As we continue celebrating National Entrepreneurship Month, it makes sense to understand the meaning of the word, entrepreneurship. I say that it makes sense as there are varying definitions mixed in with perceptions and even some inaccuracies. After all, how could we possibly encourage the celebration of something without an understanding of what it is that is being celebrated?
So, what is entrepreneurship?
A search on Google of the phrase, Definition of Entrepreneurship produced “About 1,020,000,000 results” as posted at the top of the search page. That is over one billion results!
The first result, from Oxford Languages defines entrepreneurship as “the activity of setting up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit.” That is simple enough, but too simple when considering the complexities of entrepreneurship.
Wikipedia takes things to a different level with the interchanging of the word, entrepreneur with entrepreneurship. Seemingly, one cannot be defined without the other. In fact, at the top of the page is the following message: Entrepreneur redirects here.
Their definition, comprising of four paragraphs, is as follows:
Entrepreneurship is the creation or extraction of economic value. With this definition, entrepreneurship is viewed as change, entailing risk beyond what is normally encountered in starting a business, which may include other values than simply economic ones.
An entrepreneur is an individual who creates and/or invests in one or more businesses, bearing most of the risks and enjoying most of the rewards. The process of setting up a business is known as entrepreneurship. The entrepreneur is commonly seen as an innovator, a source of new ideas, goods, services, and business/or procedures.
More narrow definitions have described entrepreneurship as the process of designing, launching, and running a new business, which is often like a small business, or as the “capacity and willingness to develop, organize and manage a business venture along with any of its risks to make a profit.” The people who create these businesses are often referred to as entrepreneurs. While definitions of entrepreneurship typically focus on the launching and running of businesses, due to the high risks involved in launching a start-up, a significant proportion of start-up businesses must close due to “lack of funding, bad business decisions, government policies, an economic crisis, lack of market demand, or a combination of all of these.”
In the field of economics, the term entrepreneur is used for an entity which could translate inventions or technologies into products and services. In this sense, entrepreneurship describes activities on the part of both established firms and new businesses.
On the tenth page of search results is an interesting article, A New Definition of Entrepreneurship. It defines entrepreneurship as “the pursuit of opportunity beyond the resources you currently control.”
The following search result, also on page ten is an article, What Is Entrepreneurship? Meaning, Types & Examples. The article states, “Traditional definitions of entrepreneurship define the term as the act of starting and scaling up a business from scratch. While this is essentially true, the modern connotations attached to this word have taken on a whole new meaning.”
It goes on with the question – What is Entrepreneurship? followed by the following explanation:
“The very existence of the term entrepreneurship differentiates it from the act of business. While business, as we know it, is at its core the buying and selling of products and services to turn a reasonable profit, entrepreneurship goes farther than the common concept of commerce. Entrepreneurship seeks to change the world by discovering opportunities where none previously existed. They convert new inventions into viable products and provide consumers with the means of meeting their needs.
At its very core, entrepreneurship is an approach to solving real-world problems, often with the help of technological breakthroughs.
As a result, the term entrepreneur applies equally aptly to persons who start entrepreneurial ventures as well as to corporate entities which take the steps to endeavor into uncharted business territory for the sheer pleasure of exploring something new. An entrepreneur is at heart a risk-taker who tries something new, and entrepreneurship an adventure for only the brave at heart and strong of mind.”
And I love the following which is a disclaimer of sorts:
“But what makes entrepreneurship so very different from ordinary businesses? To know this, we must delve deeper into the very characteristics of the concept.”
So, is entrepreneurship a description along the lines of craftsmanship and workmanship, implying a higher level of skill? Is entrepreneurship also a business model in and of its own as may be the implication of “being different from the ordinary business?” Or is entrepreneurship considered an interchangeable reference to an entrepreneur? Although, I am not so sure of the latter as I was taught early on not to use the word in the definition such as, a baker is a person who bakes. Stating that an entrepreneur is someone who engages in entrepreneurship just does not make sense.
Are you confused yet? I ask, as I believe I may be confused!
The ‘correct’ answer can be found on the fourteenth page of the search results. The result is an article, Definition of Entrepreneurship by Different Authors. I believe this may have been more relevant on the first or second page of search results. But then again, there is a few differing opinions – or just varying perspectives based upon firsthand experiences. I know, I may be grasping for straws here but why is that not a clear-cut definition of entrepreneurship?
The best way to understand entrepreneurship is to view the following video. It is one that I have shared several times before. Obviously, it is one of my favorites as to me, it is a simple definition albeit extended over 24 minutes or so. Although, entrepreneurship and entrepreneur are once again interchanged.
Have a great day. Make it happen. Make it count!