Who Is An Entrepreneur?

who is an entrepreneur

Fashion Entrepreneur (Photo: SME Studio)

The word entrepreneur is synonymous with the creation of economic value by business-minded individuals. In this article, I will discuss in detail the topic ‘Who is an entrepreneur?‘ to enlighten my readers on who an entrepreneur is, what type of entrepreneur you might be, what qualifies you to be an entrepreneur, and the functions/roles of an entrepreneur.

An entrepreneur is generally defined as an individual who organizes or operates a business or chains of businesses.

Here is my elaborate definition of the term:

An entrepreneur is a creative and innovative individual who sets up a business bearing most of the risks with the hope of making a profit from the enterprise. He/She is creative, innovative, opportunist, risk-taker, self-starter, open-minded, and loves to identify and solve problems.

Types of Entrepreneurs

The major types of entrepreneurs include; social entrepreneurs, serial entrepreneurs, and lifestyle entrepreneurs.

Social Entrepreneur

This is an individual who pursues innovative solutions to social problems. A social entrepreneur adopts a style which he/she can use to create and sustain social values. Most social entrepreneurs engage in non-profit activities and are overwhelmed by social responsibilities and conscience. They are primarily motivated to improve socio-economic well-being, educational, health, fundamental, environmental, and health conditions of others. Examples of great social entrepreneurs that ever lived include; Bill Drayton, Vinoba Bhave, David Brower, Maria Montessori, Florence Nightingale, and some present-day social entrepreneurs are Ibrahim Abouleish, Bill Gates, and Dr. Abraham M. George.

Serial Entrepreneur

This is an individual who CONTINUOUSLY comes up with new ideas, starts the business and oftentimes sells to investors or part of it to shareholders. Serial entrepreneurs start-up several businesses with little intention of operating any of them for a long time. They are high-risk-takers with lots of unique ideas and are not always interested in a career with a particular business/company. 10 top serial entrepreneurs according to Forbes include Craig McCaw, Josh Kopelman, Steve Blank, Wayne Huizenga, Michael Rubin, The Samwer brothers, Lyndon Rive, Omar Hamoui, Niklas Zennstrom, and Janus Friis the Skype pair, Andy Bechtolsheim.

Lifestyle Entrepreneur

This is an individual who creates profit from personal passion. He/she puts their lifestyle ahead of every opportunity. While most entrepreneurs are motivated to build a business to a certain stage and sell to shareholders or investors, the lifestyle entrepreneur chooses to build a business they are passionate about and grow the business into a long-term, residual income that is sustainable. Most lifestyle entrepreneurs are completely self-employed; this is to allow them time to set up their projects. In a nutshell, lifestyle entrepreneurs are addicted to whatever they find themselves doing, and they do it so well, by committing their time, resources, and energy to see their project completed. Examples of a lifestyle entrepreneur according to eCommerce rules include; Tim Ferriss, Pat Flynn, and Chris Guillebeau.

Here is a list of great Entrepreneurs of our time;

  1. Bill Gates – Microsoft
  2. Larry Page and Sergey Brin – Google
  3. Mark Zuckerberg – Facebook
  4. Michael Bloomberg – Bloomberg
  5. Masayoshi Son – SoftBank
  6. Elon Musk – SpaceX
  7. Terry Gou – Hon Hai Precision Industry
  8. Larry Elison – Oracle
  9. Robin Li – Baidu
  10. Aliko Dangote – Dangote Group
  11. Reid Hoffman – Venture Capitalist
  12. Mo Ibrahim – Mo Ibrahim Foundation

Qualities of an Entrepreneur

To be an Entrepreneur, you must possess most of these qualities;

  1. Be open-minded
  2. Problem identifier and solver
  3. Creative
  4. Passionate
  5. Confident and disciplined
  6. Risk-taker
  7. Innovative
  8. Competitive
  9. Opportunist
  10. A constant flow of ideas
  11. Determination (Strong-willed)

“An entrepreneur is a creative and innovative individual who sets up a business bearing most of the risks with the hope of making a profit from the enterprise.”. – Francis Nwokike (Founder, The Total Entrepreneurs)

