What is Entrepreneurship? A Full-Scope Guide

  • Brandon Boushy by Brandon Boushy
  • 3 weeks ago
  • Blog
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Man introducing entrepreneurship guide with chalkboard illustrations

New business ideas are the source of so many of the advantages we have today. Take a moment to think about your day and what an innovative entrepreneur has contributed to your life. Entrepreneurship helps distinguish us from other mammals, but what do entrepreneurs do?

We’ve talked to hundreds of established companies’ owners and operators about how innovation and entrepreneurship keep their companies relevant and encourage growth.

We share the entrepreneur definition, entrepreneurship examples, how to become an innovative entrepreneur, and what makes a good entrepreneur. Click on any of the links below to get to the innovative entrepreneurship info you need.

What is an entrepreneur?

Young woman holding clipboard with word "entrepreneur" and a large question mark asking for constructive feedback and answer to "what does entrepreneurship mean?"

An entrepreneur is a person who starts or runs a business that has higher risk and potential profits than the typical business models. While every small business owner takes more risks than the average person, entrepreneurs often pursue an idea beyond what is currently on the market.

What is entrepreneurship?

The entrepreneurship definition is pursuing a unique path to create a new business that will hopefully impact how the world works. An aspiring entrepreneur seeks a high-opportunity business venture with large amounts of risk that will generate large amounts of financial gain if the business is thriving.

Entrepreneurship and innovation will commonly focus on new ideas in three categories:

  1. Innovative ideas
  2. Business model
  3. Innovative solutions

Let’s look at each.

Innovative ideas

Concept of man considering innovative entrepreneurship ideas

Many companies develop new products that surpass existing options by looking at the challenges their target audience faces. They use creativity and problem-solving skills to provide innovation that changes the expectations of what existing products or service industries should provide. Learn more about product development.

Business model

The development of business systems has become increasingly important for small companies. Major corporations are using innovation to drive growth in revenue per employee. That means small businesses need to employ similar strategies to stay relevant.

Business models like decentralized autonomous organizations rely on technology to fully manage as many processes as possible. They also play a central role in how an organization is governed. This is just one of many types of innovations entrepreneurs can contribute to companies exploring new business models.

Innovative solutions

Robot looking at puzzle representing innovation, ideas, and solutions

Innovation entrepreneurship will often focus on the development of new software that helps an organization improve the efficiency of common tasks. Right now, its main focus is on innovation skills like artificial intelligence for company growth.

Companies of all sizes are racing to find new ways to accelerate employees’ productivity through the innovation of AI. New enterprises are increasing daily, promising to increase productivity by 30-70%, but many of these companies’ claims are untested. This is where innovation entrepreneurs can come in.

Why is entrepreneurship important?

Laptop with Zippia entrepreneur statistics webpage for helping business owners stay relevant

Innovative strategies and business ideas are significant factors in personal and societal wealth. Nearly one in six people consider themself an entrepreneur. And over 88% of millionaires owe their wealth to the innovative products and ideas they bring into the world with their entrepreneurial mindsets.

Despite innovation and entrepreneurship creating new ideas and market trends, there are questions about whether innovation helps or hurts the overall economy because the development of new technologies and strategies can impact society in both positive and negative ways.

When you look at entrepreneurial activity, you’ll find innovative ideas and business models tend to create winners and losers. In the last 20 years, we’ve seen an online bookstore make it much easier to buy products, but department stores go bankrupt every day.

The creation of intermediaries like Uber and Airbnb made it easier for people to earn a substantial living by renting their vehicles and homes. But, these business ideas have also contributed to rising home and vehicle prices.

There are plenty more examples, but economic studies show innovative ideas and strategies tend to:

  • Have nominal increases in productivity
  • Display geographically uneven impacts
  • Be correlated with income inequality

If you’re drawn to entrepreneurship but aren’t sure, take Oprah’s advice: “Don’t put a ceiling on yourself.” There are tons of ways to contribute to society while growing your wealth as an entrepreneur. Learning about the types of entrepreneurship below could inspire your next big move or great idea.

What are the different types of entrepreneurship?

According to Indeed, there are nine different types of entrepreneurship:

  1. Small business entrepreneurship
  2. Large company entrepreneurship
  3. Scalable startup entrepreneurship
  4. Social entrepreneurship
  5. Innovative entrepreneurship
  6. Hustler entrepreneurship
  7. Imitator entrepreneurship
  8. Researcher entrepreneurship
  9. Buyer entrepreneurship

Let’s look at the ways each type of entrepreneurship solves market demands.

What is small business entrepreneurship?

Small business entrepreneurship is opening a business without turning it into a chain or conglomerate. These are the cleaning companies, vending machine businesses, and eCommerce stores that many small business owners open.

