What is an Entrepreneur?

There are many ways to define an entrepreneur and a quick check of several dictionaries may give you several meanings.

The literal meaning of the word entrepreneur is from French “entre” (to enter) and “prendre” (to take). It can therefore be assumed to mean one who starts a business venture with some risk.

Of course one could argue that anyone who starts a business or purchases a well established and stable business is always taking a risk. However the term entrepreneur today has become more used to those who constantly start new ventures and take risks in doing so.

The British entrepreneur Lord Sugar says that gets upset when people tell him that they are entrepreneurs. He likes to make the point that it is up to others to decide who is and who is not an entrepreneur. Lord Sugar’s view indicates that it is all a matter of personal viewpoint. Is that really so? Many business people will probably take exception to that view as they like to call themselves entrepreneurs.

I would prefer to call anyone an entrepreneur that enters into business or takes risks in advancing their current business. All business has some risk and therefore I always have great respect for those that take the step of entering into the world of starting their own business.

How do you view the word entrepreneur? Your comments are welcome, please leave them in the box below.

Roland Millward
The Entrepreneur Club

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8 thoughts on “What is an Entrepreneur?

  1. Any person who finances a business venture and runs it can be called an entrepreneur however I think an entrepreneur is someone who develops a fresh and new product, a new way of producing something, or finds a route to a innovative market.
    Not many entrepreneurs present day are willing to take the risk of investing large amounts of funding without proper research in fact some people invest capital in a business and get someone else to run it from day one.
    Innovation, creativity, leadership, being a risk-taker, and having the right inner drive or passion are some of the keys to being a successful entrepreneur. If you possess these things and have a little luck and great judgement you have a head start.

  2. I suppose it depends on what peoples opinions are. I think generally it is anyone who starts a business could be classed as an entrepreneur. Does the value of the risk have any affect.

    i.e. Sugar (or was it Baggs?) sold yo-yo’s in the playground. No real risk but it showed entrepreneurship.

  3. I like the idea and definition a friend shared with me. “An Entrepreneur is someone who can make money from nothing using only what they have in their hand today”… Cool!
    They understand the needs and wants of the present market so clearly, that they create or provide a service/product/investment opportunity that others see value in and want it so they then come into some form of exchange (cash/barter etc) to get it…

    What do you think?

  4. Hi Rowland,

    Some good input there.

    Lord Sugar started selling car radios at a car wash and by 16 was making more than his Dad brought home from a ‘regular job’. It was then that Lord Sugar realised there was no turning back.

    I’m with Lord Sugar… you are what people call you or refer to you as!

  5. Just to warn everyone… there’s a growing trend of fake web designers (overseas companies) stealing other people’s ideas when asked to quote for the web build and supplied with full details of the requirement. Be careful who you share your brilliant new ideas with!

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