Defining an entrepreneur

An entrepreneur can be hard to define. Learn the components of an entrepreneur and ways to capitalize on business opportunities.

A diagram showing an entrepreneur solves problems and finds solutions, meets a want or need, finds a niche market, capitalizes on opportunity and builds on a skill, interest or talent.

Entrepreneur. It is a 12-letter word that can be difficult to spell. It can also be a difficult word to describe. In the simplest terms, an entrepreneur is a person that:  

  • Develops a business by assessing their skills, interests and knowledge. 
  • Creates a service or a product to solve a problem or meet a need.
  • Capitalizes on an opportunity or finds a niche market.

Let’s take a look at each of these items in greater detail.

Develops a business by assessing their skills, interests and knowledge.

Entrepreneurs take an inventory of themselves and build an idea based on their findings. It may be as simple as liking to bake and deciding to start a cupcake business. They may be adept at small engine repair and decide to start a lawn mower repair business. They may excel at math and develop a tutor service.

Creates a service or a product to solve a problem or meet a need.

Entrepreneurs explore multiple, unique and creative ideas or solutions to a problem. They identify the most feasible solution and devise a product or service. They identify people’s wants and needs and find innovative ways to satisfy those wants or meet those needs. It may be developing a prototype of a new ice scraper with their 3-D printer. They may be irritated with the fact that cannister snacks are difficult to get out of the package without breaking them and devise a dispersal mechanism to assist consumers.

Capitalizes on an opportunity or finds a niche market.

Entrepreneurs are aware of the world around them. They look at trends and identify voids in the market. They target a specific group of people who have the same problem or the same needs. It can be as simple as selling cold water on a hot day. It could also be an enthusiastic babysitter who offers one-hour blocks of childcare at a low rate to single mothers who need time alone to accomplish errands or indulge in a little self-care. They may be a beekeeper who is aware of a group of people looking for locally made honey products.

Entrepreneurs who can combine multiple components of these concepts when developing a business will have a better chance of success.

Entrepreneurs further expanded

In their learning module “Are You an Entrepreneur,Money and Youth explores this concept a little further through “The ENTREPRENEUR’s Dozen.” It offers suggestions for seeking out opportunities through each letter of the word entrepreneur. Money and Youth states:

  • E: Examines needs, wants and problems for which they feel something can be done to improve the way things are.
  • N: Narrows the possible opportunities down to one specific opportunity.
  • T: Thinks of an innovative idea.
  • R: Researches the opportunity and idea thoroughly.
  • E: Enlists the best sources of advice and assistance that can be found.
  • P: Plans the venture and looks for possible problems that might arise.
  • R: Ranks the risk and the possible rewards.
  • E: Evaluates the risk and possible rewards and makes a decision.
  • N: Never hangs on to an idea, as much as it is loved, if research shows it’s not likely to work.
  • E: Employs the resources necessary for the venture if the decision is made to go ahead.
  • U: Understands that any entrepreneurial venture will take a great deal of long, hard work.
  • R: Realizes a sense of accomplishment from successful ventures and learns.

Michigan State University Extension and Michigan 4-H entrepreneurship programs can help you take an existing project to new levels or assist youth in bringing a great idea to life while making a profit. 

Did you find this article useful?