneurship are designed to help people perform in these roles effectively.

Why should organizations look for employees with entrepreneurial competencies?

While it makes sense for business owners to work on their core competencies in entrepreneurship, why is this even discussed for employees? Here is why.

According to a survey by Forbes, entrepreneurs are some of the most engaged and healthiest individuals in the world. The survey states that this could be because they are passionate about what they do and always looking for opportunities.

An entrepreneurial mindset also means pushing themselves to be innovative and creative and holding on to even the tiniest opportunity to grow. Don’t all these characteristics sound valuable? Organizations feel that when their employees have an entrepreneurial mindset, they add more value to the workplace and get a sense of ownership of the company and not just treat it like a place to earn a salary from.

Entrepreneurship competency will mean employees are self-driven, responsible, innovative, and motivated about what they do. Here are the basic differences between any other employee and one with entrepreneurial competencies.

Employees with entrepreneurial competencies employees Employees without entrepreneurial competencies
The ultimate need is freedom and creativity; hence, these employees take more risks. The ultimate need becomes job security; hence, these employees take very few risks.
These employees don’t worry about time-based compensation and are very invested in their jobs. Time-based compensation is taken seriously and employees work only for what they feel their salary is worth.
Such employees are self-motivated and driven and don’t require a lot of monitoring. Most employees function better when they are told what to do and are monitored.
Employees end up owning decisions and responsibilities. They enjoy accountability. Employees like handing over responsibilities to others, doing only what is asked of them.
Employees have a sense of ownership to the organization. Employees consider the organization as just a workplace to become financially stable.

Core competencies in entrepreneurship

While there are a lot of core competencies in entrepreneurship, here are some basic ones you can look for in your employees the next time there is a competency evaluation process happening.

  • Risk-taking abilities
  • Out-of-the-box thinking and creativity
  • Problem-solving abilities
  • Taking initiative
  • Persistence
  • Persuasion and social skills
  • Business management skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Networking skills
  • Effective communication skills

Want some help recognizing employee behaviour at the workplace? This blog will help you then.

How to encourage entrepreneurial competency skills in employees?

Developing entrepreneurial competencies offers two benefits – it helps employees move from individual roles to management roles and allows the organization to flourish and take more giant strides ahead. So, here are the innovative ways in which an organization can encourage entrepreneurial competencies in its employees.

  • Allow knowledge sharing

This is one of the most important ways you can groom entrepreneurs within the organization. Make sure knowledge is available freely for those who pursue it. Diversity of knowledge is what makes a person holistically developed. Employees should have a basic idea of how most other teams and the organization’s business function. Learning programs need to be offered regularly, without hesitation.

  • Initiate programs that foster creativity and fresh ideas 

There are organizations that host town halls just to get fresh ideas and thoughts from employees. Employees are asked to speak their minds here, and new ideas are jotted down. This makes employees feel like they matter. It also helps the organization to identify those with entrepreneurial skills easily and get smart ideas that may work.

  • Allow ownership 

Having someone to monitor employees is a good idea. However, micromanagement can turn out to be negative for the employee’s spirits. Make sure you create the sense of ownership in employees, letting them take smaller decisions themselves and deal with clients with minimal monitoring. Hire managers who believe in this process to ensure employees get the freedom that allows them to foster entrepreneurial competencies.

  • Create an atmosphere of security and protection 

Many employees don’t take risks or don’t go the extra mile because they fear things going wrong. What would happen to their jobs if their decisions didn’t work? Will they be blamed if their choices go wrong?

All entrepreneurs make choices and decisions and own them, whether they worked or not. However, employees have the added pressure of being accountable to the management. So, they would hesitate to do this unless they know that the management trusts them and would not shift blame if a decision didn’t work.

If you want employees to develop entrepreneurial competencies, then let them know that making mistakes is alright and that the organization will back them up and help rectify damages. Creating that kind of a psychologically secure atmosphere is very important.


You can do two things to foster entrepreneurial competencies in the workforce – hire individuals who show entrepreneurial zeal or have had past experiences handling businesses or invest in training and learning programs to promote the same in your existing employees.

Make sure there are a couple of employees with a high entrepreneurial spirit in every team to help others grow and be productive. These employees will constantly think about ways to uplift their team and their processes and, as a result, help the organization grow too. Employees with an entrepreneurial spirit are assets to the organization, and their skills need to be valued, appreciated, rewarded, and nurtured.

You can design your own competency framework and include entrepreneur competencies in them to start monitoring the skills. Get in touch with PossibleWorks to know how to do this.

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