Who are entrepreneurs? What do we do?

Many, but certainly not all, entrepreneurs start, and grow, businesses.

And over time – if, as is typical, we haven’t gone bust in the first five years, along with 50% of all StartUps – we move these businesses from being StartUps, to UpStarts.

“There are but two main reasons why our StartUp fails – under-trading and overtrading.”

As a business entrepreneur we may

  • start our own business alone
  • or co-operatively with others – the strongest ‘new’ trend
  • or we may work entrepreneurially within an established business or corporation – as corporateurs, or intrapreneurs.

Social entrepreneurs

Or, of course, we may not be in business at all. For while some of us entrepreneurs start up businesses, many ‘social entrepreneurs’ don’t. Instead social entrepreneurs develop innovative business models that blend many business tools with the long-term needs of our tribes, communities, societies, cities and our planet.

“The idea of ‘social entrepreneurship’ has struck a responsive cord. It is a phrase well suited to our times. It combines the passion of a social mission with an image of business-like discipline, innovation, and determination.” – Gregory Dees.

“Social entrepreneurs are mad scientists in the lab. They’re harbringers of new ways of doing business.” – Pamela Hartigan, Director, Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford University.

Many forms, shapes and sizes

So, yes, entrepreneurs come in many forms, shapes and sizes – including:

Some of us are highly creative and innovative. Some of us just have one big idea, perhaps ‘borrowed’ from someone else. And, like Einstein, we ride that one business idea ‘to the end of the rainbow’.

Others of us are technologists or tradespeople who want to strike out on our own.