What is an Entrepreneur?

What is an Entrepreneur?  Here are several definitions and opinions.

What is an Entrepreneur?

Yahoo Answers says that an entrepreneur is “A person who brings together all thee factors of production (land, labor, and capital) to start up a business and bring goods or services to the public.”

About Money states that “Essentially, an entrepreneur is a person who starts a new business venture.  However, we tend to think of entrepreneurs as people who have a talent for seeing opportunities and the abilities to develop those opportunities into profit-making businesses.”

John Chang, a broker who helps entrepreneurs sell their startups, states that “there are bloggers who consider themselves an entrepreneur as well. While being self-employed is “entrepreneurial,” I’d argue that you’re only really an entrepreneur, if you’re building a business you can sell.” In a private email John Chang adds  “It doesn’t mean that you will necessarily sell your business – just that you can if / when you choose to do so. I’ve worked with too many entrepreneurs who learned too late that they couldn’t do so with what they were building through years of struggle and heartache.”  Please also see John Chang’s post titled Sell Your Story Before Selling Your Business.

Dictionary.com says that an entrepreneur is: “a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.” or “an employer of productive labor; contractor.”  Dictionary.com adds that the British Dictionary defines an entrepreneur as: “the owner or manager of a business enterprise who, by risk and initiative, attempts to make profits” or “a middleman or commercial intermediary

John Gale says “There are some who launch startups to create a business that they do not plan to sell. Their financial exit will be a dividend stream. I perceive them as entrepreneurs.”  Some of these startups are intended to be $1-$10 million or so revenue businesses.  These are planned to be boot-strapped (self-funded); in other words too small to interest “professional” angel investors.

What is a Solopreneur or LifeStyle Business?

Steve Henry, a Website developer and social media expert, states that “entrepreneurs who continue to work on their own, not hiring staff, are often called “solopreneurs”. Many solopreneurs are somewhat less than formal in building their businesses. They most often work from home and are more about their idea or passion than the formal or legal structure of their business. Some solopreneurs, ie: writers, artists, instructors, coaches, crafters, etc., don’t think of themselves as running a business at all when, in fact, they are.”

John Gale says that “What Steve Henry calls solopreneurs build what some call Lifestyle businesses.”

What is an Intrapreneur?

Dictionary.com says that an intrapreneur is: “an employee of a large corporation who is given freedom and financial support to create new products, services, systems, etc., and does not have to follow the corporation’s usual routines or protocols.”

Dictionary.com adds that the British Dictionary defines an intrapreneur as “a person who while remaining within a larger organization uses entrepreneurial skills to develop a new product or line of business as a subsidiary of the organization”

Conclusion

Entrepreneurs build new revenue streams.  But the exact definition of entrepreneur is not really important. As marketers do their word-smithing there are a lot of definitions with messy edges.

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One Response to What is an Entrepreneur?

  1. I agree that in the end “entrepreneur” is just a label. As Shakespeare essentially said, a rose by any other name is still a rose.

    If we point to what entrepreneurs do, they solve problems – often in ways that none of us ever imagined.

    One of the best lines from the Steve Jobs biopic with Ashton Kutcher is when he asks the fictional Woz, “How can people know what they want if they haven’t even seen it?”

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