The Competencies of an Entrepreneurial Mindset

Below you can scroll through the 15 principal competencies that make up and entrepreneurial mindset. Below each principal competency is a button that opens up the sub-competencies pertaining to that principal competency.

For those who would like to see everything on one page and have a copy to hand, use the download full framework button to receive your own pdf version.

Identify opportunities

1.0 Identify opportunities across different domains

Competency type:

Venture ideation

2.0 Creates, refine and assess new business ideas

Competency type:


3.0 Develops valuable ideas through innovation

Competency type:

Customer focus

4.0 Designs the business around the customer

Competency type:

Problem solving mindset

5.0 Seeks to find solutions to problems and challenges and not let them become obstacles

Competency type:

Being ethical and sustainable

6.0 Thinks sustainably and assess the impact and potential down-side to creating and capturing value

Competency type:

Motivation & perseverance

7.0 Ability to stay focused on goals and consistently exert effort and resilience
Motivation and perseverance

Competency type:

Manage uncertainty & risk

8.0 Manage risk and take decisions under uncertainty

Competency type:

Learns from others

9.0 Learns from others and open to coaching
Learns from others

Competency type:


10.0 Continually building, using and contributing to their network

Competency type:

Venture communication

11.0 Ability to persuasively communicate venture idea

Competency type:

Financial capability

12.0 Manage cash flow and finances of venture

Competency type:

Self efficacy / self-mastery

13.0 Possess a strong sense of self confidence and self-mastery

Competency type:

Action orientation

14.0 Oriented towards taking the initiative and implementation

Competency type:

Resource optimisation

15.0 Identifying, obtaining and leveraging resources

Competency type:

As mentioned, much research was analysed in reaching this set of competencies, but three sources must be given significant acknowledgement as important contributors to our thinking:

  1. EntreComp: the European entrepreneurship competence framework
  2. NTFE Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship
  3. Conversations with Allan Gray Orbis Foundation 

The primary designers and authors of this work are:

Simon Gifford and Clint Davies
Uzoma Agba provided important research support.

Part of the work was supported by the Higher Education Initiative of EIT Food within the headlines Project

Mashauri Entrepreneurial Competencies Framework by Mashauri, Simon Gifford, Clint Davies is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

EIT Food and EU

Introduction to the MecFrame

An entrepreneurial mindset encompasses a range of competencies and characteristics essential for individuals building new ventures either outside or inside an organisation. There has been significant research into this and a multitude of papers written. With a focus on cataloguing these competencies as a basis for training and education, we have reviewed much of this documentation (the key ones acknowledged and referenced below) and brought our own experience in entrepreneurial education to bear.

To use this taxonomy to understand how to develop these competencies through education, training and hands-on activity-based learning, we have developed a set of 15 principal competencies, each with several sub-competencies below them. 

We have further classified them into capabilities (cognitive skills) that can be developed through education and characteristics (non-cognitive skills) developed through practice and experiential learning. This allows us to figure out the best way of helping students acquire these skills.

We have called this framework: MecFrame (Mashauri Entrepreneurial Competency Framework)

These may then be used to both design entrepreneurial programs with a clear intention as to which competencies are being developed, and to measure the effectiveness of such.