Who Is An Entrepreneur?
The word entrepreneurship is a general term that can mean a lot of things to different people. This is why I have decided to write on this topic ‘Who is an entrepreneur?‘ to enlighten us on who an entrepreneur is, what type of entrepreneur you might be, what qualifies you to be of an entrepreneur, and the functions/roles of an entrepreneur.
An entrepreneur is generally defined as an individual who organizes or operates a business or businesses.
In my own definition, an entrepreneur is an individual who sets up business or businesses, identifies and solves problems, creative, innovative, opportunist, risk-taker, self-starter, and open-minded with the hope of making a profit from the enterprise.
Fashion Entrepreneur (Photo: SME Studio)
TYPES OF ENTREPRENEURS
The major types of entrepreneurs include; social entrepreneurs, serial entrepreneurs, and lifestyle entrepreneurs.
This is an individual who pursues innovative solutions to social problems. A social entrepreneur adopts a style of 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 Clinton and Dr. Abraham M. George.
This is an individual who CONTINUOUSLY comes up with new ideas, start the businesses and often times sell to investors or shareholders. Serial entrepreneurs start-up several businesses with little intention to operate 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.
This is an individual who creates profit from personal passion. He/she put 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, a lifestyle entrepreneur is an addict of whatever they find themselves doing, they do it so well, commit 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.
According to Forbes, here is a list of great Entrepreneurs of our time;
- Bill Gates – Microsoft
- Larry Page and Sergey Brin – Google
- Mark Zuckerberg – Facebook
- Michael Bloomberg – Bloomberg
- Masayoshi Son – SoftBank
- Elon Musk – SpaceX
- Terry Gou – Hon Hai Precision Industry
- Larry Elison – Oracle
- Robin Li – Baidu
- Aliko Dangote – Dangote Group
- Reid Hoffman – Venture Capitalist
- Mo Ibrahim – Mo Ibrahim Foundation
QUALITIES OF AN ENTREPRENEUR
To be an Entrepreneur, you must possess most of these qualities;
- Be open-minded
- Problem identifier and solver
- Confident and disciplined
- A constant flow of ideas
- Determination (Strong-willed)
“An entrepreneur is an individual who sets up business or businesses, identifies and solves problems, creative, innovative, opportunist, risk-taker, self-starter, and open-minded with the hope of making a profit from the enterprise”. – Francis Nwokike (Founder, The Total Entrepreneurs)
FUNCTIONS OF AN ENTREPRENEUR
- 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 his 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.”
- 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.
- Goal Getter: Entrepreneurs do not only set goals but also thrive so much to achieve their goals. Robert Kiyosaki says, Most people know how to set goals, 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.
- 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.
- 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 pubic authorities and society. He also decides the market for his product or services.
- 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 that 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.
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 individual that 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.
These useful resources will help you become a better Entrepreneur:
- How to Become an Entrepreneur – Step-by-step Guide
- How to Discover Your Purpose
- Major Causes of Business Failure
- Business Lessons from Warren Buffett
- Startup Lessons for Young Entrepreneurs
- Principles of Entrepreneurship
- How to Start a Money Making Blog