How important is innovativeness for entrepreneurs and small business managers. Some academic scholars state that entrepreneurs are innovative and small business managers are not. Innovativeness has been seen one of the differentiating factors to separate the small business managers out of entrepreneurs. Is this really so, and is it wise to think that small businesses are not entrepreneurial?
Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) international academic research and it is covering different areas of entrepreneurship in their research. Innovation is seen as an important factor to develop the economy globally. This is the reason GEM is focusing to study also innovativeness. In the latest 2022 published research they were studying the proportion of adults starting or running a new business with products or services that are new to their area, their country or the world. Or other dimension of business innovation is introduction of new technologies and procedures. With both definitions, innovativeness in the world among entrepreneurs was at highest degree ca. 10% and in many countries less than 1% of the entrepreneurs participated into the research. In practice, and confirmed by successive GEM data, new businesses introducing unique products are very few.
According to GEM Report the innovativeness among entrepreneurs internationally is not very high. Fast majority of entrepreneurs are operating with little or hardly no innovativeness. This widely respected GEM report is stating that innovativeness is a rare feature among entrepreneurs. This is not stating that innovativeness would not be good for business success, but it is observed as a feature which seldom exists among entrepreneurs.
I propose the division into two groups, entrepreneurs and small business managers, based on innovativeness of the business activity, should be re-considered. Small business managers or in other terms entrepreneurs in small firms are usually risk taking and active operators in local business environment, which are marks of entrepreneurial activity.