What is an Entrepreneur?

Review this section to learn about entrepreneurs.


  • An entrepreneur is someone who identifies a business opportunity and assumes the risk of creating and running a business to take advantage of it.
  • There are three characteristics of entrepreneurial activity:

    1. Innovating. An entrepreneur offers a new product, applies a new technique or technology, opens a new market, or develops a new form of organization for the purpose of producing or enhancing a product.
    2. Running a business. Entrepreneurship means setting up a business to make a profit from an innovative product or process.
    3. Risk taking. Risk means that an outcome is unknown. Entrepreneurs, therefore, are always working under a certain degree of uncertainty, and they can't know the outcomes of many of the decisions that they have to make.
  • According to the SBA, a government agency that provides assistance to small businesses, there are five advantages to starting a business - "for the right person":

    1. Be your own boss.
    2. Accommodate a desired lifestyle.
    3. Achieve financial independence.
    4. Enjoy creative freedom.
    5. Use your skills and knowledge.
  • To determine whether you're one of the "right people" to exploit the advantages of starting your own business, the SBA suggests that you assess your strengths and weaknesses by asking yourself the following questions:

    1. Am I a self-starter?
    2. How well do I get along with different personalities?
    3. How good am I at making decisions?
    4. Do I have the physical and emotional stamina?
    5. How well do I plan and organize?
    6. Is my drive strong enough?
    7. How will my business affect my family?
  • Though most entrepreneurial ventures begin as small businesses, not all small business owners are entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs are innovators who start companies to create new or improved products. In contrast, many people start businesses for the purpose of providing an income for themselves and their families. This type of businesses is sometimes called a "lifestyle business".