If we look at how classes are formed as a society/ nation/ country become more prosperous, we can see why being an entrepreneur is a must.
The more economically advance a country is, the more obvious and constraining the social structure in that country; the more advance one country, classes of society becomes more apparent and social mobility becomes more difficult.
Let’s take western Europe for example. University was free in Germany but the mid tier and large private businesses has been owned by the same family for decade or centuries. The upper class has been pretty much settled and social mobility to that class is very difficult. The (was) free higher education allow people from low and middle class to have an opportunity to enter corporations and open small businesses, but to ascend the corporate ladder and grow the business above a certain point, one need the suaveness and access to capital afforded by growing up in the higher classes. On the opposite side, even if someone from the higher classes doesn’t pass the gymnasium and he choose not to pursue junior/senior high school in another country, it’s not like anyone would prevent him/her from taking the family business and maintain his lifestyle. Education provide some maneuvering space for mobility but only to a certain point. the social structure is rigid and hard to penetrate.
Europe was so stifling, that even hundred or more years ago, the lower classes emigrates to what is now USA,”land of freedom and hope” for it presents an opportunity, no matter how treacherous, to relieve the class and religious constraint Europe pose.
With the increasing cost of education in Europe, we can expect the structured to be more entrenched.
This rigidity in social structure is a trend, not just an isolated example in Europe, as society grows more prosperous. Other examples in descending order of wealth and social rigidity are Hongkong, Singapore, South Korea. You are either the son of a large business owner tasked with increasing your business scale and scope partnering with other large business owner; a small business owner trying to get by with whatever capital and customer by you have; or an employee son trying to get a good job so you too can sent your kids to university and continue the salaryman legacy or pursue the executive path and join the ranks of high net worth but not being entirely sure what sustainable inheritance can your offspring’s enjoy
Many people who fall into the 3rd category will find themselves working ever harder due to the increasing labor quality. This situation will only get worse as the economy improves, better economy brings better education, improving the competition; and will only softens when the social and economic structure becomes so rigid, trying makes no difference for most people and luck becomes a major factor in vertical mobility (including luck given at birth).
Thus, one must try to gain entry to the business man class, to develop the starting point of what one hope to be a sustainable legacy. This attempt for access is especially important if one is living in a still developing country, where social structures (though exists and heavily controlled by incumbents) are not as rigid as in developed countries and opportunities to open and grow business abound.
In developing countries, the business community faces issues such as lack of capital, lack of skilled workforce (white and blue collar), lack of financial and industry sophistication among self proprietors, lack of scale, lack of discipline and fortitude among 2nd generation of business owners. All this present opportunities to new entrepreneurs to grow at scale.
But as Incumbent of the higher class in any country would develop various means to protect their own legacy, how can an new entrant ascends into the first class without falling into the 2nd class? How does one becomes an entrepreneur without being the small size business owner at the mercy of customer path in front of his store?
By creating one’s own market, the famed “blue ocean strategy”
One’s own market comes from creating or catering to customer change in demand; “Green” is one such example of shift in customer demand. The products can be the same, but green opens an opportunity for new entrepreneurs since it is in effect a new market.
Technology brings an opportunity to fulfill the newly created market. And technology is not in the sense of Information Technology, but in the broader sense of human tools.
Technology is important for the new entrepreneurs because it affords some form of barriers to entry to competitors. Understanding, developing, and modifying a technology to commercial use takes resource (time, brain power, capital) and technology can be protected by patents, copyrights, licenses; all this provide some barrier to entry, giving new entrepreneur some breathing room.
Sample of technology that has given people chance to ascend to first tier of class are: cars (BMW), internet (Amazon, Google); while biodegradable plastics are sample of a technology that might given people chance to ascend.
By combining a strong business sense on customer demand and how one can cater to or even create demand, AND fulfilling that new market with technology, (business acumen, hardwork, and luck is a given) one can start the new steps of developing a growing business, ascend himself to first tier of class and bring a sustainable legacy.