In the simplest terms, entrepreneurship involves starting a business of your own and managing it with an eye towards growth. In the past, this might have only referred to the small business owner, but the definition of “entrepreneur” has evolved in recent years to encompass a variety of different types of ventures. Today, there are many routes to successful entrepreneurship.
Small Business Entrepreneurs
This is the traditional model of an entrepreneur, and we’ve all heard the rags to riches success stories. It involves someone starting a business from scratch with very little capital to invest in the business. In some cases, the small business owner may only have his or her savings in addition to a small business loan. Over time, the small business owner must learn to minimize losses and capitalize on successes.
These types of entrepreneurs have a unique vision for a new product or service, which they hope to develop into a growing business. Often, these types of entrepreneurs seek capital by courting investors and venture capitalists. The downside to this is that the entrepreneur ends up having to share ownership with his or her investors. These are often higher risk ventures, which is why there are fewer scalable start-ups in comparison to traditional small businesses.
Large Company Entrepreneurship
This type of entrepreneurship involves larger corporations that invest in smaller start-ups as a means of launching a new product. For instance, IBM hoped to take advantage of the PC craze of the 1980s by starting Entry Systems, an offshoot business that specialized in manufacturing personal computers for the home. Today, many corporations, including Google and Microsoft, engage in entrepreneurship on a larger scale.
There’s a new generation of entrepreneurs who are developing products and services that are intended to address social, environmental, and political issues. Nonprofit organizations or commercial companies often pursue these endeavors. While the primary goal is not to turn a profit, some companies will do so in the process of helping society evolve.
If you were to take a poll, you might find that two-thirds of people believe entrepreneurship is a worthwhile endeavor. While there are risks associated with pursuing your business venture, developing a strong business plan and researching the market can boost your chances for success.