Check out our interview with Christopher Mondragon, who started Queen Bee Cleaning Service.

Then sign up for our free course on implementing his successful strategies.

What is large company entrepreneurship?

Business entrepreneurs may also work in a corporate environment where they use company resources, market research, and new technologies to create new products that solve the problems of consumers and other businesses. Companies like Amazon and Google fit into this category.

What is scalable startup entrepreneurship?

Concept of entrepreneur riding a small rocket with the word "startup" on the side over a cityscape

A scalable startup entrepreneur starts a high-growth, high-profitability company that requires large amounts of external capital to create market demand for its new products or services.

Once the company expands and generates value, the investors realize gains, but many of these solutions fail to create the desired outcome and go bankrupt within the first two years.

What is social entrepreneurship?

The social entrepreneurship process focuses on finding, developing, and funding innovative strategies to directly improve social issues that impact the local, national, or global economy.

This business model is a for-profit business often mistaken for a non-profit. Social entrepreneurs like TOMS drive business success through creative thinking by combining existing services with charitable work.

Many of these organizations run as benefit corporations (B Corps) that donate large parts of their profits to charity and publish impact reports.

What is innovation entrepreneurship?

Concept showing fintech web with icons for currency, shopping, upward-trending graphs, the cloud, and how an entrepreneur is a type of innovator/

Innovation entrepreneurship refers to creating and developing new products, processes, services, or business models to create significant market value. It combines the principles of entrepreneurship and innovation to drive economic growth, create competitive advantages, and solve problems in novel ways. Innovation entrepreneurs are individuals or teams who identify opportunities for innovation, take risks, and bring their innovative ideas to fruition.

Examples of innovation entrepreneurship include:

  • Tech startups: Companies like Airbnb, Uber, and Netflix revolutionized traditional industries by leveraging technology to create new business models and deliver value in innovative ways.
  • Green energy: Entrepreneurs developing renewable energy technologies, such as solar panels and wind turbines, drive innovation in the sustainable energy sector.
  • Biotechnology: Entrepreneurs in biotech are creating innovative treatments, therapies, and diagnostic tools that have the potential to transform healthcare and improve patient outcomes.
  • Fintech: Innovators in fintech are disrupting traditional financial services through digital payment platforms, online banking, and blockchain technology.
  • Healthcare innovation: Entrepreneurs in healthcare are creating wearable devices, telemedicine platforms, and AI-driven diagnostics to improve patient care and accessibility.

What is hustler entrepreneurship?

Hustler entrepreneurship refers to a type of entrepreneurial mindset and approach that emphasizes relentless determination, resourcefulness, and proactive action to achieve business goals. A hustler entrepreneur is willing to work hard, take risks, and make things happen through their tenacity and hustle.

Examples of hustler entrepreneurship include:

  • Street vendors: Individuals who set up small, mobile businesses to sell street goods demonstrate hustler entrepreneurship. They operate with limited resources and rely on their determination to make sales.
  • Freelancers: Many freelancers embody the hustler spirit. They actively seek out clients, manage their schedules, and take on multiple projects to make a living.
  • Startups: Early-stage startups often operate with limited budgets and staffing. Founders of these startups need to hustle to secure funding, acquire customers, and build their brands.
  • Small business owners: Running a small business requires wearing multiple hats and handling various tasks. Owners need to hustle to ensure their businesses’ success and growth.
  • Digital entrepreneurs: People who start online businesses, such as eCommerce stores or content creation platforms, must hustle to attract traffic, engage audiences, and generate revenue.

In essence, hustler entrepreneurs possess a strong work ethic, determination, and the willingness to do whatever it takes to achieve entrepreneurial success. While hustler entrepreneurship can be demanding, it’s often associated with individuals who are passionate about their goals and motivated to overcome obstacles.

What is imitator entrepreneurship?

Imitator entrepreneur concept showing mirror image of the same man holding laptop, one in a white collared shirt and one in orange

Imitator entrepreneurship refers to an entrepreneurial approach where individuals or businesses replicate successful business models, products, services, or strategies already proven in the market by other entrepreneurs. Imitator entrepreneurs capitalize on existing ideas, concepts, or trends rather than developing new and innovative offerings from scratch.

What is researcher entrepreneurship?

Researcher entrepreneurship refers to a type of entrepreneurial activity where individuals or groups of researchers and scientists leverage their expertise, knowledge, and innovations from academic or scientific research to create and commercialize products, services, or solutions with real-world applications and market potential.

Researcher entrepreneurs bridge the gap between academia and business by turning their research findings into practical and marketable innovations.

