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What is an entrepreneur

An entrepreneur is an individual who creates a new business, and bears most, if not all, of the risks involved, and seeks to enjoy most of the rewards.


This definition is of course not set in stone, and there are various slightly different interpretations of it, but in general when asking the question what is an entrepreneur, we could say, entrepreneurs take the personal risk of their new business venture and in exchange, usually end up with the majority of any businesses success or upside such as a sale or an ultimate stock market listing.

Entrepreneurs are commonly seen as innovators, a source of new ideas, or disruptive ideas, to reshape or change the existing market. This sets them apart from the usual description of self–employed. An entrepreneurs odds of success are often considered very low at the outset, but in the event it they do succeed then it can succeed very dramatically. Entrepreneurs also have to overcome many different challenges and obstacles such as organisational structures, finding the funding to get them started, finding appropriate employees and competitors Trying to push them out of the market before they have had chance to develop.

Entrepreneurs play a major role in any economy, using their skills, and initiative, to anticipate future needs and bring new ideas to the market. This leads to growth, economic wealth, job creation, and further innovation.

There is certainly no shortage of people asking what is an entrepreneur? Entrepreneurial aspirations in the UK and many other parts of the world are high, with nearly two-thirds of the workforce wanting to set up their own business. This figure rises to a whopping 80%, for the 18 – 25 year old age bracket.

What are the main reasons for becoming an entrepreneur?

The chance of significant financial gain – Many people are motivated by the potential for not only making an increased income on where they currently are, but also for the chance of making the megabucks, and being the next Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk.   

Increased financial security – The search for financial security is also a major driver of would-be entrepreneurs. Even if your new business didn’t produce the millions or billions made by the top entrepreneurs, it could still be enough to provide financial security for life, and not having to rely on an employer for your income, and therefore lifestyle.   

Dislike their current job – With more than a third of employees disliking their current job, they are motivated to try something new, and on their own, as a way of escaping their personal rat race. 

To advance their current career – If people experience a lack of job progression, especially over a long period of time, then they may decide to explore alternative avenues such as entrepreneurship. They may see it as the only way to advance their career, and become the boss.

More flexible working – Some people may consider the potential route of an entrepreneur as a way of working more flexibly, and possibly working from home. This doesn’t mean working fewer hours, as most new entrepreneurs work far longer than the average working week. 

With most of the workforce wanting to become an entrepreneur, and the reasons for doing so appearing quite compelling, as noted above, why isn’t everyone doing it?


What are the main Characteristics of a Successful Entrepreneur

By looking at some of the shared characteristics of entrepreneurs may help you to decide if you also have what it takes.


Vision: entrepreneurs need to have vision of what a product or business needs to look like at some point in the future, and occasionally a long way in the future, they also need to know about what their end goal and purpose is.


Focus: focus as an entrepreneur is a key component in an entrepreneurs characteristic, they need to be able to focus on what really matters to get the business or product up and running and to reach their goal, they cannot afford to be side-tracked by other more interesting but less practical activities, staying focused is the only way to achieve your ultimate goals.


Passion: Successful entrepreneurs are very passionate about their business their ideas and their ultimate aims. If you are not passionate about your business or idea it is very unlikely that anyone else will be and therefore it is very unlikely that you will succeed in your mission.


Resourceful and problem-solvers: Entrepreneurs need to be great problem solvers and very resourceful. They will come across countless problems and hurdles that need to be overcome and so a keen attribute of being resourceful is always a good characteristic of an entrepreneur


Optimism: you must stay optimistic whilst others around you are feeling pessimistic when things don't quite go to plan, optimism is another essential characteristic of an entrepreneur and the need to continue with the journey despite the inevitable ups and downs along the way. If you have no optimism, then again it is very unlikely you will succeed in the word world of entrepreneurial business.


Confidence: you need to have confidence or at least show you have confidence to the outside world as opposed to doubting yourself your product or your business you simply need to achieve that you can reach your goal and believe it too.


Action-oriented: Entrepreneurs don't just sit around waiting for things to happen or things to come to them they are very much action orientated meaning they are go getters and have to often go out and get it themselves or do the legwork themselves before anything starts to happen. They overcome challenges and avoid procrastination.


Tenacity and ability to overcome hardship: tenacity or the ability to keep going back for more despite being rejected and turned down time and time again is an essential characteristic. It is not very often that entrepreneurs succeed with their first attempt and therefore you need to be able to pick yourself up dust yourself off and start again numerous times. failure is simply not an option for an entrepreneur.

What about the risks of being an entrepreneur?

Being an entrepreneur is a high-risk strategy, although the rewards can be very high. Those who do not succeed, and that unfortunately will be the majority, can suffer significant personal losses, and financial losses for investors.

Of all the people who dream of becoming an entrepreneur, nearly half already know they won’t become one, because they won’t even try.

Fear of failure, loss of money, very long hours, extra stress, too much competition, sleepless nights, the impact on family, and even BREXIT fears, are all common reasons for not following the dream of becoming an entrepreneur.


Key Takeaways of what is an entrepreneur

•           Entrepreneurs create a business around an innovation, and they assume personal risk in pursuit of those goals.

•           The precise definition of an entrepreneur can and does vary.

•           The significant financial risks taken by entrepreneurs help with the economic growth of regions and countries.

Do you have what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur?   

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