July 17, 2023 | 7:28 pm
Table of Contents
Entrepreneurs help make the world go round - they make life-changing innovations, create
jobs, stimulate economic growth, and bring change to improve society. But did you know there
are different types of entrepreneurs?
Becoming an entrepreneur isn’t limited to starting a small business, building a large corporation, or becoming the next Steve Jobs. There are many types of entrepreneurs - all of which has different goals, traits, risk appetite, and measurements of success.
Which one are you?
You could be the type of entrepreneur who wants to keep your business venture small or wants to scale. Some entrepreneurs are dedicated to creating social change, while others are willing to innovate or push for breakthroughs. Another type of entrepreneur builds and improves upon what others already started.
Learning what type of entrepreneur you are helps you understand individual strengths, weaknesses, and natural inclinations. This self-awareness guides you to make business decisions more aligned with your strengths, passions, and goals. Understanding the type of entrepreneur you are, highlight the areas where you may need additional support or development.
This guide lists different types of entrepreneurs with their meanings and examples so you can identify what type you fall into.
What is an entrepreneur?
A simple definition of an entrepreneur is an individual who
takes on the initiative and
assumes risks and responsibilities in launching and managing a business venture. By taking
on the risk, entrepreneurs also stand to reap the rewards of their venture, which could vary
depending on how they define their business success.
Entrepreneurs are necessary for a functioning society because of all the opportunities they create. Launching businesses boosts the economy by increasing employment and encouraging investments. Their services and innovations also improve society’s quality of living.
Driven by their vision, entrepreneurs identify opportunities and organize resources to bring their ideas to fruition. Becoming an entrepreneur means maximizing your skills, whether in marketing, selling, or any other business skill, to achieve your goals.
What characteristics does an entrepreneur have?
Aside from skills, entrepreneurs also share several characteristics to help them stay the course. Different types of entrepreneurs exhibit these characteristics:
It is important to note that not all entrepreneurs possess every characteristic to the same degree. The level of value varies depending on the individual and the specific entrepreneurial endeavor.
What are the different types of entrepreneurs?
Whether you’re already a business owner or an aspiring entrepreneur, learning what type of
entrepreneur you are will help your journey. Understanding these different types allows you
to know yourself better, especially your strengths, weaknesses, and guiding principles.
Here are the nine types of entrepreneurs:
A micro-entrepreneur runs a micro-enterprise, also known as a small-scale business.
Typically a micro-enterprise is characterized by having a limited number of employees, low
capital investment, and serving a local or niche market.
According to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), 99% of enterprises in the country are small businesses. Some common examples of small-scale businesses are your area's local grocery stores, boutiques, or mom-and-pop shops. Other small businesses also start with people turning their hobbies into a source of income.
As a micro-entrepreneur, you can opt to run your business by yourself at the start. However, hiring other people, like your family or locals, can be necessary to grow your company.
You must also be financially savvy, as small businesses typically operate on limited resources and tight budgets. Some essential things to know are managing cash flow and reducing expenses to make informed decisions and mitigate financial risks.
What is a solopreneur?
Solopreneurs, such as consultants, coaching, or
freelancers, can also be considered
micro-entrepreneurs. The main difference from traditional small businesses is that they
mainly provide services instead of selling goods.
Combining “solo” and “entrepreneur,” solopreneurs emphasize work's independent and entrepreneurial nature. They operate their businesses independently, often providing specialized services or expertise to clients on a freelance or contract basis.
Like other micro-entrepreneurs, solopreneurs face the challenges of managing limited resources to ensure financial sustainability. But being solo means you are typically responsible for all business aspects, including operations, marketing, finance, and customer service.
On the other hand, legacy builders are entrepreneurs who focus on creating a lasting impact.
They are driven by financial success and creating a meaningful and enduring legacy through
their actions, contributions, and accomplishments.
A legacy builder aims to build a business that can thrive even after their direct involvement. They want to leave a positive imprint on their industry, community, or society.
This type of entrepreneur is guided by a strong purpose and a desire to make a difference. A forward-thinking mindset helps this type of entrepreneur develop strategic plans and decisions considering the impact on future generations.
Legacy builders focus on developing future leaders to ensure the long-term continuity of their businesses beyond their involvement. They can establish effective succession planning and see that capable individuals carry forward their vision and values.
One prime example of a legacy builder entrepreneur is Tony Tan Caktiong, the founder of Jollibee. From a little ice cream and burger food outlet, Jollibee is now one of the country's largest and most successful fast-food chains. Under Tan Caktiong’s leadership, Jollibee became an iconic brand in the Philippines and internationally, leaving a lasting legacy in the food industry.
Scalable startup entrepreneur
Entrepreneurs who use business models that are both scalable and repeatable are considered
scalable startup entrepreneurs. With these business models, startup entrepreneurs grow their
companies rapidly by developing innovative solutions to everyday problems, disruptive
technologies, or unique products or services that can quickly capture a significant market
Besides the financial gain, most startups aim to fill a market gap through innovative ideas. Venture capitalists often fund startups since they can get their return on investment much quicker. However, it’s also possible for you to bootstrap your startup.
When building a startup, it’s essential to focus on relevant KPIs such as conversion rates and customer acquisition costs. Attracting investors also means knowing how to manage your equity wisely.
Most importantly, you need a clear and long-term plan to achieve company growth and profitability. You can develop a product roadmap to guide you and your team when developing new customer features and offerings.
