Brazilian Entrepreneurship Reality: A Trilogy of Imitation, Invention and Innovation
What is it about?
There are a lot of discussions on the characteristics of the successful businessman, who contributes to development of the economy through wealth creation. There are many authors who talk about such businessman as someone innovative, creator of differences, creative in services or business, or else. For theses reasons it is intended to study the entrepreneurial and innovative dimensions, more precisely in a Brazilian context, discussing innovation from the inside in a business perspective. From this discussion, it is our objective to demonstrate that Brazilian people are either entrepreneurs or inventors but not so innovative. On one hand, there is a clear perception related to new business opportunities but most of them are in an imitation process of existing businesses. On the other hand, Brazil is offering an extensive network of incubators that create inventors instead of entrepreneurs. This chapter shows an extended bibliographic research about different concepts that various authors have related to entrepreneurship and innovation in order to consequently, discuss such concepts, comparing them to data from researches on Brazilian entrepreneurs about innovativeness of their business. Pirich et al. (2001) mentions that observing innovation jointly with entrepreneurship are consequent on three key elements: economical conditions and encouraging incentive of business behavior; sophistication and efficiency in generating and spreading knowledge and the proper capability of companies, employees, and individuals. The ANPROTEC (2006) literature demonstrates that entrepreneurship and innovation refer to a stimulus or support in the creation process of new ventures; it also refers to the preparation of people to act in new market shares, proposition of new ways to take profit of regional potentialities as well as local qualities to create new products and services, involving a community to discuss forms of economical empowerment for its region and create a favorable environment to emerge creative ideas that may generate in new businesses. Schumpeter (1934) mentions that entrepreneurship behavior is a configuration of competitiveness in search of combinations of elements that generate innovation. For Drucker (1985), innovation is a specific instrument for entrepreneurs in a way to explore changes as an opportunity for a different business or services. Entrepreneurs must deliberatively look for innovation sources, changes and their symptoms, which indicate opportunities so that innovation can happen and be successful. Throughout times, Schumpeter’s (1934) point of view became predominant: the entrepreneur is the engine to move the economy forward, the agent of innovation and changes, able to trigger economical growth. This is very important, because it means that communities, through their entrepreneurial activity, may have the initiative to lead and coordinate efforts for their own economical growth. There is a possibility to change economical and social stagnation curve by inducing innovative activities, capable of joining economical and social values (Dolabela, 1999:54). The entrepreneur is the agent of creative destruction process. It is a fundamental impulse to start and keep on going the capitalist engine, constantly creating new products, new markets, and, implacably, overcoming old methods less efficient and more expensive (Schumpeter, 1934). Innovation emerges to entrepreneurs as advantages from the point of view of economical prosperity. It allows developing new products or services for the market as well as it stimulates interest in investing in newborn businesses. This chapter initially presents various concepts throughout time related to entrepreneurship and innovation. Then it discusses imitation as a form of entrepreneurship from many authors’ points of view and afterwards, it presents the challenges for entrepreneurship in Brazil. It shows figures related to new businesses, their importance for the economy in this country and after that presents some data related to innovation in the industry. It has the objective to confront the profile of the most common behavior in Brazilian industry. As a result of various researches realized, it is possible to demonstrate that Brazilian entrepreneurs are either, in most cases, in a deliberate imitation process of existing businesses, or engaged in an incubating process based on product invention, still with a poor innovative profile. These conclusions allow discussing entrepreneurship concepts presented by several authors that mostly tend to characterize the entrepreneur as someone who is primarily active but not necessarily very creative, innovative.
The following have contributed to this page: Dr Cristine Hermann Nodari, Dr Pelayo Munhoz Olea, and Dr Eric Charles Henri Dorion