Types of entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurs are passionate innovators with a desire to change the world. However, they can be found in any industry and their visions and aspirations vary from one person to the next. Indeed, some entrepreneurs are motivated by the lure of money while others are motivated by social good. Some entrepreneurs start small companies and believe in sustained hard work to achieve success while others are a part of corporations that use capital to reach their goals.

Concept OverviewEntrepreneurship is a multifaceted concept that encompasses various types and approaches. It involves individuals or teams who identify opportunities and create new ventures to pursue those opportunities. Entrepreneurship is a driving force behind innovation, economic growth, and job creation. Different types of entrepreneurship emerge based on factors such as goals, motivations, scale, and the nature of the opportunities pursued. Understanding these types helps tailor strategies and support mechanisms to the specific needs of entrepreneurs.
Key Types of Entrepreneurship– Several key types of entrepreneurship include: 1. Small Business Entrepreneurship: Involves creating and operating small enterprises, often driven by the desire for independence and self-employment. 2. Scalable Startup Entrepreneurship: Focuses on high-growth potential and often seeks venture capital or angel investment for rapid expansion. 3. Social Entrepreneurship: Combines business principles with a focus on addressing social or environmental issues and creating social impact. 4. Corporate Entrepreneurship (Intrapreneurship): Occurs within established corporations when employees innovate and develop new products, services, or processes. 5. Lifestyle Entrepreneurship: Prioritizes work-life balance and personal fulfillment over rapid growth and often involves businesses that reflect the owner’s interests or passions. 6. Online or Digital Entrepreneurship: Involves creating and managing online businesses, such as e-commerce stores, SaaS companies, or content platforms. 7. Necessity Entrepreneurship: Arises from necessity, often due to unemployment or economic challenges, and involves starting a business to meet immediate financial needs. 8. Cultural or Artistic Entrepreneurship: Focuses on creative pursuits like arts, culture, and entertainment, often with a strong personal or cultural identity. 9. Green Entrepreneurship: Centers on sustainable practices and businesses that prioritize environmental conservation and responsibility. 10. Technology Entrepreneurship: Involves creating and commercializing innovative technologies or software solutions. 11. Serial Entrepreneurship: Refers to individuals who repeatedly start and lead multiple ventures over their career. 12. Cooperative or Collective Entrepreneurship: Involves groups or cooperatives of individuals who jointly create and operate businesses for mutual benefit. These types of entrepreneurship reflect a diverse range of goals, values, and motivations among entrepreneurs.
Motivations and Goals– The motivations and goals of entrepreneurs vary widely across different types: 1. Profit Maximization: Common in scalable startups and small business entrepreneurship. 2. Social Impact: A primary focus in social entrepreneurship. 3. Lifestyle and Flexibility: Sought after in lifestyle entrepreneurship. 4. Creative Expression: Central in cultural or artistic entrepreneurship. 5. Environmental Responsibility: Emphasized in green entrepreneurship. 6. Solving Problems: Seen in necessity entrepreneurship. 7. Technological Innovation: A key driver in technology entrepreneurship. Understanding the primary motivations helps individuals and support organizations align their efforts with entrepreneurial goals.
Challenges and Risks– Entrepreneurship involves various challenges and risks, regardless of the type: 1. Financial Risk: Investing personal funds or seeking external capital. 2. Market Uncertainty: Identifying and serving customer needs in a dynamic market. 3. Competitive Pressures: Navigating competition and market saturation. 4. Regulatory Compliance: Adhering to legal and industry-specific regulations. 5. Resource Constraints: Managing limited resources, especially in the early stages. 6. Work-Life Balance: Maintaining work-life balance, particularly in lifestyle entrepreneurship. 7. Failure Risk: Facing the possibility of business failure and its consequences. Entrepreneurs must assess and mitigate these challenges based on the type of entrepreneurship they pursue.
Impact on Society– Entrepreneurship has a profound impact on society: 1. Economic Growth: It contributes to job creation and economic development. 2. Innovation: Drives technological and social innovation. 3. Social Change: Social entrepreneurship addresses pressing social issues. 4. Environmental Responsibility: Green entrepreneurship promotes sustainability. 5. Cultural Expression: Cultural and artistic entrepreneurship enriches culture and creativity. 6. Technological Advancement: Technology entrepreneurship leads to breakthroughs. A diverse landscape of entrepreneurship types creates a vibrant and resilient society.
Support Ecosystem– A robust entrepreneurial ecosystem includes various support mechanisms: 1. Funding: Access to capital, including grants, loans, venture capital, and angel investment. 2. Mentorship and Networking: Guidance from experienced entrepreneurs and access to a supportive network. 3. Incubators and Accelerators: Programs that provide resources and mentorship to startups. 4. Education and Training: Entrepreneurship education and skill development. 5. Regulatory Environment: A conducive regulatory framework for business operations. 6. Innovation Hubs and Coworking Spaces: Physical spaces that facilitate collaboration and creativity. A well-rounded ecosystem fosters entrepreneurship and encourages its growth across various types.
Ethical Considerations– Ethical considerations in entrepreneurship include honesty and transparency in business dealings, responsibility toward employees and stakeholders, and sustainability practices. Entrepreneurs are increasingly expected to demonstrate social responsibility, environmental stewardship, and ethical conduct. Ethical entrepreneurship not only promotes trust but also contributes to the long-term success and positive impact of ventures.
Future Trends– Future trends in entrepreneurship include the growth of remote and online entrepreneurship, increased focus on sustainability and ethical entrepreneurship, technological advancements, and the integration of artificial intelligence into various entrepreneurial processes. As entrepreneurship continues to evolve, these trends shape the landscape and opportunities for entrepreneurs of all types.
Inclusive Entrepreneurship– Recognizing the importance of inclusivity, there is a growing emphasis on inclusive entrepreneurship, which aims to provide equal opportunities and support for underrepresented groups, including women, minorities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. Inclusive entrepreneurship promotes diversity and broadens the pool of entrepreneurial talent.
Global Perspectives– Entrepreneurship varies significantly in different regions and countries due to cultural norms, economic conditions, and government policies. Some regions may have a strong emphasis on technology startups, while others prioritize small

