Who is an entrepreneur? Its Types, Qualities and Functions

Estimated reading time: 17 minutes

Many people wondered who is an entrepreneur? What are their qualities, their types and their function?

The term “entrepreneur” is one with diverse meanings and there is not only one meaning to it. Every single meaning anyone gives to the word entrepreneur is always right and it depends on the perception and point of view of the person.

And if you read on till the end I will be showing you 10 different definitions given to the term “entrepreneur” by some legends in the field of entrepreneurship. You might know some of them.

Who really is an entrepreneur?

Here are some definitions to the question of who is an entrepreneur.

An entrepreneur is someone who builds a business from a creative idea and takes on financial risks with the hope of making a profit as time goes by.

An entrepreneur is someone who is dedicated and committed to building their business and they do all it takes to get their business enterprise to the point where it matches their dreams and vision.

They are the ones in the driver’s seat of the business and they drive it to gear the growth of the economy where they dwell in.

An entrepreneur is also an inventor who makes creative inventions and generate a business all around it in other to make a profit from it.

But for any entrepreneur to make a significant profit from their business, the business enterprise must have to reach a certain level of success of which only a few do get to and that is why the word “risk” is most of the time added in describing who an entrepreneur is.

They take up all the financial risks with the hope of gaining a huge return from it in the future.

Well, the fact that most businesses, both small and large businesses, fail in their first 5 years of operation is true and there are various reasons for that.

One of the many reasons is the lack of consistent sales. Sales is an engine part of a business that keeps things going. When there is a high level of sales in a business, such a business experiences growth.

But if there aren’t enough sales to keep the business going, such business might close up in no time.

And this is one of the things an entrepreneur’s face. They do all they can to get sales by providing to the marketplace what the people are willing to pay for.

Because if no one is willing to pay for what they have to offer in their business, such a business idea might not stand the test of time.

But even at this we also need to put into consideration that there are different types of entrepreneurs and some entrepreneurs build their business enterprises, not for the purpose of making a profit.

They build their business enterprise as a tool that causes a social and economic change in the country and they are willing to cause that change to happen even without receiving pay.

And this is why the definition of an entrepreneur varies depending on what they do.

So let take a moment to look at the various types of entrepreneurs that we have so we can gain a full understanding of who an entrepreneur is.

4 Types of Entrepreneur

There are various types of entrepreneurs and they are mostly categorized by what they do and how their business plan is.

Since we can not cover all the types of entrepreneurs existing, I have decided to show 4 types of entrepreneurs.

  1. An Inventor.
  2. An Imitators.
  3. A Buyers.
  4. A Social Entrepreneur.

#1. An Inventor:

An inventor is someone who develops a creative idea that does not exist before. Most of the time, this creative idea developed by the inventor are better or new solutions to existing problems in society. The inventors are sometimes referred to as Innovators.

It is important to say that not all inventors are entrepreneurs but those who pick up their creative idea and create a business enterprise with them.

They are the ones called entrepreneurs and they also bear the financial risks. They develop their ideas in form of a unique product or service that the people are willing to pay for in other to have it.

The inventors are responsible for all the innovations which are found all around the world.

The one thing common with most inventors is that they are not very good at running a business and those who do not take it upon themselves to learn and get the knowledge they need to run a business end up failings.

Most of the successful inventors succeeding in their business enterprise had to learn what they had to learn in another get to the point where they are now.

#2. An Imitators:

You and I know what the meaning of the word ‘Imitator” is.

Someone who imitates or copy something that has been done.

Well, there are some entrepreneurs who are imitators and they are called imitators for one reason and that is; they imitate the ideas of the inventors or the innovators.

The imitators build their business enterprise by providing an improvement on the inventors’ products or services.

They look for creative ways to provide better solutions by monitoring the market and looking out for complaints of the people with regard to the invented product or service.

They make improvements and settle those complaints with creative solutions and then build their business enterprise around it using their solution as the USP (unique selling point).

#3. A Buyers:

When I use the word Buyer here, I don’t mean a consumer who buys products for the sole purpose of consuming them.

