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April 16, 2012

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I find it useful to break small businesses into three types. The struggling business, the lifestyle business and the growth business (which may or may not be a gazelle). True Entrepreneurs have two characteristics, they are involved in growth businesses and their interests and skills are more in line with being a business person, than in the specific product or service that they are selling.

As the Executive Director and co-founder of the Global Entrepreneurship Institute, a non-profit that was founded in 1998, I hope I can address your interesting post. Let me first say that few words are as abused in the lexicon of the business world, as ill-defined in the management literature, and as open to multiple meanings as entrepreneurship. The concept of entrepreneurship has been in our modern society for thousands of years and in the history of economic study the word has been overused, and in some cases underused. Carl Voigt, dean of the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California, explains, “We sort of defined entrepreneurialism too narrowly as someone who wants to start their own business. But entrepreneurialism can also mean finding new business opportunities and expansion at existing companies.” Starting with practically nothing, an entrepreneur is one who organizes a new venture, manages it, and assumes the associated risk. The term entrepreneur is broadly defined to include business owners, innovators, and executives in need of capital to start a new project, introducing a new product, or expanding a promising line of business. We include technology transfer experts, technologists at leading universities, and consultants and advisors assisting in all aspects of venturing. An entrepreneur’s principal objectives are profit and growth, and they will employ formal strategic management practices to achieve them. We use a broader definition and scope of entrepreneurial activity, segmenting all entrepreneurial activity into seven types of entrepreneurs: small business and lifestyle, franchise, professional fast growth and serial, corporate, creative disrupters and innovators, extreme, and social and nonprofit. I hope this helps. http://capitalism.gcase.org/

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