Young entrepreneur standing at her desk in front of her laptop contemplating what it means to be an entrepreneur.

What is the Definition of Entrepreneurship?

To truly understand the definition of entrepreneurship, it is important to understand what it means to be an entrepreneur.

What is the Definition of Entrepreneurship?



Who is an Entrepreneur?

An entrepreneur is a self-motivated individual who takes on the task of developing a profitable business or enterprise.

There are plainer definitions; such as one who starts a business and assumes both risks and profits.

However, since we want to truly understand the entrepreneurship definition, it is helpful to dig into the history of the word (known as etymology) to more fully understand the term that it comes from.

Exploring the Origins of Entrepreneur to Define Entrepreneurship

With further exploration, we find that the french word entrepreneur is an evolution of the French word entreprendre.

In Old French, around the 18 th century, the word entreprendre came from two words that were often used together. Those two words were “entre” and “prendre”.

Entre, which is also inter – in Latin and enter – in English, means to be among, between, and in the midst of.

Prendre means “to take”.

So the two words used together meant, “to be in the midst of taking”.

The two words were used together enough to the point that they were hyphenated: entre-prendre.

Then over time, the hyphen was dropped and the word became just entreprendre.

We can extend the core meaning of entreprendre to entrepreneur.

Therefore, the entrepreneur would be someone who connects two or more things together; acting as the glue or person in the midst of ( entre ) a potential business enterprise who can then take ( preneur ) on that very unique task.

There’s also a Sanskrit (old Indo-European language) word, anthaprerna.

Anthaprerna means “self-motivated”.

The similarities between the two words anthaprerna and entrepreneur are not a coincidence.

Entrepreneurship Definition Example

Imagine in centuries past, there are a number of people with marketable talents, skills, and abilities that go unmonetized.

Musicians, artists, and other talents, in need of someone to take on the challenge of monetizing their talent.

Imagine also, that entertainment venues do not exist yet but there is still an entire city of people who have no form of entertainment; people who would appreciate a place where they could enjoy music and the arts.

Both parties are in need of a unique structure or organization that could solve the two very separate problems that each side has.

Enter the entrepreneur.

The entrepreneur sees the needs that exist between these two parties and creates a business that will meet those needs for a profit.

This entrepreneur hires the talented musicians and artists to showcase their skills at a venue.

Meanwhile, the entrepreneur also markets them to the people of the city who seek entertainment.

The structure, systems, management, and investment required for this project can also be called an enterprise .

And the act of developing a plan, seeking funds, buying, leasing, or building a complex and bringing both parties together in an attempt to make a profit could be defined as entrepreneurship.

That business may fail, but then there would be more ideas that could become a business and the process would start again.

Entrepreneur + Enterprise = Entrepreneurship

So, the entrepreneur is a self-motivated (anthaprerna) task-taker (entreprendre) who joins things together and makes it something worth investing in and growing.

He or she takes on the tasks needed to develop a profitable enterprise.

Entrepreneurs enter the undertaking, take the initiative, place themselves in the midst (entre) of all the risks, assume organizational responsibilities, and do all of the problem-solving, supervising, and care needed to develop the enterprise idea.

And through entrepreneurship, these actions hopefully result in a profitable business.

Entrepreneurship Defined

So there you have it.

Entrepreneurship is the process that the entrepreneur takes on in order for their enterprise business idea to become an actual money-making and sustainable business that others can benefit from or share in.

And the entrepreneurs who do this are adventurous, take on things, and enter into tasks, all under their own power and self-motivation.

While their enterprise idea can evolve into a billion-dollar business, in its infancy it is really an initiative.

If the initiative fails, that failure should have little holding on the entrepreneur’s spirit and drive to keep going .

And hopefully, you have gained a better understanding of the term entrepreneurship by knowing the spirit behind the entrepreneur.

L.C. Jasper