Entrepreneurship has traditionally been defined the process of designing, launching and running a new business, such as a startup company offering a product, process or service.
It has been defined as the “…capacity and willingness to develop, organize, and manage a business venture along with any of its risks in order to make aprofit.”
In the 2000s, the definition has been expanded to explain how and why some individuals (or teams) identify opportunities, evaluate them as viable, and then decide to exploit them, whereas others do not, and, in turn, how entrepreneurs use these opportunities to develop new products or services, launch new firms or even new industries and create wealth.
Traditionally, an entrepreneur has been defined as “a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.”
“[R]ather than working as anemployee, [an entrepreneur] runs a small business and assumes all the risk and reward of a given business venture, idea, or good or service offered for sale.
The entrepreneur is commonly seen as a business leader and innovative of new ideas and business processes.”
Entrepreneurs tend to be good at perceiving new business opportunities and they often exhibit positive biases in their perception (i.e., a bias towards finding new possibilities and seeing unmet market needs) and a pro-risk-taking attitude that makes them more likely to exploit the opportunity.
“Entrepreneurial spirit is characterized by innovation and risk-taking.”
While entrepreneurship is often associated with new, small, for-profit start-ups, entrepreneurial behavior can be seen in small and large firms, new and established firms and in for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, including not-for-profit organizations, charitable organizations and government.
For example, in the 2000s, the field of social entrepreneurship has been identified, in which entrepreneurs combine business activities with humanitarian, environmental or community goals.