ENTREPRENEURIAL SUCCESS FACTORS 19

Abstract

With increased globalization, there has been a substantial increasein the number of individuals interested in developing entrepreneurialventures. However, not all individuals have been as successful asthey desired when engaging in the business activity. This paper willidentify some of the most critical features affecting the success ofentrepreneurs in Oman and the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC). Itincludes an analysis of the basic characteristics exhibited by thesuccessful entrepreneurs. The quantitative analysis of the data wasensures that the outcome of the research can be quantified. The datais collected using semi open-ended questionnaires and previousresearch, government reports, official statistics and webinformation. Some of the components of data analysis includecategorization and coding. Various conclusions were made from theresearch. They survey also indicated that entrepreneurs face numerousbarriers which range from the unskilled workforce to issues with thegovernment.

Contents

Abstract 2

Introduction 4

Aims and Objectives 5

Significance of the Study 5

Literature Review 6

Entrepreneurship in Oman and GCC 6

Benefits of Promoting Entrepreneurship 7

Entrepreneurial Factors 8

Success and Failure According to Small Sized Enterprises 10

Barriers to Entrepreneurship 11

Methods 11

Research Approach 11

Sampling 12

Participants 12

Data Collection Tools 12

Data Analysis Methods 13

Findings and Discussions 13

Conclusion 16

References 17

Introduction

The recent development witnessed in the field of the economy hasinspired the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to have renewedinterest in the entrepreneurship. The governments have placed severalfactors and policies that ensure entrepreneurship is a sector thatgrows in their respective countries. Oman is one of the countries inthe GCC with one of the largest entrepreneurship hubs. In the recenttimes, the Sultanate of Oman has experienced significant improvementsand development in the country. However, entrepreneurship is a sectorthat has faced diverse challenges (Magd, &amp McCoy, 2013). Thecountry over-relies on oil while there are a significant number ofyouths who remain unemployed. The unemployment is in spite of theadvanced education achievements made by these young people (Makhbul &ampHasun, 2011). Oman has for a given duration, elaborated on the activerole played by the entrepreneurship in tackling several issues.Enterprise provides the unemployed youths in the country withemployment opportunities, alleviates poverty and finally diversifiesthe economy of the country (Al-Sadi, Belwal &amp Al-Badi, 2011). The government of the Sultanate of Oman has therefore introducedvarious methods and techniques that the country can utilize in thefacilitation of entrepreneurial skills through the provision of afavorable environment.

Oman provides entrepreneurial education for the citizens of thecountry to make entrepreneurship an exciting venture for theinterested parties. Additionally, the state provides finances for itsnationals to simplify the process of entering into the business andenterprise word (Al-Shanfari, 2012). This is has provided thecitizens Oman with a strong startup base that they can, in turn,utilize in developing a solid foundation for their business ideas. To promote entrepreneurship amongst the youth of the country, thegovernment of Oman has strengthened ties between the education sectorand the enterprise industry in the country. The workforce in theregion is, therefore, skilled personnel who can deliver to theoptimal standards. Facilitation of female entrepreneurship isanother element that the government of Oman has utilized instrengthening the investment spirit in the country (Chivali, 2016).

Aims and Objectives

The goal of this research is to evaluate the aspects that contributeto the success of entrepreneurs in Oman and the GCC countries. Thesegoals, therefore, include:

  1. To find out the complexity or the simplicity of the process of joining the entrepreneurship sector amongst entrepreneurs in Oman and the GCC.

  2. To examine the main success factors for entrepreneurs in Oman and the GCC.

  3. To assess the key factors of success, the fields of focus and the innovative business ideas for entrepreneurs in Oman and GCC.

  4. To recognize the problems and barriers faced by entrepreneurs in Oman and GCC countries.

Literature Review

Reviews on topics covering the success factors in entrepreneurship inaddition to the barriers hindering success amongst entrepreneurs is asubject that attracts a significant amount of attention fromscholars. Entrepreneurship is essential in promoting sustainableeconomic growth and development. Below is the review of the differentkinds of literature that discuss the topic in the field of study.

