In the field of entrepreneurship

Skills Necessary for Entrepreneurship for LIS Professionals

Information technology skills: which has to do with networking, library automation and digitisation, web based services, reprography, micrographs, facsimile, video text, teletext, database creation, library  management software including CDS ISIS, LIBSYS, content development,  desktop  publishing,  intranet,  presentation,  hardware/software  skills  and relational databases  including the  ability to  create data  structures which  facilitates the indexing  and  retrieval  of  information  and  thesaurus  development. Farkas mphasizes on some specific technical skills like HMTL, Network administration, PHP and MYSQL, efficient use of search engines, use of blogs to provide services, web cast and search skills

Information  literacy skills:  These  have to  do  with  the  ability  to locate  information efficiently  and  effectively,  evaluate  information  critically  and  competently,  and  use information accurately and creatively. Also included here is the economics and marketing of  information  product  and  services,  information  resource  management,  information processing and organising, e-mail, multi-media and video conferencing

Managerial skills: These entail marketing, financing, accounting, control, planning and goal getting, decision making, human relations and managing growth.  They are essential in launching and growing a new venture. Included here is also the knowledge of records management principles and electronic book keeping

Personal  entrepreneurial  skills:  which  has  to do  with  inner  control/discipline;  risk taking, innovativeness, change orientation and ability to manage change, persistence and visionary leadership

The combination of many of these skills with the right support ensures ideas do not just remain as dreams but become real viable businesses

Characteristics of Entrepreneurship  

There  is  no  such  thing  as  a  typical  entrepreneur.  Some  entrepreneurs  are  quiet  and hardworking, while  others are more  outgoing and flamboyant. The  key to being  a successful entrepreneur  lies  in  the  ability to  take  an  idea  and then  through  the  process  of  innovation, develop it in such a way that it becomes a marketable product or service

Interest  and  Vision  -  The  first  factor  for  entrepreneurial  success  is  interest.  Since entrepreneurship pays off according to performance rather than time spent on a particular effort, an entrepreneur must work in an area that interest him, otherwise he will not be able to maintain a high level of work ethics, and he will most likely fail. This interest must  also  translate  into  a  vision  for  the  company’s  growth.  Even  if  the  day  to  day activities of a business are interesting to an entrepreneur, this is not enough for success unless he can turn this interest into a vision of growth and expansion. This vision must be strong enough that he can communicate it to investors and employees

Skill - All the interest and vision cannot make up for a total lack of applicable skill.  For instance,  if  he  wants  to  start  a  business  that  creates  mobile  games,  he  should  have specialised knowledge in mobile technology, the gaming industry, game design, mobile app marketing or programming

Investment  -  An  entrepreneur must invest  in  his  company. This  investment  may  be something less tangible, such as the time he spends or the skills or reputation he brings with him, but it also tends to involve a significant investment of assets with a clear value whether they are cash, real estate or intellectual property. An entrepreneur who will not or cannot invest in his company cannot expect others to do so and cannot expect it to succeed

Organisation and Delegation - While many new businesses start as one-man business, successful  entrepreneurship  is  characterised  by  quick  and stable  growth.  This  means hiring  other people  to  do specialised jobs.  For  this reason,  entrepreneurship  requires extensive organisation and delegation of tasks. It is important for entrepreneurs to  pay close  attention  to  everything that  goes on  in  their  companies, but  if  they  want  their companies to succeed, they must learn to hire the right people for the right jobs and let them do their jobs with minimal interference from management

Risk  and  Rewards  -  Entrepreneurship  requires  risk.  The  measurement  of  this  risk equates to the amount of time and money one invest into a business. However, this risk also tends to relate directly to the rewards involved

Entrepreneurial Opportunities for LIS Professionals

i). Information Brokerage

ii). Book Publishing and Trading  

iii). Email Publishing, Web Publishing and Desktop Publishing  

iv). Establishing and Maintaining Libraries for Organisations  

v). Organisation of a Private Library  

vi). Compilation of Directories  

vii). Compilation of Bibliographies

viii). Information Services to the Visually Impaired  

ix). Indexing and Abstracting Services

x). Freelancing  

Conclusion and Recommendations

LIS  professionals  should  acquire  specific  skills  in  ICT  in  order  to  exploit  the entrepreneurial opportunities in the profession so that other professionals from computer science  and  engineering  do  not  step  into  their  core  areas  of  specialisation  which  is information management and usurp their opportunities in the digital age

LIS professionals should develop entrepreneurial culture and mindset.  Entrepreneurship is all about innovation, creativity, competency, risk taking and rewards. LIS professionals should have the entrepreneurial mindset to embark on any business enterprise in order to achieve self-employment and become relevant in the society

LIS professionals should attend workshops and seminars on entrepreneurship to acquire the skills and business acumen required to engage in any entrepreneurial venture