Job Council News

What Is an Entrepreneur?


Entrepreneurship is a way for people to pursue their own ideas and make a difference in the world. While entrepreneurs face a number of challenges and risks, many find it rewarding to be their own bosses. They are able to follow their passions and work with people they enjoy. They can also enjoy unlimited earning potential and the freedom to try new things. But a successful entrepreneurial career doesn’t come without a lot of hard work, sleepless nights and ideas that don’t always pan out.

Entrepreneurs are often described as dynamic and innovative. They create new businesses or develop existing companies to seize opportunities that arise. The idea of creating a business and reaping the rewards has been around for centuries, starting with Richard Cantillon in the 17th century. However, entrepreneurship was not widely embraced as an economic concept until the 19th century with the work of Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill. Modern conceptions of entrepreneurship are varied, with some narrowing the definition to small business owners, while others follow Schumpeter’s dynamic view that entrepreneurs stimulate growth by creating new combinations of existing resources to meet market demands.

Some entrepreneurs start businesses while still working at a salaried job, such as an AI researcher turning their side project into a company during lunch breaks or a new mom pursuing her passion for baby shoes as a home-based business after returning from maternity leave. These are known as hybrid or part-time entrepreneurs. Other entrepreneurs launch businesses full-time, either from a new idea or by taking over management of an existing company. The latter is sometimes called corporate entrepreneurship, while the former is often referred to as serial entrepreneurship.

A key trait of successful entrepreneurs is their ability to persuade others to join their ventures. This includes convincing potential investors that a company is viable and converting them from skeptics to enthusiastic supporters. It also involves persuading employees to become part of a dynamic and innovative company and fostering an environment where creativity is encouraged. The ability to communicate effectively is important for entrepreneurs, from conveying their vision and strategy to colleagues to negotiating contracts with suppliers.

The entrepreneur plays an important role in any economy, as they are the catalyst that stimulates growth by creating new businesses and converting other resources into them. In addition, they take on the risk of investing their own money, which can make or break the company.

Successful entrepreneurs have a clear vision of what they want to achieve, and are not afraid to make mistakes. They are able to focus on their goals and remain motivated, even in the face of setbacks. They are action-oriented and avoid distractions, such as “shiny object syndrome” and unimportant busywork. They are also able to recognize opportunities and are flexible enough to react quickly to changing markets, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic when Uber and Slack gained momentum by addressing consumer demand for alternatives to taxis.