A person who launches or owns a business is an entrepreneur. Whether they work in manufacturing, retail, services, or agriculture, entrepreneurs are risk-takers who build successful businesses. They frequently upend existing sectors in the process of pursuing their goals.
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Étienne St-Jean, a professor at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières and holder of the Canada Research Chair in Entrepreneurial Careers, notes that formulating a definite response to the question “What is an entrepreneur?” can be challenging, even beyond this straightforward description.
According to him, some in his industry view an entrepreneur as someone who starts their own company, some will only classify you as an entrepreneur—rather than a business owner—if your company is growing. Still others would only classify you as an entrepreneur if you have begun to pay people.
What does he mean by an entrepreneur? He defines “someone who creates, or owns and manages, a business,” adding that small- and medium-sized business owner-managers, including those who acquired the company from another person, would fall under this category. “You are an entrepreneur as long as you direct the strategic direction of the company.”
Making your own way is a requirement of becoming an entrepreneur. It’s an option for a career. You’ve made the decision not to labor for pay,” St-Jean explains.
What qualities distinguish an entrepreneur?
Many entrepreneurs identify themselves by their passion, tenacity, and resilience, according to BDC economist Isabelle Bouchard, who co-authored a 2019 research on entrepreneurship in Canada. “We found them to be the buzzwords while doing surveys and conversations with business owners. Despite the many difficulties they face, they have such a strong sense that they will succeed because of their enthusiasm.
According to Brian King, a professor at HEC Montréal’s Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, a successful entrepreneur has qualities with high-achieving athletes, journalists, or doctors. “You see all the qualities that propel people to success in an entrepreneur.”
The 2019 BDC research found that approximately three-quarters of people polled were attracted to become entrepreneurs by three additional characteristics: independence, autonomy, and flexibility. It was shown that about 50% of entrepreneurs are motivated by self-fulfillment and passion. Even higher percentages of women and young entrepreneurs—59% and 75%, respectively—cite this.
How to start your own business
As an entrepreneur, you will require a certain set of abilities that come naturally to you, some that you may acquire via training or experience, and yet others that will be part of the skill set of a reliable partner in your new business.
There are other actions you can do to support the development and commercialization of your ideas, such selecting the appropriate good or service and creating networks.
Risk and entrepreneurs
Starting your own business is not for the weak of heart. As per the BDC study, a third of newly established firms collapse after five years, and just one out of every two enterprises remains operational after ten years.
Why do new companies fail so often? The causes might be microeconomic, like a person who might not be prepared to launch a firm, or macroeconomic, such the dominance of marketplaces by big companies.
St-Jean observes that many aspiring business owners have high expectations, which presents certain issues. Many believe they can work for themselves, have no boss, and earn a lot of money. Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg come to mind.
The majority of experts concur that increasing your chances of success when launching a new business involves conducting thorough study beforehand, looking for mentors, assembling a strong team, and accumulating a range of expertise.
How business owners support the economy
According to Bouchard, Canada’s entrepreneurs are the country’s main economic drivers. “They account for a sizable portion of all enterprises. They are responsible for a great number of jobs.
According to St-Jean, entrepreneurs promote growth and innovation as well. “When a new company launches a more inventive venture, it compels the more established companies to adapt and compete with this new threat. It therefore stimulates innovation, which stimulates growth.
But all of this business effort may have a drawback.
“There are certain really talented businesspeople who well-established companies would ordinarily welcome. However, they’re too preoccupied with starting their own companies, according to St-Jean.
He goes on to say that many small and medium-sized firms today could use additional staff and would thrive in an environment if skilled workers—some of whom are struggling company owners—were more readily available.