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1.2: The Role Entrepreneurs have in Today’s Society

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    The Role Entrepreneurs have in Today’s Society

    Task Summary:

    Learning Outcomes:

    • Reflect on the role entrepreneurs have in today’s society
    • Consider how the role of entrepreneurs impacts the definition of entrepreneurship
    • Research the impact of entrepreneurial success
    • Analyze an entrepreneurial scenario


    Now that you have a foundational grasp of entrepreneurship, let’s look into the various roles of entrepreneurs. Who are some of the entrepreneurs that come to mind when you think of the definition you developed at the end of the last module? Who are these people and what kind of impact have they had on industry or their local environment?

    Activity 1.2.1

    Prior to working through the rest of this module, go through the readings below (or conduct your own research) to locate an entrepreneur (different from the one you discussed in Activity 1.1) that motivates you, and consider the following prompts:



    • What makes them an entrepreneur?
    • Why do they inspire you?
    • How well do they fit your definition of entrepreneurship from the last module?
    • Does this example make you want to change your definition of entrepreneurship? If so, why? Edit your written definition of entrepreneurship if updates make sense.

    Lesson 1.2.1: Entrepreneurial Scenarios

    An interactive H5P element has been excluded from this version of the text. You can view it online here:


    In this video, we look at an entrepreneurial scenario to get you started with entrepreneurial problem-based thinking. Consider the following situation. You’re wanting to spend your summer at the beach. You and your friends are all spending your time there, perhaps you’re working at an ice cream stand or something, and so you’re spending your breaks going into the water in the ocean, but to get from the stand over to the ocean the sand is so hot. It’s in the middle of the day, your feet are burning and so are your friends. what kind of opportunity do you think can stem out of this? Something that you could create value for yourself and for others? (note: do not look beyond the question box until you have provided your answer!).

    An interactive H5P element has been excluded from this version of the text. You can view it online here:

    Great choice! Developing sandals is an excellent opportunity and way to create value for yourself and others. So if that’s what you’re going to do, what are some of the things that you need to do, the steps that you need to take, and maybe the resources that you need to gather to actually make this happen? And then once it happens, how do you sustain it and grow it?

    Consider this example of two “classic” (i.e. starting a business) entrepreneurs and the impact they have had on the world around them:

    Brothers Fernando and Santiago Aguerre exhibited entrepreneurial tendencies at an early age. At 8 and 9 years old respectively, they sold strawberries and radishes from a vacant lot near their parents’ home in Plata del Mar on the Atlantic coast of Argentina. At 11 and 12, they provided a surfboard repair service from their garage. As teenagers, Fer and Santi, as they call each other, opened Argentina’s first surf shop, which led to their most ambitious entrepreneurial venture of all.

    The flat-footed brothers found that traipsing across hot sand in flip-flops was uncomfortable, so in 1984 they sank their $4,000 savings into manufacturing their own line of beach sandals. Now offering sandals and footwear for women, men, and children, as well as clothing for men, Reef sandals have become the world’s hottest beach footwear, with a presence in nearly every surf shop in the United States.

    The Aguirre’s, who currently live two blocks from each other in La Jolla, California, sold Reef to VF Corporation for more than $100 million in 2005. In selling Reef, “We’ve finally found our freedom,” Fernando says. “We traded money for time,” adds Santiago. Fernando remains active with surfing organizations, serving as president of the International Surfing Association, where he became known as “Ambassador of the Wave” for his efforts in getting all 90 worldwide members of the International Olympic Committee to unanimously vote in favor of including surfing in the 2020 Olympic Games.

    As you can see, the impact of these and many other entrepreneurs goes well beyond the products or services sold entrepreneurs have economic social, and environmental impacts that change and evolve as society changes and evolves.

    An interactive H5P element has been excluded from this version of the text. You can view it online here:


    Activity 1.2.2: Read, Watch, Listen – Reflect

    Today is all about taking some time to connect the concepts that you have learned about in Modules 1 & 2 with the entrepreneurial resources provided below, all with the intent to develop your personal definition of Entrepreneurship at the end of Unit 1. Pay close attention to the concepts that resonate with you, and that stand out as being particularly important. Remember, at the end of Unit 1 you will be developing either a 250-word document, infographic, or two-three minute presentation on your personal definition of Entrepreneurship.

    The key steps are:

    1. Research the links below
    2. Identify the concepts that resonate with you as being important and inspiring
    3. Reflect on why these concepts are important and inspiring
    4. Reflect on how these concepts relate to your own draft definition of entrepreneurship (does it change it? support it? why?)
    5. Reflect on how you can apply these concepts to create your own entrepreneurial success over the next 18 months


    Activity 1.2.3: Journal Entry

    As a reminder, journaling can be a really powerful way to learn because it gets us to pause and reflect not only on what we have learned but also on what it means to us. Journaling makes meaning of material in a way that is personal and powerful.

    It’s time to reflect on your Module 2 learning experience. Part of being an entrepreneur requires a notable degree of self-reflection and self-awareness. This journal entry is all about the learning experience that you have had thus far. Identify your learning strengths, and what has come easily to you as you have gone through the first module of the course. Also, identify the areas which you want to strengthen and improve on from a learning perspective. Keep in mind this journal entry is not about the content you have learned, but rather how you have learned, and the Learning Experience. This is intended to help you better understand yourself as a learner, which is really important as you go through not only this course but also the rest of your education. Your journal entries should be either 300 to 500 written words or a video that is approximately 5 minutes.

    Using your own experience and the course material, dig a bit deeper into your own personal story as an existing or potential entrepreneur going through this learning experience and reflect in your journal (blog, vlog, etc) on all of the following prompts for this module:

    1. Key Concepts you have learned that help you better understand entrepreneurship
    2. Concepts that were easy to understand and why
      • If there was not a particular concept that was easy to understand, reflect on why this was the case
    3. Concepts that were difficult to understand and why
      • If there was not a particular concept that was difficult to understand, reflect on why this was the case


    Media Attributions

    Photo of the ripple effect by StartupStockPhotos on Pixabay.

    Photo of Aguerre Brothers by Shop Eat Surf

    Text Attributions

    The opening section parts on the entrepreneurial Aguerre brothers were taken from “Introduction to Business” by Gitman et al. (2012) CC BY

    The potential definitions of entrepreneurs were taken from “Entrepreneurship and Innovation Toolkit, 3rd Edition” by L. Swanson (2017) CC BY-SA


    Entrepreneur. (n.d.). Retrieved from  

    Zimmerer, T. W., & Scarborough, N. M. (2008). Essentials of entrepreneurship and small business management . Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

    1.2: The Role Entrepreneurs have in Today’s Society is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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