Here, I mean someone who buys products or business enterprises with the aim of making a profit from doing so.

The term “buyer entrepreneurs” can be viewed from two sides. One who buys products and the other who buys business enterprise.

A buyer entrepreneur who buys products buys them with the hope of reselling them at a higher price in other to make a profit.

They are sometimes referred to as Traders; they buy and then sell and they build a business all around this idea.

While the other type of buyer entrepreneur buys promising business enterprises and then make some positive changes in the runnings of the business in other to increase the revenue of the business and they stand to gain a lot when that happens.

They look for entrepreneurs who are stock and are willing to give up their business for a certain price but they make sure that they are buying a business with a higher potential than what its price tag is so they do not lose all their money.

One thing common with all buyer entrepreneurs, particularly those who buy businesses, is their wealth.

They don’t want to go through what other types of entrepreneurs face as startups so they use their money to buy a business that has gone through all that stages.

#4. A Social Entrepreneur:

A Social entrepreneur is one that is bent on causing a social change to society. They look at various problems that people in society are facing and create unique solutions that would solve that problem.

Social entrepreneurs are more concerned about making a positive impact on society than even making a profit.

They take on the risks involve just for the progress of society. They have a burning desire to make the world a better place and are ready to do what it takes.

They set up Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) some of which are non-profitable organizations that create products or services which are rendered to solve the problems of the people.

Despite the fact that we have different types of entrepreneurs, there are still some unique qualities that are found in everyone who is an entrepreneur.

Being an entrepreneur requires that you have, if not all, some of these qualities because they are what makes an entrepreneur to be called an entrepreneur.

5 Qualities Of An Entrepreneur

what are these 5 qualities of an entrepreneur that you should have?

  1. Active listening.
  2. Determined Motivation and Passion.
  3. Risk taking ability.
  4. Creative thinking.
  5. Persistence.

#1. Active Listening:

One thing an entrepreneur does almost every day is to communicate with others. They communicate their idea to others and even sometimes have to engage their clients in some conversations.

But in other to have an effective communication process, an entrepreneur must have the ability to listen.

They have to listen to the opinion of their investors or employees. They have to listen to the complaints of their customers.

When they are able to listen actively, it gives the other person the feeling of been heard and the entrepreneur doesn’t appear to the person as someone who only cares about himself and his idea.

Being a good listener also helps the entrepreneur to direct their conversations in ways that would be beneficial to both parties.

A good entrepreneur is an active listener.

#2. Determined Motivation and Passion:

Another quality found in an entrepreneur is motivation and passion. Entrepreneur is always passionate about what they do.

They have the passion to solve problems and make life better even though most of them set out with great determination to create wealth for themself and their family.

But in other to create that wealth, they then in turn make life better for others and because of the passion and love for what they do, they are strongly motivated to do the hard work no matter what it takes.

 They have a strong drive within themselves which makes them run their business enterprise even when they are not earning any financial benefit now because they know they would in the future.

#3. Risk taking ability:

One thing common with all entrepreneurs is their ability to take up risks and most times it has to do with financial risks.

They put in all they have got, their money, their time, their knowledge and more, with the hope that they will gain a lot from doing so.

And the possibility of them gaining anything is even (50-50) but can be made possible if they get things right and still yet they are willing to take up the risk.

But the thing is that they take calculated risks only. They make sure that they have done their homework well enough to have a better chance of success.

They make research and are clear of what it takes. But not all entrepreneurs go through the research process instead they follow their intuitive guide when it comes to taking risks.

#4. Creative thinking:

All entrepreneurs are creative thinkers. Building a business enterprise begins with a creative idea generated by a creative thinker who is the entrepreneur.

An entrepreneur is constantly thinking of various ways to move the business forward and also beat its competitors.

An entrepreneur looks at a problem and does not stop until they can creatively come up with a solution to such a problem and then builds a business around it.

Most of the creative solutions found in countries of the world and the products of the entrepreneurs in the country.

Some entrepreneurs even dedicate time to doing nothing other than thinking. They stay alone and analyse problems and think of better or new ways to solve them.

