by Norliyati Mat Noh

The word entrepreneur was coined by French economist and scholar Jean-Baptiste Say in the 1800s.

There are many definitions of an entrepreneur. One of it is that an entrepreneur is a person who looks for ways to increase effective use of resources by producing higher yield. An entrepreneur, another definition offers, is a person who seeks for opportunities to make more profit from new markets.

The entrepreneur has evolved since the industrial revolution of the 19th century. There are more opportunities up for grab today to those entrepreneurs seeking new markets. The surge in borderless trading has given start-ups the chance to thrive in global commerce using technological advancements.

Backed with super internet connectivity and a world population that is increasingly connected digitally, the emergence of new business endeavours rely heavily on technology and innovation to reach their market segment for business profit and sustainability.

The glamourous success of Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Jack Ma, Elon Musk and other start-up companies validates the need of the entrepreneur seeking new business opportunities to tap and invest into digital infrastructure.

The success stories of these millennials have revolutionised the conventional way of doing business. Giant retailers such as Wal-Mart, the biggest retailer in the United States and considered an old hand at retail business, is eyeing new markets through e-commerce.

The question is whether aggressive ventures and expansions will promise higher profits?

In 2016, Amazon recorded operating profit of USD2.2 billion on the back of USD107 billion sales whereas China’s leading Internet player Alibaba reported USD3.9 billion net income from revenue of USD12.3 billion.

What will it take for a new entrepreneur to be sustainable and relevant in the current market where pioneers and giants are struggling? Will creativity and innovation play a role to unveil unexploited market opportunities?

Find out more at the Pangkor Dialogue 2017 this September.