What Is Entrepreneurship?

What is entrepreneurship? I see the word several times a day yet I have no definitive way of explaining it to another person. When I think of an entrepreneur, I usually picture Mark Zuckerberg - a kid building a business in his college dorm room and ending up a billionaire. But there are various ways to define an entrepreneur - and entrepreneurship - and most never mention college dorm rooms.

For some, entrepreneurship refers to leading any small business, while for others it refers to a specific type of leader leading a specific type of startup company. “Entrepreneurship” itself is defined by businessdictionary.com as

The capacity and willingness to develop, organize and manage a business venture along with any of its risks in order to make a profit.”

The definition is pretty straightforward for a word that carries a lot of weight and significance. Individuals, as suggested by this definition, must be able and willing to not only create a business venture, but also organize and lead it. They also must be willing to take full responsibility for any hardships along the way to being profitable.

I can see how modern day entrepreneurs fall under this definition, but I also see the idiosyncrasies that make each entrepreneur successful in his/her own right that no definition could ever touch upon.

Joe Razza and Andrew Soep of KnowledgeHound, JuntoIII

Joe Razza and Andrew Soep of KnowledgeHound, JuntoIII

While every entrepreneur is unique, all are bound by the same drive and ambition to lead their companies. At Junto, these similarities and differences are used to make the program powerful for every CEO and startup company regardless of age, industry, or experience.

Each Junto company is matched up with six mentors; five serve together as a Mentor Team while the sixth one serves as an individual mentor for the CEO. The mentors are assigned to only one company during the cohort and focus all of their energy on that particular startup.

During the program, JuntoMentors and JuntoInstructors are also encouraged to share experiences rather than give advice. Relevant examples of both success and failure resonate with CEOs and their companies differently than being told what to do. This proves that what worked for one entrepreneur may not work for another.

While there is still more work to be done in defining what entrepreneurship is from an academic standpoint, it’s comforting to know that what makes each definition complicated is its uniqueness. It’s nearly impossible to find two definitions that say the same thing, just as it’s nearly impossible to find two entrepreneurs who think and act the same way.