#5. Persistence:

An entrepreneur is someone who is also persistent in everything they do. They do not give up easily on anything.

They have a tough spirit that is backed by hard work and they get things going despite the challenges they face daily in running their business.

When an entrepreneur sets out on any project in their business, they are always persistent and see it through until they achieve what they want to achieve.

Even when they fail in any way, they don’t still give up. They are persistent enough to get back and try again.

They learn from the mistakes they have made which made them fail previously and they make some amendments and get things going once again.

All these qualities listed above are what makes an entrepreneur to be able to do all they do in running their business.

But lets for a moment take a look at some of the things that an entrepreneur does, that is, the function of an entrepreneur.

3 Major Functions of an entrepreneur

An entrepreneur has several roles to play in their organization and also in the nation where they dwell. These roles can be referred to as their functions and here are 3 of these functions which I consider to be the major ones:

  1. Decision making:
  2. Management and control.
  3. Income division.

#1. Decision making:

The one major function of an entrepreneur in their business is making decisions. They are responsible for taking decisions and directing the part of the business.

An entrepreneur decides what their product or service would look like, how the marketing process would be when full operations in the business should start and also end.

They also have the right to decide if they want anyone to invest in their business or not and who it will be.

Even at the beginning of every startup, the entrepreneur has to make the decision to take all the risks that will be involved in running the business.

#2. Management and control:

An entrepreneur is responsible for the management and control of their business enterprise.

They are to control the use of resources in their business to ensure that they are not mishandled by the workers in the organization.

They also have to manage the activities the goes on in the business enterprise on a daily basis.

But because of the fact that most entrepreneurs are busy working on other high yielding tasks than this, they tend to delegate the responsibility of managing and controlling the affairs of the business to a paid manager.

So the paid manager has to work hand in hand with the entrepreneur and make a report back to the entrepreneur either monthly or yearly; whichever way is been agreed on.

#3. Income division:

The division of the income to be paid to the employees’ workings in the business enterprise is also a function of the entrepreneur.

They decided what would be paid to every employee in any of the sectors in their business.

They also make sure that the wages, salaries and even rents (if there is any) are paid as at when due.

And even if the business enterprise experiences loss of any form, the entrepreneur still has to settle the wages, salaries and rents when they are due.

An entrepreneur is a very large figure in every country and they are most times seen as the most effective people in the country.

OK now here is what I promised to show you.

10 legends and their meaning to the word “entrepreneur”

Now let’s look at what some of the legends or should I say the successful entrepreneurs in the world have to say about who an entrepreneur is.

“An entrepreneur is someone who can define the business they want to create, see where it is going, and do the work to get there.”

Mark Cuban.
Shark Tank Investor.

“An entrepreneur is someone who mixes passion, innovation, and drives to turn a vision into a working business.”

Jeet Banerjee
Founder of Statfuse.com

“An entrepreneur is someone that goes out and does the work to create something that didn’t exist before.”

“An entrepreneur is someone who creates a new company from scratch.”

Brad Feld
Founder of TechStars

 “An entrepreneur is a person that orchestrates through their own personal gumption, initiative and resources with a degree of insanity, collectively towards an effort to turn a business concept into a business reality.”

Luke Kupersmith
Source Consulting

“An entrepreneur is someone who looks at life a little differently. They don’t see the normal obstacles that life puts in our way and shy away like most of us do. They think the word ‘no’ means ‘to find a different or better way’. They’re continually learning, growing and reaching higher!”

Carrie Smith
Consultant and Blogger

“The entrepreneur shifts economic resources out of an area of lower and into an area of higher productivity and greater yield.”

Jean Baptiste Say
 A Liberal French Economist and Businessman.

“An entrepreneur is one who always searches for change, responds to it and exploits it as an opportunity.”

Peter F. Drucker.
An Austrian-American Management Consultant, Educator, and Author.

An Entrepreneur is “an individual, who undertakes the formation of an organization for commercial purposes by recognizing the potential demand for goods and services, and thereby acts as an economic agent and transforms demand into supply”

 Adam Smith.
A Scottish Economist, Philosopher and Author.

