Who Is An Entrepreneur?

These days it seems everyone is talking about entrepreneurs. We hear about tech entrepreneurs who have made millions from a software idea. We hear about entrepreneurs wooing venture capitalists to fund the latest darling startup. We hear of schools setting up centers to study and to teach entrepreneurship.

In the midst of all this talk, who is an entrepreneur anyway?

In our work coaching rural entrepreneurs, here are some of the attributes we frequently see:

Seeing The Opportunities: Where there is a gap, or a need, or even just an inconvenience, many people will see the problem. Entrepreneurs see further that the problem is actually an opportunity waiting to be solved.

Business Focus: Entrepreneurs see the world through the lens of business. There are many other organizations working to solve the world’s needs: governments and charities, for example. An entrepreneur, however, generally sees a profitable business as the preferred tool to address a problem.

Creative Solutions: Entrepreneurs develop new solutions to existing problems and typically new business entities to bring them to market. Expanding an existing business to address a related need isn’t entrepreneurship, it’s just business growth. If there’s already a business model to address a certain problem, then replicating that model isn’t entrepreneurship, it’s franchising. Entrepreneurs break new ground with new ideas.

Confidence / Courage: Business is never a sure thing and a new business venture is even riskier. There are so many decisions to make and so little information to go on, success is far from certain. Entrepreneurs possess a confidence, a courage, perhaps even a recklessness, to pursue their business ideas despite the uncertainties.

Persistence: That creative solution we so highly praised just two paragraphs ago? It is exhausting to bring it to market. And once it’s available, it turns out not to be the ideal solution after all. It needs to be tweaked, improved or perhaps replaced altogether. Entrepreneurs have the persistence to bring their ideas to the harsh light of public sales, accept the feedback and criticism, and continue to improve the idea until the problem is solved.

Image by ZeeShutterz from Pixabay
Jonathan Lindstrom
February 06, 2023