What is necessary for the Cooperatives for the 21st century, beside the quality management, is to possess the combination of entrepreneurship, business planning and funding. The next pages will try to clarify the mentioned terms and emphasize their importance in the economic life of a cooperative.

Entrepreneurship
is not a profession, it is an ability to start certain activities in order to achieve certain objectives with taking risk and responsibilities. Regardless of the fact that certain activities can be undertaken in certain areas, the entrepreneurship is in usual sense linked to the economy and starting ones own business. The entrepreneurship consists of three basic terms: starting the new business, risk preferences and innovation. Starting something new is always accompanied by risk, because success can not be guaranteed, and in order to succeed in the market, it is necessary to surpass the competition, introduce something new, be more innovative. The entrepreneurship is a possibility to “be our own bosses, to present our knowledge, to take advantage of our chances, to enrich through our work.” Yet, the entrepreneurship is also “uncertain future, the question of whether we have a job tomorrow, the question of how we educate our children, sleepless nights from worry, 60 and more working hours weekly.”

Entrepreneur
is a person who invests his money in a specific business venture, takes all the risk hoping for gain, i.e. profit. Potential entrepreneurs are usually not aware of what really awaits them or whether their abilities make them entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs are “rare plants”, there are only 3 to 5 % of them within the entire population. Very few people possess the entrepreneurial abilities, not only in our country, but generally. It is a sort of talent, even more than that, it is a combination of character and mental abilities that enable risk taking, venture into unknown, market struggle, withstand the difficult conditions, managing and motivating employees, business organization, adjust to the constant change of environment and faith in luck.

What does one need to establish and develop the cooperative for the 21st century?

It is, primary, the self-confidence of the cooperative member, entrepreneur, then product or service of the company, market and customers who will buy the product – employees who will realize the
entrepreneurial idea, business and production space and equipment, financial support, legal framework – establishment of the cooperative and, what is very important, knowledge of the business. The decision of the entrepreneurship entirely changes the former way of life. We wish something better and tend to fulfil it through entrepreneurship. Yet, good will and intentions are not enough.

One should ask oneself some questions:
“Am I for entrepreneurship?”
“Do I possess the abilities of an entrepreneur, readiness to take risk, live in uncertainty, work 16 hours a day when necessary, experience sleepless nights, live under stress?” “Will I be able to lead and motivate my associates?” And finally: “Will I be lucky in my business venture, which is necessary and a requirement for success?”
It is very important to think things through and prepare yourself for what awaits. That can alleviate dealing with crisis and problems that will surely occur. Hard work, stress situations, preoccupation with company`s problems have adverse effect on our health, and can also separate families. At the beginning, an entrepreneur needs to work long hours, come home late, family obligations are suppressed, and a wife or a husband becomes the one who takes care of children, house, chores. It is difficult to sustain, difficult even to understand, but it will happen. On the other hand, we have a creative cooperative entrepreneur who can find such situations challenging, and solution to each problem brings satisfaction, both satisfaction of its own success and additional sense of usefulness in the community! In fact, it is difficult to make a psychological profile of an entrepreneur, since there are many exceptions to the rule. ”The best advice I can give to anyone who wants to succeed in business is – never give up”, these are the words of the experienced entrepreneur who succeeded after failed twice.
Yet, each entrepreneur is characterized by selfconfidence, willingness to take risk and uncertainty, desire to create and persistence.

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