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PROLOGUE

ISABEL GUTIÉRREZ ZULOAGA, Catedrática Emérita of University Complutense (Madrid)

The various reasons for making a choice between self-employment and employment in a work environment are being classified by Kolvereid (1996)1 in the following groups:

  • Security: risk, stability, steady income.
  • Economic opportunity: wages raise, growth potential, direct relationship between wage and final result.
  • Authority: control, management and responsibility.
  • Social environment: social – economic environment, number of members, colleagues.
  • Workload: steady working hours, apathy, stress, and task complexity.
  • Challenge: motivation, inspiration level.
  • Achievement necessity: achievement needs, creativity or innovation necessity.
  • Participation along the process: control of the activity from the beginning to the end.
  • Responsibility: prevention, job commitment.
  • Career: promotion or opportunity within the work activity.

The European Union encourages entrepreneurship. This is one of its prioritised objectives, because Europe needs more entrepreneurial and managerial attitudes.

The same idea is revealed in The Green Book of Entrepreneurship in Europe, which analyses the existing distance between the entrepreneurship in Europe and the United States. It also underlines the following three axes:

  1. To present the fact of “being an entrepreneur” as an attractive option.
  2. To create a more suitable environment for the existing companies.
  3. To make society aware of the importance of the business initiative for the social and economic development.

In the article The Manager and the Unemployment published in the magazine “Actualidad Económica” titled From unemployment to employment they say that starting up a new company can be the fastest way out of the unemployment, even better than looking for a job, while it is important to mention that this lucky solution is not necessarily an easy one. A person who is self-employed generates his or her own work, becomes part of the labour market and with his or her projects enhances the local, urban and rural economy.

The entrepreneurs state in surveys that an important motivation is the desire for personal realization, which has its origin in the necessity of self-appreciation and social recognition.

In order to start a new business it is fundamental to make the right decision, to be determined all the way from the vision, through the idea, the plan, the search for financial resources, right until the moment of making the company a reality and registering it. The process of creating a business and the accomplishments of small goals combined with the experience accumulated by the personal management, make people feel every day more secure and self-confident, increasing in this way their self-sufficiency and their ability to make a decision.

It is imperative to be ready to face the future with success. It is necessary to be flexible, to become versatile, and to learn how to adapt to the social-labour changes. This few tasks require as many resources and different skills as to start up a venture: to plan, to organize, to administrate, to sell, to negotiate, to get in touch with people like bankers, workers, professionals, employers etc. and above all to learn how to make decisions constantly even without being certain if the decision is right.

The objective of this program is to establish a relationship with a world where the energy, the action and the initiative must prevail in order to keep going ahead, but without forgetting that starting something new is more than just a fashion, it is a lifestyle, a system of values that allows a person:

  • Take risks in order to create a business and new job positions.
  • Set in motion social and community projects where the personal leadership will let him or her develop his or her environment.
  • Improve and launch a company through corporate entrepreneurship.
  • Improve his or her personal goals with self-employment.

In the area of self-employment training, here is a basis of what we would like to introduce. Some information about the Educational Program Luces: Cognitive Abilities, received as a proposal to work for self-employment. The thematic parts focus on the principal aspects of the subject: the initiation to self-employment, the personal competence, the cognitive competence, ecology and the company.

We hope that the Luces Guide for Entrepreneurs will achieve its objective: to help all those people who would like to be better informed about self-employment, and all those professionals who are involved in the training and promotion of the entrepreneurs.

El Escorial, 21 may, 2003

1 Kolvereid, L. (1996). "Organizational Employment versus Self-Employment: reasons for Career Choice Intentions" in Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice. 21(3) Spring, 23-31.

 

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