What is buyer entrepreneurship?

Casually dressed small business entrepreneur holding cash in one hand and a laptop in the other

Buyer entrepreneurship refers to a type of entrepreneurial activity where individuals or businesses identify market opportunities by acquiring existing companies, products, or services.

The buyer implements strategic changes to improve performance, enhance value, or exploit untapped potential. Buyer entrepreneurs focus on identifying undervalued assets and leveraging their skills, expertise, and resources to drive growth and profitability.

How to become an entrepreneur

To become an entrepreneur:

  1. Find a profitable business idea
  2. Create a product or innovate a service
  3. Perform product validation
  4. Write a business plan
  5. Get business funding
  6. Launch the business
  7. Grow your business

We have articles about most business opportunities. Find small business ideas that could work for you.

Entrepreneurship financing

UpFlip’s How to Fund a Business blog post on a tablet

Entrepreneurship financing secures the necessary funds to start, operate, and grow a business venture.

Adequate financing is essential for entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into reality, develop products or services, hire employees, market their offerings, and scale their businesses.

There are various sources and methods of obtaining entrepreneurship financing, each with advantages, disadvantages, and considerations. Learn about the types of funding an innovative entrepreneur might use to pursue new ideas.

Characteristics of entrepreneurs

Diverse group of entrepreneurs, one with a lightbulb, one with a smart phone, and another with his arms crossed and a concentrated look on his face

Entrepreneurship is a dynamic and multifaceted concept that involves pursuing new business opportunities, creating innovative solutions, and taking calculated risks to achieve business goals.

Some of the main characteristics that define an innovative entrepreneur are:

  1. Innovative mindset: Entrepreneurs are known for their ability to identify new business ideas and implement them.
  2. Risk-taking: Entrepreneurs accept calculated risks, often investing time, money, and resources into ventures with uncertain outcomes. They understand that risk-taking is an inherent part of business growth and success.
  3. Opportunity recognition: Entrepreneurs look for innovative ideas that others might overlook. They identify gaps in the market, market changes, and unmet needs.
  4. Proactivity: Entrepreneurs are proactive individuals who take the initiative to act on their ideas. They don’t wait for opportunities to come to them; instead, they actively seek and create innovative products and service offerings to turn into business ideas.
  5. Vision and passion: Successful entrepreneurs envision their new ideas and convert them into business plans. Their passion fuels their commitment to their goals, helping them overcome challenges and setbacks.
  6. Persistence and resilience: Entrepreneurship is often challenging, and entrepreneurs must be resilient enough to overcome obstacles and failures as they build new markets with their problem-solving skills.
  7. Flexibility and adaptability: Entrepreneurs must be flexible and open to adapting their strategies as market trends change. They pivot when necessary to align with market demands or unexpected challenges.
  8. Networking and collaboration: Entrepreneurs need to build a strong network of customers, suppliers, and other businesses. Connections provide resources, mentorship, support, and potential partnerships. Develop your network to innovate.
  9. Customer-centric focus: Successful entrepreneurs prioritize understanding their target audiences and delivering new ideas, products, or services that meet customer needs and preferences.
  10. Resource management: Entrepreneurs manage resources effectively, including finances, time, and personnel. They make strategic decisions to optimize resource allocation.
  11. Leadership skills: Entrepreneurs often need strong leadership skills to guide their teams, make critical decisions, and inspire others to work toward a shared vision. Business success without an inclusive business model is likely to be slow and tedious.
  12. Goal orientated: An innovative entrepreneur sets clear goals and works methodically to manifest their new business idea. They break down larger objectives into manageable steps and milestones to create successful businesses.
  13. Constantly learning: The entrepreneurial journey involves continuous learning and adaptation. Innovative entrepreneurs stay informed about market trends, customer behavior, and new technologies.
  14. Results-driven: Entrepreneurs focus on achieving tangible outcomes in their companies. They measure success based on their impact, whether in terms of revenue, market share, social value, or other metrics.
  15. Creativity: Creativity is crucial for identifying new ideas and leading their development. Entrepreneurs use creativity to differentiate their businesses and capture market growth.
  16. Ownership and responsibility: Innovative entrepreneurs are responsible for the development of their ventures and the results of their decisions. They assume responsibility for the successes and failures of their businesses.

What doors will innovation and entrepreneurship open for you?

Innovation and entrepreneurship are two concepts that cross industries. Whether you want to start a service business, sell your own products, or build the next world-changing technology, you’ll need certain skills.

Take a thorough look at your own mindset, interests, and aptitudes before starting a small business. Entrepreneurs agree that just because you don’t know something doesn’t mean you can’t learn it. Check out our list of the best business books to help build your business mindset.

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