Entrepreneurship in Oman and GCC

The GCC and the Sultanate of Oman have increased the amount ofattention the countries pay on entrepreneurship and its impact oneconomic growth. Within these countries, the small and themedium-sized enterprises immensely contribute regarding the learningand the employment rates in the country (Thomas, 2016). Thegovernments of these countries have come up with effective strategiesand policies that they can utilize to come up with plans for makingentrepreneurship amongst the core priorities in the countries. Thus,most governments in the GCC provide financial support and otherlogistics to the small sized business entrepreneurs (Alam, Jani, &ampOmar, 2011). Through financially supporting such kind ofentrepreneurs, the government promotes the fact that the economicengine of the countries stays on toes.

The government of Oman has placed particular attention on theupcoming entrepreneurs in the country to deal with unemployment. TheSultanate provides small-sized entrepreneurs with financialassistance and entrepreneurial education to improve the competencylevels of these individuals. Provision of financial and educationalsupport to the citizens of the country makes self-employment anattractive venture to be explored (Magd, &amp McCoy, 2013). TheSultanate also strengthens the ties between education and theentrepreneurship industry. The strong ties help with theidentification of the potential and the existing gaps as well asensuring that the entrepreneurs are equipped with the relevant skillsthat boost the performance rates in the industry (Al-Ghazali, Yussof&amp Sadi, 2014). Oman additionally supports and facilitates thedevelopment and the growth of the female entrepreneurs in thecountry. Women entrepreneurs show a vital part in the overallevolution of the state (Chivali, 2016).

Benefits of Promoting Entrepreneurship

Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) play a substantial roletowards the goal of poverty alleviation and national economic growthand development rates (Al-Harrasi, Al-Zadjali, &amp Al-Salti, 2014).SMEs provide primary and secondary sources of incomes and hencemanage issue that deals with unemployment rates and poverty. Incomparison to the large firms, smaller enterprises have the potentialof providing employment opportunities to a large percentage of thepopulation. Small business utilises labor-intensive technologies,unlike the large corporations. Moreover, SMEs promote an environmentin which the unskilled labors also have an opportunity to developtheir skills for societal and economic growth (Elali &amp Al-Yacoub,2016). Increased innovation in the economy is another benefit that isassociated with SME. Small enterprises are a driving force for changeas people seek for ways and methods to meet the continued growth ofneeds that they face on a day-to-day basis. Innovation is a keydriver for the economic and social growth in the community.Entrepreneurship has an immense contribution to the GDP in particularcountries (Al-Ghazali, Yussof &amp Sadi, 2014). Formation and growthof entrepreneurship in a country significantly impact the GDP. SMEscontribute to the GDP through exports and by providing governmentswith additional revenue.

Entrepreneurial Factors

Research has discovered that entrepreneurial factors contribute tothe success of business persons. Entrepreneurs possess outstandingqualities that assist with the investment decision they make in theirline of work. The excellent conditions help in the decision-makingprocess and hence play a role in the achievement course ofentrepreneurs. Self-confidence, internal locus of control,innovativeness and independence are some of the other qualities thatentrepreneurs possess and assist in the decision-making the processof the contractors. Other skills include communication anddecision-making skills (Kargwell &amp Inguva, 2012). The ability toface any given situation also plays a major role in determining theprogress and prosperity that a business will have. Risk-taking,recognition of opportunities and self-efficacy assist in thedevelopment of firms into successful ventures.

Some researchers have outlined honesty, ethics and criteria as thethree primary criteria that contribute real values that entrepreneurscan possess and utilize in the development of healthy organizations.Other characteristics such as having excellent interpersonal skills,being creative, competencies in the mental and technical area arealso influences that add value to the success of entrepreneurs(Al-Harrasi, Al-Zadjali, &amp Al-Salti, 2014). Other contributingvalues to entrepreneurship include being goal-oriented, determined,self-confident and flexible and they also add value to entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs struggle to have diverse knowledge in the differentfield of business. They can as well hang around individuals who haveprofound knowledge on the sectors the entrepreneurs are interested inventuring. They can gain knowledge from formal or informal trainingor personal experiences (Elali &amp Al-Yacoub, 2016). Havingdiverse experience triggers innovativeness and new and creative ideasthat entrepreneurs can use in the maximization of opportunities thatpresent themselves. Leadership is a quality that also assists in theorganizational changes and innovation within the organizations.Management skills provide entrepreneurs with opportunities toinfluence their employees in the formation of a new idea.