“An entrepreneur is a person who is willing and able to convert a new idea or invention into a successful innovation”

Joseph Schumpeter.
 An Austrian Political Economist.

With all these definitions of who an entrepreneur is, I believe you have a better understanding of who an entrepreneur is and also what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

The entrepreneurial journey Is one that anyone can take and with the right mindset can be sure of success.

You too can be an entrepreneur.

But isn’t there any quote that motivates an entrepreneur to take action?

Yes! there are a lot of quotes that are based on entrepreneurship and they motivate an entrepreneur to action and if you want to be an entrepreneur, this could be the best start for you.

You might need to note some of these quotes down and repeat them to yourself each day.

Since there are a lot of quotes on entrepreneurship and I can’t cover them all but I have taken my time to pick 20 quotes on entrepreneurship which I believe to be the best.

20 Quotes on Entrepreneurship

Here are 20 quotes on entrepreneurship.

  1. “Every time you state what you want or believe, you’re the first to hear it. It’s a message to both you and others about what you think is possible. Don’t put a ceiling on yourself.” – Oprah Winfrey
  2. “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” Walt Disney
  3. “Winners never quit and quitters never win.” – Vince Lombardi
  4. “An entrepreneur tends to bite off a little more than he can chew hoping he will quickly learn how to chew it.” Roy Ash
  5. “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Peter Drucker
  6. “Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.” Albert Einstein
  7. “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” – Bill Gates
  8. “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” Warren Buffett
  9. “One of the huge mistakes people make is that they try to force an interest on themselves. You don’t choose your passions; your passions choose you.” – Jeff Bezos
  10. “Knowledge without action is meaningless” Abu Bakr
  11. “As long as you’re going to be thinking anyway, think big.” – Donald Trump
  12. “If you know too much before the start, then you will get overwhelmed. Come up with an original idea, and don’t copy because there will be no passion. You need that otherworldly passion. Just start.” – Jeni Britton
  13. “If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” – Napoleon Hill
  14. “Don’t let others convince you that the idea is good when your gut tells you it’s bad.” – Kevin Rose
  15. “Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.” – Warren G. Tracy’s student
  16. “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” Walt Disney
  17. “Service is the rent we pay for being. It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare time.” – Marian Wright Edelman
  18. “Tough times never last, but tough people do.” Robert H. Schuller
  19. “Be so good they can’t ignore you.” Steve Martin
  20. “Dear entrepreneurs, you can start a thousand businesses, launch 100 projects and take dozens of companies public, but you only have one shot at being part of your kid’s childhood. Your kid doesn’t care about your platform, they care about your presence.” Jon Acuff

Which of these quotes got you thinking or which is your favourite. Let me know in the comment section below.

Frequency Asked Questions

Who really is an entrepreneur?


An entrepreneur is someone who builds a business from a creative idea and takes on financial risks with the hope of making a profit as time goes by. Also, an entrepreneur is someone who is dedicated and committed to building their business and they do all it takes to get their business enterprise to the point where it matches their dreams and vision.

What are the 4 types of entrepreneur?

#1. An Inventor.
#2. An Imitators.
#3. A Buyers.
#4. A Social Entrepreneur.

What are the four functions of entrepreneur?

#1. Decision making:
#2. Management and control.
#3. Income division.

Powerful business quotes

#1. “Every time you state what you want or believe, you’re the first to hear it. It’s a message to both you and others about what you think is possible. Don’t put a ceiling on yourself.” – Oprah Winfrey
#2. “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney
#3. “Winners never quit and quitters never win.” – Vince Lombardi
#5. “An entrepreneur tends to bite off a little more than he can chew hoping he will quickly learn how to chew it.” – Roy Ash
#6. “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Peter Drucker
#7. “Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.” – Albert Einstein
#8. “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” – Bill Gates
#9. “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” – Warren Buffett
#10. “One of the huge mistakes people make is that they try to force an interest on themselves. You don’t choose your passions; your passions choose you.” – Jeff Bezos

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