Fun facts: What is an entrepreneur?

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George W. Bush apparently once said, “The problem with the French is that they don’t have a word for Entrepreneur.”

Here are 10 fun facts you probably didn’t know about the term ‘entrepreneur’.

1. Where does it come from?

Entrepreneur is a French word coined by the economist Jean-Baptiste Say. It’s origin is from the French word entreprendre, “to undertake”.

2. When did it appear?

The word, Entrepreneur, first appeared in the French dictionary entitled, “Dictionnaire Universal de Commerce”, published in 1723.

3. What was the meaning behind it?

Economist Joseph Schumpeter (1883-1950) believed that the role of the entrepreneur in the economy is “creative destruction”.

4. What does it mean?

In the 2000’s, an entrepreneur has been defined as; a person who starts, organises and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.

5. Where does it fit in the twenty-first century?

The twenty-first century has spun off many extensions in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. There are now support institutions, industry bodies, think tanks and tertiary courses to help attract, support and guide budding entrepreneurs.

6. How has the term progressed over the years?

Being entrepreneurial is now considered a worthy and respected path to tread, as opposed to being thought of as an unnecessarily risky folly (“go off and get a real job”).

7. What does it encompass now?

Social entrepreneurship now encompasses both commercial goals alongside social or environmental change.

8. What is another form of entrepreneurialism?

You can even be an employed entrepreneur and call yourself an intrapreneur, making change and innovation from within an existing organisation, in the hope of it being flung off into a new entity.

9. Can entrepreneurism be taught?

The big question today, is “Can entrepreneurialism be taught?”. My view is yes, so long as the individual has the spirit, nerve and stomach for it.

10. Employee vs Entrepreneur

Many people enjoy the support and comfort provided by large corporations, others love the coal face, building things and having a crack. As in France, Entrepreneurialism is alive and well in Australia today. Thanks George!

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