An entrepreneur is a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.
According to Census Bureau data, from 1978 to 2012 there’s been a more than 44% decrease in new firms being created as a share of total businesses in the United States—the home of the American Dream—a trend that has been interpreted as the decline of entrepreneurship.
“An entrepreneur is someone who prefers a life of boundless uncertainty to that of predictability and chooses to bet on themselves before anyone else.”
— Drew Downs, Co-founder of Nuvango
“An entrepreneur is someone who has made a conscious decision to choose freedom. This freedom doesn’t come easy because being an entrepreneur isn’t easy, but it will change your life in every way. Many of us spend years of our lives building someone else’s dream and following someone else’s rules. As entrepreneurs, we get to choose to work on the things that light us up, that motivate us, and that make a big impact for those around us. As entrepreneurs, we get to spend time with our family when we choose to, go on vacation when we choose to and surround ourselves with the people we choose to.”
— John Lee Dumas, Host of Entrepreneur on Fire
“An entrepreneur is a person who seeks to make a change – either to an industry, or the world. They’re willing to take on financial risk, always choosing growth over profit, and are optimistic to a fault. There’s never been a lower barrier to entry – you don’t need a Computer Science degree to launch a web-based product or service. So to be a successful entrepreneur today boils down almost entirely to execution and perseverance.“
— Yoav Schwartz, Co-founder of Uberflip
“An entrepreneur takes on the risk and seeks to fill a need on her own terms. An entrepreneur doesn’t just ‘organize’ a business in my mind, but fuels it, directs it, and creates it. I hesitated to call myself an entrepreneur for a long time because I thought you had to have a Harvard MBA. I was so wrong. Entrepreneurs are scrappy and disruptive, creative and unruly, strategic and unstoppable. Sometimes they make lousy students and difficult employees.”
—Terri Trespicio,Branding & Content Strategist, Writer, Professional Speaker
“An entrepreneur is someone that can sustainably serve an audience because they have a profitable business model.”
—Felix Thea, Owner of TrafficAndSales.com
Aside from the recurring themes of risk, value creation, and rebellion, the answers I got varied from person to person, from business to business.
The definition of entrepreneurship seems to have evolved, and it’s likely the result of two things:
Thanks to technology, the barriers to entry have never been lower to start as an entrepreneur.
There are more paths now to starting a business than ever before.