Social entrepreneurship

The main goal of social entrepreneurship is to improve society in some shape or form. While some of these companies exist to make money, there are also non-profits and B Corps that balance social purpose with profit.

Warby Parker is one example of social entrepreneurship, with the company donating more than eight million pairs of glasses to disadvantaged citizens who are vision-impaired.

Innovation entrepreneurship

Innovation entrepreneurship is the transformation of an invention or idea into a business venture. This entrepreneurship type seeks to change the way people live in a manner that no other company has managed to do.

Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates are all examples of motivated, passionate innovation entrepreneurs whose companies redefined what was thought possible.

Small business entrepreneurship

Small business entrepreneurship describes modest innovation that tends to be the result of adding a new twist to an existing product or service. Profits from these innovations are used to meet payroll or support basic living expenses. In other words, they are not reinvested to expand the business.

As the name suggests, small business entrepreneurship is found in many mom-and-pop businesses such as hairdressers, butchers, grocery stores, florists, and consultants.

Hustler entrepreneurship

Hustlers are those who believe in the power of hard work sustained over a long period. They have grand visions to grow the company into something more substantial and are not afraid to take risks.

One example of hustler entrepreneurship is Mary Kay Ash, founder of the beauty company Mary Kay Cosmetics. Ash used a combination of confidence, conscientiousness, extroversion, and superior networking skills to make her dream a reality.

Imitator entrepreneurship

In a similar way to small business entrepreneurs, imitators consider what is already working and then develop a product, service, or business model that is innovative or iterative. They can spot the mistakes others have made and improve on them with self-confidence and conviction.

Many believe imitator entrepreneurship to be a blend of innovators and hustlers. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is one such example.

Researcher entrepreneurship

Researcher entrepreneurs favor practicality over innovation and will spend vast amounts of time analyzing data to reduce the chances of a venture failing. Researchers possess exemplary critical thinking and problem-solving skills and have a strong desire for order. They make sure they understand every aspect of a business and a driven by logic rather than emotion.

Larry Ellison, a businessman, and co-founder of Oracle Corporation is a good example of researcher entrepreneurship.

Key takeaways:

  • Entrepreneurs are passionate innovators with a desire to change the world. They can be found in almost any industry and the visions and aspirations vary from one entrepreneur to the next.
  • Social entrepreneurship seeks to improve society in some way, while innovation entrepreneurship takes a new idea and makes it viable.
  • Small business entrepreneurship is commonly found in mom-and-pop stores where the primary goal is to support a basic but comfortable existence. Hustler entrepreneurs believe success is down to sustained hard work, while researcher entrepreneurship is practical, analytical, and driven by logic instead of emotion.

Key Highlights about Different Types of Entrepreneurs:

