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What is entrepreneurship? What is an entrepreneur?

Entrepreneurship can seem a big, scary word, but it's a rather simple concept. Defined as the process of starting, organizing, managing, and assuming the responsibility for a business, entrepreneurship is a path littered with risks and rewards both big and small. There's plenty of freedom in owning your own business, and the people who take the chance and give owning their own business a go are known as entrepreneurs. Anyone can be an entrepreneur, and entrepreneurs come in a great range of ages, ethnicities, and genders.

What's all the fuss about?

Entrepreneurship comes with a great number of risks, but the rewards of it are satisfying enough that many people take the plunge. Still, it may leave you wondering just why people bother. Entrepreneurship offers the freedom to make your own choices, and the feel-good sensation of having made a change in the way the world works. With entrepreneurship, one person can quickly alter the way consumers think and add their own product or service to the ever-growing, ever-changing market.

What does it take?

Entrepreneurs have multiple defining traits, such as...

  • Persistence
  • An inquisitive nature
  • An energetic streak
  • A goal-orientated mind
  • Self-confidence
  • Creativity
  • Reliability
  • A competitive drive
  • Problem-solving skills
  • A tolerance for ambiguity
  • Strong integrity
  • Personal initiative
  • The ability to secure resources
  • The capability to learn from failure
  • A willingness to work hard

What are the risks?

As with anything involving unknowns, entrepreneurship comes with its fair share of risks. A probable hazard is the failure of the businesses. Around 50% of new businesses fail within their first ten years of operation. Yet if a person is aware of such a possibility, they can take measures to counteract the threat. When considering entrepreneurship, it is important to accept the possibility of low sales, high expenses, competitive pressure, and a lot of time-consuming work.

The numbers are there!

Statically, you probably know someone who is an entrepreneur or is involved in an entrepreneurship activity, and if you don't, chances are that someone else you know does. Entrepreneurship holds a key role in the U.S. economy. Nearly one in ten Americans between the ages of 18 and 64 has some sort of personal experience with entrepreneurship activities. There are more than 670,000 new businesses created each year! Not all of those new businesses survive the year, but some always do. As a matter of fact, between the years of 1993 and 2003, over 60% of new jobs were a direct result of small businesses. Despite the unavoidable risks involved in entrepreneurship, many, many people still take the plunge, and it has a clear effect on the economy as we know it.

By: Ashley Griffee