Functions of an Entrepreneur

  1. Risk Taker: An Entrepreneur bears any risk in starting up and sustaining his/her business(es). S/he assumes every responsibility that might come up in the course of running the business which might be caused by either change in time or quality. He is always ready for emergencies and should competitors emerge, thinks of strategies to outshine them. Mike Gafka said, “To be successful you must accept all challenges that come your way. You can’t accept the ones you like.”
  2. Sales Person: An Entrepreneur must be a good salesman. If one cannot sell as an entrepreneur, one cannot succeed. S/he is responsible for marketing and advertising his products or services. I assert that there is no magic about making money; it is essentially a medium of exchange of goods and services. So if you are not providing goods and services, you are not qualified to enjoy financial fortune.
  3. Goal Getter: Entrepreneurs do not only set goals but also thrive so much to achieve their goals. Robert Kiyosaki said, “Most people know how to set goals, but few people know how to achieve them“, that is how to identify an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs set big goals, so exhilarating that it is scary to an ordinary man.
  4. A Leader: One challenge of being an entrepreneur is that you have to be in charge. You must be at the forefront of your business at least during startup. You should note that one cannot make it alone as an entrepreneur. Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish – Sam Walton. To be a successful entrepreneur, you must possess the ability to attract smart people and build a great business team.
  5. Decision Maker: Entrepreneurs determine the objectives of their business and they should know what is suitable per time. He decides and maintains the potential investors or financiers of the enterprise and also manages the funds available. He makes sure that his business venture is in good relationship with public authorities and society. He also decides the market for his product or services.
  6. Identifies and Solves Problem: An entrepreneur is quick to identify any problem facing his/her business and immediately seeks a solution. It is said that he who wears the shoes knows where it pains. S/he knows that if any challenge is not resolved as soon as they come, they are bound to face setbacks in the near future.

Also read: How to Become an Entrepreneur


Entrepreneurs are the bedrock of every society. Their activities bring about the growth and development of economies. We, therefore, should never look down on any disruptive individual who is able to think out an idea, implement it, and solve a problem for humanity no matter how small the solution they provide.

Please feel free to comment on your views and also share other qualities and functions you feel an entrepreneur must possess. We will continually update this article with valuable suggestions.


Francis Nwokike

Francis Nwokike is a Social Entrepreneur and an experienced Disaster Manager. I love discussing new business trends and marketing tips. I share ideas and tips that will help you grow your business.

21 Responses

  1. Godwin Ezeh says:

    good job guys
    thumbs up
    very impressive

  2. joeann kessell says:

    That is a great tip especially to those new to the blogosphere. Simple but very precise information… Thanks for sharing this one. A must-read post!

  3. Salie says:

    It’s so nice. Thanks for sharing.


    Great work. I appreciate your effort for writing this article, it really helped me in my undergraduate program. May God enrich and crown you with success in all your endeavors.

  5. kemmie says:

    Thank you for this beautiful piece. it is very enlightening and relatable. I particularly like your classification of entrepreneurs. More power to your elbow.

  6. Princewill says:

    Nice one. I really learnt something new.

  7. memory says:


  8. Glory Ewata. says:

    Did you study entrepreneurship ? This is a great write up indeed.

  9. Paul Vicky says:

    Great article
    Which website creator did you use please

  10. Isaac King says:

    Great article Francis, This is very detailed and easy to understand

  11. banylla shisha mynso says:

    Thank you for your making me understand…

  12. Odede Tunde Anthony says:

    I wish to add to the characteristics, functions, and role demand of Entrepreneurs you stated above. (1)Innovation and Creativity: Entrepreneurs are highly innovative. They are urged to be creative by the need to solve problems. (2) Initiative: They eagerly put themselves in situations where they initiates new ideas and concepts. (3) Motivation: They are highly motivated individuals and are motivated by a strong need to achieve and solve a problem rather the financial or material gain. Which is secondary.. (4) Risk taker: Entrepreneurs generally prefer modest-risk situations where achievement will not look as a sure thing. They are quick to refrain from very risky situation. (5) Action-oriented: They are action-oriented individuals. Once sure of what is needed to be done, they quickly take action. (6) Time conscious: They are conscious of their time usage and hardly arrive late to meetings or functions. They decry time wastage. (7) Independent: People perceive Entrepreneurs as ‘loners’ or lone rangers. Entrepreneurs value their independence but generally know where, and when to seek outside help in the course of pursuing their set goals. (8) Positivity: Entrepreneurs are positive people. They are optimist, which makes them pursue their goals with passion, thus going extra mile, believing that its achievement, in the face to several discouraging challenges, is possible. (9) Leadership: They have learnt the leadership role, as they can relate well with different group of people- employees, customers, creditor and the general public. They have develop fine public relation abilities through experience. They have the ability to attract, quality workers, customers and creditors. (10) Measuring performance: Entrepreneurs are eager to constantly measure their performances with the view of improving over their last performance. As a result, budget variance, profits, share value etc become important measuring instruments. Money by itself may not be their motivating factor, but it helps them in accessing their performance. (11) Hard work: Entrepreneurs are hard working individuals. They have gotten into the habits of working hard. They are used to working into the early hours of the day, and still rises early. They are busy working while others are busy sleeping. (12) Goal getter: Entrepreneurs are quick in setting specific goals, which are achievable, realistic and time dependent. The pursue their goals with passion to ensure success..

  13. Odede Tunde Anthony says:

    An Entrepreneur is that person who organises and manages an enterprise, particularly a business enterprise. He is the initiator and owner of a business. He co-ordinates and manages with considerable initiatives and risk. He is a productive employer of labour. He set realistic, measurable and achievable goals for himself and his enterprise. At end, he earn profit as reward for a successful effort or a loss for an unsuccessful one.

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