Support from others in the society is a major contributing a factorin the success of entrepreneurs. Support is categorized into twocategories which include formal and informal support. Technology,strategic partnership, industrial contacts and financial assistanceare some of the forms of official supports. On the other hand,personal and community-based networks are some of the types ofinformal support (Thomas, 2016).

Motivation factors are entrepreneurial variables as they determinethe degree an individual is willing to go through a process toachieve the set goals and objectives. Entrepreneurs are continuouslyfaced with different economic and social scenarios and challenges.Motivation factors, on the other hand, can be utilized by contractorsto ensure success is achieved amid such kinds of challenges(Rajasekar, 2014). Economic issues can act as a source of motivationof an entrepreneur. Independence also serves as a variable thatpromotes success in business. Approval and recognition are otherfactors that promote success in business.

Success and Failure According to Small-Sized Enterprises

Entrepreneurial success can be defined in different ways. Successrelates the continued trading and the failure that an enterprise hasfaced with factors such as the growth of the business, profitability,creation of personal wealth and sustainably among many other factors.Measuring the success or the failure of enterprises may be linked tothe financial performance of the institution in question (Kargwell &ampInguva, 2012). Success and failure hence discuss issue that isrelated to the business as discussed below.

The financial performance of a firm is the most used factor tomeasure the performance levels of a company. Annual sales growthrates as well as annual turnovers determine the performance standardsof a firm and determine if a company can be viewed as successful.Therefore, identification of the threshold of the revenue providesdetails of labelling a strong as successful of a failure (Al-Harrasi,Al-Zadjali, &amp Al-Salti, 2014). The growth of an organization isalso a determining factor in the success of failure of a firm. Themeasurement of the increase of a body is achievable through theutilization of indicators which can include the product and servicesoffered, staffing levels and the market share. Competitiveness isanother strategy that can be utilized in the measurement of theperformance rates of organizations (Elali &amp Al-Yacoub, 2016). The ability of an organization to increase or maintain a market sharedetermines if the team is performing according to the requiredsocietal standards. A significant market share indicates the successof the team. The ability to affirm to meet its set goals andobjectives is also a factor that determines if a team has becomesuccessful or has failed. A group that considers itself successful isone that has achieved the targeted objectives and goals.

Barriers to Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurs may be faced with various obstacles during theprogression of creation and application of creative business ideas.Access to finance is a challenge that prevents some entrepreneurs intheir start-up ventures. Investors are careful when it comes to thetypes of activities they chose hence small entrepreneurs may not havea platform for implementing their ideas (Mehrez, 2014). Thereputation of new or the small firms also affects their ability tostart up their businesses effectively even after securing thestart-up capitals. Availability of skilled labor is another factorthat hinders success in business as ensuring the right people is achallenging process. Entrepreneurs have limited time for themanagement of the growth and the development of their firms and henceconsequently prevent the company from achieving success (Rajasekar,2014). Finally, there are always limited chances and opportunities inwhich counties or entrepreneurs encourage female entrepreneurs toenter the industry. The success of the business is often limited ifthe female gender is not factored into the firm.

MethodsResearch Approach

This study is a field research that has mixed methodology. The mixmethod approach adopted by the research will allow for the collectionof detailed information as well as data that is accurate and reliablein nature. The in-depth interviews and the information gathered fromthe secondary data sources will allow for the collection of such kindof data from the participants in the study. This study will askquestions in relations to the experiences and nature of business ofentrepreneurs in Oman. The researchers will interact with theentrepreneurs from Oman to administer the interviews.

