Monday, March 8, 2010

What is an Entrepreneur?

The word entrepreneur is actually French in origin, meaning “one who undertakes an endeavour”. However the true definition of what, or who, an entrepreneur is, is rather more complex.

There are several, so called, definitions of what an entrepreneur is. To be honest, the majority of them, if not all, are questionable. They tend to rely on explaining what it is that the entrepreneur engages in, i.e. the activities, yet neglect the idea of entrepreneurial traits.

While, yes an entrepreneur does engage in the act of set up a business, or in some cases takes over an existing venture, the majority of the definitions available failure to consider the traits theory to an extend beyond ‘entrepreneurs are risk takers’. Which, funnily enough, is one of the first things you will be told in high school economics and management.

The traits theory of entrepreneurship considers the possibility that those individuals who become entrepreneurs share common traits or characteristics, which make them uniquely capable or adapt for starting and propelling forward business ventures.

As mentioned above the first trait, or characteristic, of the typical entrepreneur is his, or her, willingness to take risks. However, as you may learn later, this is debatable. This is due to another common characteristic of entrepreneurs, the ability to access what is viable. This suggests the entrepreneur is taking a carefully thought-out, structured risk, as opposed to a blind risk. Other characteristics of entrepreneurs range from innovative, to being able to tap into both the left (analytical e.g. used for mathematics) and right (creative e.g. used for producing art) hemispheres of the brain.

See a list of entrepreneurial definitions here.

1 comment:

  1. To be honest, the majority of them, if not all, are questionable.startups