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What is Entrepreneurship?

Written by:

Victoria is a business writer with a mission to help guide new entrepreneurs through starting and running their successful businesses.

Edited by:

David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.

What is Entrepreneurship?

Americans are launching more businesses than ever before, and we’re all familiar with the concept of the bold entrepreneur: the neighbor who ran a startup out of her garage; people pitching inventions and innovations on the reality show Shark Tank. 

But what exactly is entrepreneurship? And why is it suddenly all the rage? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered – this guide explains what it means to be an entrepreneur and might even help you decide if you’d like to become one yourself. 

What is Entrepreneurship?

entrepreneurship concept

Entrepreneurship is the process of setting up a new business, and an entrepreneur is the individual who starts the business, according to Investopedia

More than that, entrepreneurship incites economic growth — the entrepreneur fills a market niche, creates new jobs, and provides consumers with a much needed good or service or delivers a higher quality of life. With this in mind, the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor describes entrepreneurship as an “essential driver of societal health and wealth.”

This means entrepreneurs bear a considerable burden. They sink vast amounts of time and money into a venture with no guarantee of returns. To succeed and drive broader growth, most entrepreneurs need to be tenacious and courageous.

Why Do So Many People Want to Be Entrepreneurs?

People choose to be entrepreneurs for many reasons. They might be looking to solve a need in their community, share their innovation with the world, or simply make money. But why, you might be wondering, not just take a job with an established company instead? 

Simply put, entrepreneurship means freedom. Entrepreneurs are their own bosses — they set their own hours, make their own decisions, and devote themselves to a product or service they believe in. This means the business’s profits and success are credited to the entrepreneur, as are its failures. 

Many entrepreneurs feel a unique pride undertaking a venture on their own; every success is a testament to their talent, determination and business acumen. As their business develops, entrepreneurs often relish its growth like a proud parent.

What Does It Mean to be an Entrepreneur?

By definition, an entrepreneur is someone who starts a business. But in reality, there’s so much more – an entrepreneur is creative, independent, and committed. 

It all starts with a good idea. An entrepreneur needs to have a unique or insightful business idea. It’s not enough to open a pizza shop. After all, why would a consumer choose your unfamiliar pizza over a known quality like Pizza Hut or Domino’s? 

A smart entrepreneur might offer new and exotic flavors, the thinnest, crispiest crust, the most cheese, or unbelievably low prices – something that brings customers through the door. At the same time, an entrepreneur needs to be flexible: despite the success of these initial ideas, as the business grows it may need to adapt to changing demand.

An entrepreneur is also independent, in part because no one knows their business as well as they do. Each business is unique, so there’s no playbook for success. With each new challenge, the entrepreneur may be the only one capable of steering the business through rough seas.

Finally, an entrepreneur must be absolutely determined and unwilling to accept defeat. The vast majority of business ideas fail early and often: venture capitalists refuse to fund the concept; the new invention doesn’t work properly; the new restaurant has few customers. 

The entrepreneur must fight through all that and continue to see the world through rose-colored glasses, continue to believe in their vision. Unlike hobbies that can be put down and picked up at will, entrepreneurship is a full-time endeavor, a whole-hearted commitment to which the founder will likely devote two or three years of their lives before being able to step back and take a breather. It often requires steel will. 

ideas on blackboard

How Can I Become an Entrepreneur?

Having said all that, if you’ve got a business idea that could be a smash hit, becoming an entrepreneur is easier than it seems. Step By Step has a wealth of guides on how to finance your business, choose your business structure, and much more. You’ll be right on your way to turning your inspirational spark into a roaring success.

You’ll inevitably face challenges, but with hard work, determination and a bit of support, your new business has a great chance to bloom.


Entrepreneurship is the simple process of starting a business, but there’s so much to it than that. An entrepreneur needs to be ready for anything, fully committed and willing to work endlessly to fulfill their dreams. Even so, there’s always a chance of failure and losing everything. 

And it’s precisely because of this considerable risk that success is so sweet when it does finally arrive. Would you like to give it your best shot? Check out Step By Step’s business ideas and guides to start your entrepreneurship journey.


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What is Entrepreneurship?