12/19/07

Roots of the word entrepreneurship

video

Kavita Ramdas, President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women, defines entrepreneurship by looking to the roots of the French language. She found two words: "entre" and "prendre" that suggest the act of immersion into something that also takes hold of you. (Taken from Stanford Educators Corner)

I have always liked the past video (not only because I love indian accent!), and even if it was an intervention of 2003. What a better way to start understanding entrepreneurship than analizing the roots of the word itself?

So, even if the roots of the word entrepreneurship (and therefore of the word entrepreneur) come from a romance language, as french is, it´s important to notice that in spanish only few words or terms that we use normally related to entrepreneurship do officialy exist. For example, if you go to the REAL ACADEMIA DE LA LENGUA (the highest authority for the spanish language words writting and definitions), the noun EMPRENDIMIENTO (entrepreneurship, endeavor) is reported as non-existent. But we use it everywhere. However words as EMPRENDEDOR (entrepreneur) and EMPRENDER (verb for entrepreneurship, that actually does not exist in english) exist. And it´s a similar story in portuguese. I personally remember starting using the word entrepreneurship when I was about 19 - 20 years old ...

What is the point I try to make? Isn´t it funny to talk so much about those terms in Latinamerica when the word simply does not exist? Let´s face it, entrepreneurship now is in fashion, and many of us once used the word without even knowing what it really meant! but at the beginning must have been hard to start acting upon a culture which definition and concept was not even familiar to our language. Nevertheless, entrepreneurs, no matter what we called them and since when we started called them like this, have always existed, id oubt our civilizations would have had evolved without them. If not, let´s remember that in France in the beginning of the XVI century the word was also used to refer to the adverturers that traveled to the "New World" looking for life opportunities without knowing what to expect. Not really a big difference with what we today understand, right?

Any other theories or insights about the roots of the word?! Feel free to share!

Hope to come back soon with more capsules about Nature and Definitions of Entrepreneurship.

1 comment:

Nadine said...

Thank you, I loved this and I am very inspired by it. I myself am an entrepreneur and an immigrant so the definition reaches and touches me on a variety of levels. My business is called Soul purpose, I am the CEO. I also have a blog called nadinethompson on blogger.
Thank you,