Defining the Word Entrepreneur

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Last Friday I had the opportunity to spend time with a PhD student working on her thesis research. She’s collecting information from serial entrepreneurs to develop new academic theories around the traits most correlated with repeat entrepreneurs. Along with asking questions like how do I define startup success, trigger descisions that lead to success, and more, she asked how I define the word entrepreneur. Here’s what I said:

An entrepreneur is a person who takes considerable risk assembling resources and people to build something new.

After thinking through it, giving my definition, and talking more, I wanted to read the definition:
1. a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.
2. an employer of productive labor; contractor.

It’s interesting to note that the dictionary definition regards managing with initiative an entrepreneur. I would regard that as an ambitious executive executive and not an entrepreneur. For me, the key entrepreneurial tenet is risk taking and the uncertainty of doing something new.

What else? How do you define the word entrepreneur?

One thought on “Defining the Word Entrepreneur

  1. David, Here’s my definition:

    “An entrepreneur is a business architect, utilizing the art and science of business models and theories to build an ongoing financial engine to provide for the investors and it’s employees.”

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