An entrepreneur is a person who assumes the risks of organizing and managing a business for the sake of potential rewards.
Some people start their own businesses and work for themselves. These individuals are presently referred to as “entrepreneurs.” Entrepreneurs are often both owners and employees. For an entrepreneur, the sky is the limit as far as earnings are concerned. Unlike an employee, an entrepreneur owns the profit that his or her business earns, and may choose to reinvest it in the company or take it as income.
An entrepreneur is someone who recognizes an opportunity to start a business that fulfills a consumer need other people may not have noticed and jumps on it. As economist Jeffry A. Timmons writes in the preface to his New Venture Creation: Entrepreneurship for the 21st Century, “A skillful entrepreneur can shape and create an opportunity where others see little or nothing—or see it too early or too late” (Timmons & Spinelli, 2008).
The French word entrepreneur began to take on its present-day meaning in the seventeenth century. It was used to describe someone who undertook any project that entailed risk—military, legal, political, as well as economic. Eventually it came to mean someone who started a new business—often a new kind of business or a new (and improved) way of doing business. French
Economist Jean-Baptiste Say wrote at the turn of the nineteenth century, “The entrepreneur shifts economic resources (like wood or coal) out of an area of lower and into an area of higher productivity and greater yield.” By doing this, Say argued, entrepreneurs added value to scarce resources. Coal is a resource because it is used as fuel. Wood is a resource because it can be used to build a house or a table or to make paper (as well as be used for fuel). Economists consider scarce all resources that have a monetary value (Timmons & Spinelli, 2008).
Entrepreneurs start and operate their businesses for different reasons, but they share the common focus of creating sustained value for themselves. Entrepreneurs seek opportunities that they envision as generators of incremental income, or wealth. Whether the business is intended to meet short-term household cash needs or to grow into a publicly traded company, viability is critical. Each activity of the firm should be considered with this in mind.
Be smart and be encouraged,
Timmons, J. A. & Spinelli, S. (2008). New venture creation. Entrepreneurship for the 21st century. (8th ed.). Columbus, OH: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.