Definition of entrepreneur
: one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise
entrepreneurialplay \ˌäⁿn-trə-p(r)ə-ˈn(y)u̇r-ē-əl, -ˈnər-\ adjective
entrepreneurialismplay \ˌäⁿn-trə-p(r)ə-ˈn(y)u̇r-ē-ə-li-zəm, -ˈnər-\ noun
entrepreneuriallyplay \ˌäⁿn-trə-p(r)ə-ˈn(y)u̇r-ē-ə-lē, -ˈnər-\ adverb
entrepreneurshipplay \ˌäⁿn-trə-p(r)ə-ˈnər-ˌship, -ˈn(y)u̇r-\ noun
The Characteristics of an entrepreneur
You might well wonder whether entrepreneur simply means “a person who starts a business and is willing to risk loss in order to make money” or whether it carries an additional connotation of far-sightedness and innovation. The answer, perhaps unsatisfyingly, is that it can go in either direction.
Entrepreneur has been in used in English to refer to a kind of businessman since at least the middle of the 18th century, when it appeared in translation of the King of Prussia’s instructions for his generals (“. . . if the country happens not to abound in forage, you must agree with some Entrepreneur for the quantity required.”). During the 19th century, it was also used of a go-between or a person who undertakes any kind of activity (as opposed to just a business).
By the early 20th century entrepreneur appears to have taken on the connotation of go-getter when applied to an independent business owner, a quality that may also be found in the phrase entrepreneurial spirit, which began being used at about the same time.
Origin and Etymology of entrepreneur
French, from Old French, from entreprendre to undertake — more at enterprise
First Known Use: 1762
ENTREPRENEUR Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of entrepreneur for English Language Learners
: a person who starts a business and is willing to risk loss in order to make money
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