Sampling

Convenience sampling will be utilized in the research. The samplingis easy to conduct hence appropriate information will be easilyaccessed by the participants in the study (Farrokhi &amp Hamidabad,2012). The population acquired form the sample will be mostappropriate for the study.

Participants

The participants in this research will be exclusively volunteers whowill be entrepreneurs in Oman. The participants in the study havebeen approximated to be twenty-three in number. They will simplyattend the interview sections to contribute in the research. Theparticipants will be advised to answer the questions as honest aspossible.

Data Collection Tools

This research is mixed in nature as the data sources are from bothprimary and secondary sources. The main sources of information willbe retrieved through the in-depth interviews while the secondarysources of information will be retrieved from a collection of datafrom previous research, government reports, official statistics andweb information. The study will be conducted in two phases. The firststep will involve the collection of data from the entrepreneurs inSalalah in Oman. The second stage of the data collection processwill include the search of the secondary sources of data providinginformation regarding entrepreneurial success factors in the GCC. Thekeywords will be entrepreneurial, success and factors.

The structuring of the interview questions will be in a way that theparticipants in the study will easily comprehend. The questions willassess the personal information of the members and continue toevaluate the related information on the choice of entrepreneurshipand the success that has been companies by choice. The interviewquestions will obtain first-hand information from entrepreneurs inOman on the perceptions they hold on the actors that contribute tosuccess. The secondary sources of information, on the other hand,will seek to retrieve information on the entrepreneurial successfactors amongst entrepreneurs in GCC. Afterwards, the research willcompare the results found from the two sources of data.

Findings and Discussions

A total number of 23 participants in the study participated in theinterview conducted by the research team in Salalah, Oman. Interviewees were helpful and answered the questions best to theirknowledge.

Gender: All if the participants who participated in the studywere male. However, one member skipped this sector in thequestionnaire.

Age: while entrepreneurs ranging between 24 and 45 years wereinterviewed, a majority of the participants were between the ages of31 to 40 years. 21.74% (5) of the participants were between the ages24 to 30 years. 56.52% (13) of the participants were between the agesof 31 to 40 years and 21.7% (5) of the study population were betweenthe ages 41 to 45 years.

The level of Education: 11(50%) of the participants had abachelor’s degree. 1(4.55%) had high school degree, 4(18.18%) haddiploma, 5(22.73%) had masters’ degree and 1(4.55%) had adoctorate. 1 of the participants did not answer this question.

Educational Background: Educational experiences of theparticipants were evenly spread amongst the members. 6(26.09%) ofthem had a background in management, 4(17.39%) in engineering,4(17.39%) in accountancy, 3(13.04%) in finance, 1(4.35%) in MIS and2(8.70%) in marketing while 3(13.04%) others did specify theireducational backgrounds.

Work Experience: All the participants in the study hadprofessional experience ranging from 3(8.57%) accountancy, 4(11.43%)finance, 9(25.71%) government positions, 6(17.14%) management,5(14.29%) marketing, 4 (11.43%) sales, 1(2.86%) tourism and 3(8.57%)manufacturing. Additionally, they chose diverse economic fields fortheir business.

17(33.33%) of the participants in the study decided to venture intoentrepreneurship due to the need for extra income. Other reasons forventuring into entrepreneurship included 7(13.73%) the need forindependence, 6(11.6%) success and 9(17.65%) being an own boss.6(11.76%) participants wanted to start a business while 4(17.84%)joined enterprise due to an opportunity which presented itself. 14(60.87%) participants had an experience in the areas they venturedinto while 9(39.13%) had no expertise in the business areas theyventured. To succeed in their businesses, 8(34.78%) participants inthe study preferred to go for training in their line ofspecialization and 8(34.78%) preferred to learn directly from themistakes they made during the firm.

When it comes to the classification of the companies, 10(45.45%) ofthe participants had very small businesses with less than fiveemployees with an income below 25000. 7(31.82%) of the members hadsmall corporations with some staff ranging from five to nine and withbenefits ranging from 25000 to 250000. 4(18.18%) participantsreported having, medium sized business with some employees rangingfrom ten to ninety-nine. The income levels of these companies fellbetween 250000 and 1500000.

