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Who are these people we call entrepreneurs? What do they do and why do they do it? Find out what entrepreneurs are all about by clicking on the links below or by scrolling down this screen.

What Is Entrepreneurship?

Who Are Entrepreneurs?

Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs

Meet Some Entrepreneurs

Keys to Success

Lessons Learned


What Is Entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurship can be defined by describing what entrepreneurs do. For example: "Entrepreneurs use personal initiative, and engage in calculated risk-taking, to create new business ventures by raising resources to apply innovative new ideas that solve problems, meet challenges, or satisfy the needs of a clearly defined market."

But as the following definitions state, entrepreneurship is not restricted to business and profit:

"Entrepreneurship involves bringing about change to achieve some benefit. This benefit may be financial but it also involves the satisfaction of knowing you have changed something for the better. (Entrepreneurship: Creating a Venture by Lily Kretchman et al. Toronto: Wiley, 1991.)

"Entrepreneurship is essentially the act of creation requiring the ability to recognize an opportunity, shape a goal, and take advantage of a situation. Entrepreneurs plan, persuade, raise resources, and give birth to new ventures." (Entrepreneurship: The Spirit of Adventure by Richard Bodell et al. Toronto: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1991.)

Click here to see an illustration of the "Entrepreneurial Person" and click here to learn about "The Process of Entrepreneurship."


Who Are Entrepreneurs?

For a long time it was thought that entrepreneurs were special, that they were just born with the ability and desire to go their own way, on their own. Over the past twenty years or so, we've discovered that entrepreneurs learn to do what they do that they also learn, to a large extent, to be who they are. That's why we say they are made not born.

Try starting with the Quiz.

Here's a handy way to remember some facts about entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship:

E: xamine needs, wants, and problems to see how they can improve the way needs and wants are met and problems overcome.

N: arrow the possible opportunities to one specific "best" opportunity.

T: hink of innovative ideas and narrow them to the "best" idea.

R: esearch the opportunity and idea thoroughly.

E: nlist the best sources of advice and assistance that they can find.

P: lan their ventures and look for possible problems that might arise.

R: ank the risks and the possible rewards.

E: valuate the risks and possible rewards and make their decision to act or not to act.

N: ever hang on to an idea, no matter how much they may love it, if research shows it won't work.

E: mploy the resources necessary for the venture to succeed.

U: nderstand that they will have to work long and hard to make their venture succeed.

R: ealize a sense of accomplishment from their successful ventures and learn from their failures to help them achieve success in the future.

Related Links Here are some links that can help you learn more about who entrepreneurs are:


Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs are different from each other, but successful entrepreneurs tend to share certain characteristics. Not all of them have developed each of the following to the same degree, but they tend to have developed most of them to some degree. Here are some common characteristics of successful entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs tend to:

  • be passionate about achieving their goals
  • have a spirit of adventure (in fact, the word "adventure" is derived from the Latin word meaning "to venture")
  • have a strong need to achieve and seek personal accomplishment
  • be self-confident and self-reliant
  • be goal-oriented
  • be innovative, creative, and versatile
  • be persistent
  • be hardworking and energetic
  • have a positive attitude
  • be willing to take initiative
  • have a strong sense of commitment


Meet Some Entrepreneurs

Meet some successful entrepreneurs. Click here to learn about some successful entrepreneurs.


Keys to Success

Some entrepreneurial attitudes and attributes are more important for success than others. Click on Catching the Wave to find out about the latest research into the key competencies associated with entrepreneurial success.

PDF Icon Catching the Wave PDF

Related Links Here are some links that can help you learn more about the keys to success:


Lessons Learned

Most entrepreneurs fail at least once before they succeed, but they learn from their mistakes. Check out the most common mistakes entrepreneurs tend to make so you can head off trouble before it starts. Then listen and watch as entrepreneurs tell of their biggest miscalculations in the "Been There, Done That" section.

Page Icon Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make
Page Icon Been There, Done That

Related Links Here are some links that can help you learn more about lessons learned by other entrepreneurs: