Basic General Enterprising Tendencies (GETs)

GETs have been defined as “the extent to which an individual has a tendency to set up and run projects”. People with these tendencies:

• Believe they can act on or interact with their environment
• Are sensitive to opportunities and needs
• Can set goals and make plans to realize ideas
• Are pre-disposed to persevere, be self-reliant and maintain their motivation
• Take calculated risks to facilitate the implementation of plans

Typically, these are the tendencies of small enterprise entrepreneurs, but they are also desirable for other people in position of responsibility – including almost any one in managerial or administrative positions, or leadership roles, and with discretionary decision-making authority.

The concept of GETs has been used to devise a measure of the differences in the enterprising tendencies of various occupational groups, by bringing together and measuring a number of personal ‘tendencies’ commonly associated with enterprising persons.

These include:

• The need to have a challenge
• The need for freedom to act independently
• A readiness to be creative and innovative
• A willingness to take moderate risks
• The drive and determination needed to produce results

Whilst it certainly should not be used to discriminate against would-be student entrepreneurs, the GET Test may be used for the purposes of self-appraisal and for individuals to consider what might be their preferred behavioural ‘comfort zones’ and, possibly, their preparedness for an entrepreneurial career. It can be a useful tool for stimulating discussion about the meaning of enterprising behaviour and entrepreneurship, and how different individuals might overcome personal obstacles, such as a crisis of confidence, in order to be entrepreneurial.