9(45%) of the individuals in the study had owned the business forless than a year. With 11(44%) of them getting initial finance tostarts the business from personal savings and 9(36%) from loans frombanks and family members. The target market and suppliers 13(59.09%)of the participants were the local markets. Hence the mode of theadvertisement for 16(48.48%) was majorly through the word of mouthand 10(30.30%) advertisements on the internet and the media.

Preferred Choices

Target market

Local

59.09%

Mode of communication

Word of mouth

48.48%

Quality management systems

No

54.54%

Choice of supplier

Local suppliers

51.85%

Evaluation of customer satisfaction

Specialized software and feedback

66.67%

Future vision

Expansion and growth

54.55%

Competition

Social networking

47.62%

Outstanding Features of the Business

Commercial field

Construction

22.75%

Very small

has less than 5 employees

and the income is less than 25.000

45.45%

Longevity of the business

L4ess than a year

45. 00%

Business challenges

Unskilled employees

31.58%

Customer satisfaction

Around 50%

31.82%

Source of income

Personal savings

45.00%

Unskilled workers is an issue that entrepreneurs had faced with thebusinesses. Other topics include de-motivated workers, culturalfactors, immigration problems and demonstrated workers. A majority ofthe contractors had a business plan, and a greater part of them hadno blueprint or strategies for their business. With regards to price,quality, social networking, the longevity of the company to themarket and the marketing strategies, the companies performedsimilarly to their competitors.

Most of the entrepreneurs proved the consumers of their products orservices were neutrally satisfied. A higher portion of thecontractors used social networking and reasonable networking astechniques to outperform their competitors. Innovation and aggressivemarketing techniques were other methods for beating competitors.Previous experience, education background, money liquidities, hardwork, support from family, financing options, favorable economiccontext and hard work are some of the factors for the success ofemployees.

Companies face diverse issues that range from hard times with staff,limited awareness of the business, crisis, finding competentemployees, economic breakdown amongst many other challenges. Most ofthe companies only contribute to the social responsibilities whenthey have the resources to do so. Few companies permanentlycontribute to sustainable development while other do not contributeto sustainability.

The GCC has a system that has fostered an environment conducive forconducting businesses as well as accessing the required markets. Thegovernments have regulations and guidelines that supportentrepreneurship in the region. Additionally, similar to Oman, thegovernment provides capital to the members of the public who arewilling to starts an enterprise through the provision of loan. Thegovernments offer education systems that provide training andexpertise on issues to do with finance and business.

This paper has investigated the association amid entrepreneurialaspects and entrepreneurial success. The research has revealed thatsuccess factors of entrepreneurs range from an educationalbackground, ability to set goals and objectives, the motivationbehind joining the entrepreneurship industry, ability to managechallenges and the level of customer satisfaction. Social networkinghas been identified as the most efficient method for gaining successin the enterprise sector. This study has proven that innovation andaggressive marketing techniques offer a negligible influence to thesuccess of entrepreneurs.

Limitations

It was relatively difficult to code the data effectively. This can beattributed to the fact that some of the questions received diverseanswers from the participants to an extent that they cannot beclassified. Additionally, there were instances of missing datawhereby the respondents left blank spaces. Most of them argued thatsuch questions were irrelevant to the study.

Conclusion

Based on the results from this research, conclusions can be made thatmotivational factors that determine the success for entrepreneurscome from diverse perspectives. Personal and external factors areessential and correlated with the success factor for entrepreneurs.Success factors from this study also include financial powers andsupport, interpersonal skills, marketing technique, leadershipskills. In this regards, entrepreneurship is a primary source forimprovements in the society. This examination set out to define thefactors impacting the entrepreneurial meaning. These factors includededucational and personal traits, motivation levels, financialcapabilities, family support, social networking, innovation andmarketing strategies. This research paper will function as afoundation for future studies and will assist researchers to reflectthese factors when investigative the meaning of individualsconcerning entrepreneurship. The results provide new understandingsinto the factors influencing the practice of entrepreneurship.

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