Introduction besides fighting poverty and moves for


An entrepreneur is an individual who uses ideas to identify opportunities and undertake the process of acquisition and allocation of resources for the creation of value. This paper seeks to give an overview of an entrepreneur. The paper will identify an entrepreneur and illustrate a specific entrepreneurial process undertaken by the individual.

Professor Wangari Maathai: a social entrepreneur

Professor Wangari Maathai is a widely recognized leader for her involvement in social investments and her environmental concerns. Her recognition was acclimatized by her Nobel Prize award which she won in the year 2004. This particular award made her an outstanding figure owing to the fact that Nobel peace prize is a globally coveted award that is associated with globally celebrated leaders such as president Barrack Obama of the United States.

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Her award however came as a result of her entrepreneurial initiatives in environmental conservation. Maathai started her tree planting initiative as a local move that later spread to be a national movement in her country Kenya before spreading to other African countries in the name of Green Belt movement (Nobelprize 1).

Opportunity filled by professor Maathai

Entrepreneurial opportunities are defined as circumstances through which “new goods, services, raw materials, markets and organizing methods can be introduced through formation of” (Eckhardt and Shane 336) new initiatives. The opportunities can thus be identified as situations that drive the move to undertake entrepreneurship.

Professor Wangari Maathai was an established leader in a nationwide organization in her country of which she was a member in the period ranging from the year 1976 to the year 1987. In this time frame, Wangari became the chairperson of the organization, national council of women of Kenya, in the year in the year 1981 and served for about six years. It was during her service as the organizations chair that she established her initiative into tree planting.

Her leadership in the organization is particularly identified as her opportunity in her move since members of the organization, women, were the initial tools that were used to spearhead the initiative. The other opportunity that the entrepreneur identified was the depletion of the natural vegetation that was calling for voluntary investment into its restoration.

Her country, having suffered from the impacts of colonial inversion that cleared the natural vegetation for agricultural land had led to vast deforestation of the region. Her academic background that was based on biological and environmental studies must have also prioritized her interest in the move to ensure environmental restoration and conservation (Greenbelt 1).

Conception of her Ideas

The idea to the initiative of planting trees as was established by Wangari was based on the social issues that people especially women were faced with in her immediate society. Factors such as availing firewood for fuel consumption, controlling soil erosion and establishment and preservation of water catchment area were her key issues besides fighting poverty and moves for women’s rights.

The conception of her ideas into investing on tree planting was thus based on her environmental and social concerns. The key to her success was her leadership ability that saw her influence women at grass root levels and even outside her country for the success of her project and the international adoption of the greenbelt movement (Clinton 1).


The development of the successful tree planting initiative that was later globally recognized illustrates Wangari as an influential leader, an attribute that I personally choose to emulate.

Works Cited

Clinton, Bill. Stories from Africa. Clinton Foundation, n.d. Web. June 22, 2011.

Eckhardt, Jonathan and Shane, Scott. Opportunities and entrepreneurship. Waetherhead, 2003. Web. June 22, 2011.

Greenbelt. About Wangari Maathai. Green Belt Movement, 2011. Web. June 22, 2011.

Nobelprize. The Nobel peace prize 2004: Wangari Maathai. Nobel Prize, 2004. Web. June 22, 2011.