Companies like Uber and Canva are successful businesses founded by startup entrepreneurs. In the local scene, Advance, a fintech company that offers a salary-on-demand platform, is continuing to help employees meet their daily financial requirements at a click of a button.
Another startup offering a unique service is the Avion School. It helps Filipinos to upskill by teaching them how to be software engineers and find employment among their partners.
An intrapreneur is an
employee who acts like an entrepreneur within an organization and
exhibits innovative and entrepreneurial qualities. They often identify growth opportunities,
propose creative solutions, and lead initiatives that drive positive organizational change.
Being an intrapreneur allows you to develop and implement new ideas, products, or processes within the organization. The benefit of being an intrapreneur is how the company’s resources are at your disposal. However, this also means that the credit for your idea is awarded to the company rather than just to you.
Facebook and Google are some companies that hold internal hackathons or competitions to allow their employees to pitch business ideas. This way, they can continuously encourage innovation and develop their employees’ entrepreneurial spirits.
If your primary business goal is to create social change, you’re a world changer or social
entrepreneur. This type of entrepreneur aspires to change the world by addressing
inequality, environment, economic development issues, or other societal challenges.
Depending on the approach, world-changer entrepreneurs' business ventures can be for-profit or non-profit. Some entrepreneurs create for-profit businesses that have a solid social or environmental impact. On the other hand, some world-changer entrepreneurs may opt to establish a non-profit organization that focuses solely on addressing an issue without the primary goal of generating profits.
World-changer entrepreneurs are not solely motivated by financial success but also by the desire to improve people's lives. They often embrace sustainable practices and social responsibility and have a strong sense of purpose in their entrepreneurial pursuits.
An example of a social business in the Philippines is Pic-A-Talk, which aims to help children with autism, speech delay, and other learning disabilities. These children get help with their complex communication needs through Pic-A-Talk’s assistive mobile application.
Passionate creators or innovative entrepreneurs are driven by an innate desire to bring
their ideas and visions to life, fueling their creativity, dedication, and joy in the
creation process. They always think about the “next big thing.”
Furthermore, passionate creators love what they do and derive joy and fulfillment from creating. Their natural curiosity and commitment drive them to challenge themselves and be willing to step outside their comfort zones.
As a passionate creator or innovator, you possess fearlessness and courage - not afraid to challenge conventions and express your unique perspectives. In doing so, you can receive lots of resistance from people who don’t share your vision. However, when planned and launched successfully, your business will stand out.
Some famous innovators include Larry Page of Google, Elon Musk of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, and Evan Spiegel of Snapchat.
An imitator entrepreneur, also known as a copycat entrepreneur, is an individual who builds
a business or ventures into a market, replicating an existing successful business model,
product, or service.
Instead of creating something entirely new or innovative idea, imitator entrepreneurs observe closely what successful businesses are doing. They identify opportunities to imitate or replicate key features, marketing approaches, pricing strategies, or operational methods.
An example is when Instagram rolled out the Stories feature after Facebook acquired the company. Even though the Stories feature is considered an imitation of Snapchat, this feature still attracted millions of new users to Instagram.
Being an imitator is less risky than being an innovator since they can learn from others’ mistakes before launching their businesses. While they mimic successful businesses, they can adjust to suit their circumstances or capitalize on untapped market segments. They refine the business further to differentiate themselves from others.
However, they must also be mindful of legal considerations such as intellectual property rights and other legal issues that come with imitating an existing business or product.
If you have deep pockets and expertise in growing businesses, you can choose to be a buyer
Buyer entrepreneurs specialize in looking for businesses, evaluating their viability, buying them, and actively working to grow the business. After some time in leadership, buyer entrepreneurs usually hand the company to a trusted person who can run it. At the same time, they start looking for another business to acquire.
One advantage of becoming a buyer entrepreneur is you are already purchasing a well-established business, which significantly reduces the risk on your end. This business already has a market and robust product line, so you don’t need to worry about innovating products.
Warren Buffett is an example of a buyer entrepreneur when he bought Berkshire Hathaway and made it the world’s largest holding company.
Perfectionists, also known as researcher entrepreneurs, take their time to study all the
necessary data and information before launching their business idea. They are perfectionists
because they prepare multiple contingency plans and ensure everything is foolproof when they
start their business.
Although their business planning and preparation might take a while, businesses of researcher entrepreneurs have higher chances of succeeding since they rely mainly on backed data instead of intuition.
Perfectionists take the slightest risk among all the different types of entrepreneurs and don’t prioritize innovation as much for their businesses.
Theodor Hänsch, an academic researcher turned entrepreneur falls under the researcher entrepreneur type when he used his study of optical frequency to launch his business, Menlo Systems.
How to become a successful entrepreneur?
No matter what type of entrepreneur you are, you all have a common goal: to make your
business successful. Otherwise, why would you have started your business at all?
Becoming a successful entrepreneur combines your entrepreneurial traits and business skills. But most of all, a successful business requires a good grasp, knowledge, and understanding of your financials!
Finance is the heart of any business and drives it forward, so you need a trusted partner to guide you toward any business financial decision.
The excellent news is OneCFO is here for all your financial needs! By subscribing to OneCFO’s services, you will have your all-in-one finance department, including high-level CFO services, bookkeeping and tax services, and payroll services!
Learn more about OneCFO and how we can be your partner for growth:
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