  • Entrepreneurial Diversity: Entrepreneurs are driven individuals with varied motivations, visions, and aspirations, found across industries and sectors.
  • Social Entrepreneurship: Social entrepreneurs aim to improve society, sometimes balancing profit and social purpose. Examples include companies like Warby Parker, which donate glasses to those in need.
  • Innovation Entrepreneurship: Innovation entrepreneurs transform ideas into groundbreaking business ventures that change people’s lives. Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates are notable examples.
  • Small Business Entrepreneurship: Small business entrepreneurs introduce modest innovations to existing products or services. Profits are often used to cover living expenses rather than business expansion.
  • Hustler Entrepreneurship: Hustlers believe in sustained hard work, taking risks, and have grand visions of growing their companies. Mary Kay Ash is an example of a hustler entrepreneur.
  • Imitator Entrepreneurship: Imitators learn from existing successes and create innovative or iterative products, services, or business models. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, is an imitator entrepreneur.
  • Researcher Entrepreneurship: Researcher entrepreneurs prioritize practicality over innovation. They meticulously analyze data to reduce business risks, relying on logic rather than emotion. Larry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle Corporation, fits this category.
  • Diverse Approaches: Each type of entrepreneur brings a unique approach to business. Social entrepreneurs focus on impact, innovation entrepreneurs redefine industries, small business entrepreneurs cater to local needs, hustlers emphasize hard work, imitators build on existing successes, and researcher entrepreneurs prioritize data-driven decision-making.
  • Entrepreneurial Success: The success of different types of entrepreneurs stems from their distinctive qualities, whether it’s innovative thinking, hard work, practicality, or a blend of these traits.

Connected Strategy Frameworks


The ADKAR model is a management tool designed to assist employees and businesses in transitioning through organizational change. To maximize the chances of employees embracing change, the ADKAR model was developed by author and engineer Jeff Hiatt in 2003. The model seeks to guide people through the change process and importantly, ensure that people do not revert to habitual ways of operating after some time has passed.

Ansoff Matrix

You can use the Ansoff Matrix as a strategic framework to understand what growth strategy is more suited based on the market context. Developed by mathematician and business manager Igor Ansoff, it assumes a growth strategy can be derived from whether the market is new or existing, and whether the product is new or existing.

Business Model Canvas

The business model canvas is a framework proposed by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur in Busines Model Generation enabling the design of business models through nine building blocks comprising: key partners, key activities, value propositions, customer relationships, customer segments, critical resources, channels, cost structure, and revenue streams.

Lean Startup Canvas

The lean startup canvas is an adaptation by Ash Maurya of the business model canvas by Alexander Osterwalder, which adds a layer that focuses on problems, solutions, key metrics, unfair advantage based, and a unique value proposition. Thus, starting from mastering the problem rather than the solution.

Blitzscaling Canvas

The Blitzscaling business model canvas is a model based on the concept of Blitzscaling, which is a particular process of massive growth under uncertainty, and that prioritizes speed over efficiency and focuses on market domination to create a first-scaler advantage in a scenario of uncertainty.

Blue Ocean Strategy

A blue ocean is a strategy where the boundaries of existing markets are redefined, and new uncontested markets are created. At its core, there is value innovation, for which uncontested markets are created, where competition is made irrelevant. And the cost-value trade-off is broken. Thus, companies following a blue ocean strategy offer much more value at a lower cost for the end customers.

Business Analysis Framework

Business analysis is a research discipline that helps driving change within an organization by identifying the key elements and processes that drive value. Business analysis can also be used in Identifying new business opportunities or how to take advantage of existing business opportunities to grow your business in the marketplace.

BCG Matrix

In the 1970s, Bruce D. Henderson, founder of the Boston Consulting Group, came up with The Product Portfolio (aka BCG Matrix, or Growth-share Matrix), which would look at a successful business product portfolio based on potential growth and market shares. It divided products into four main categories: cash cows, pets (dogs), question marks, and stars.

Balanced Scorecard

First proposed by accounting academic Robert Kaplan, the balanced scorecard is a management system that allows an organization to focus on big-picture strategic goals. The four perspectives of the balanced scorecard include financial, customer, business process, and organizational capacity. From there, according to the balanced scorecard, it’s possible to have a holistic view of the business.

Blue Ocean Strategy 

A blue ocean is a strategy where the boundaries of existing markets are redefined, and new uncontested markets are created. At its core, there is value innovation, for which uncontested markets are created, where competition is made irrelevant. And the cost-value trade-off is broken. Thus, companies following a blue ocean strategy offer much more value at a lower cost for the end customers.

GAP Analysis

A gap analysis helps an organization assess its alignment with strategic objectives to determine whether the current execution is in line with the company’s mission and long-term vision. Gap analyses then help reach a target performance by assisting organizations to use their resources better. A good gap analysis is a powerful tool to improve execution.

GE McKinsey Model

The GE McKinsey Matrix was developed in the 1970s after General Electric asked its consultant McKinsey to develop a portfolio management model. This matrix is a strategy tool that provides guidance on how a corporation should prioritize its investments among its business units, leading to three possible scenarios: invest, protect, harvest, and divest.

McKinsey 7-S Model

The McKinsey 7-S Model was developed in the late 1970s by Robert Waterman and Thomas Peters, who were consultants at McKinsey & Company. Waterman and Peters created seven key internal elements that inform a business of how well positioned it is to achieve its goals, based on three hard elements and four soft elements.

McKinsey’s Seven Degrees

McKinsey’s Seven Degrees of Freedom for Growth is a strategy tool. Developed by partners at McKinsey and Company, the tool helps businesses understand which opportunities will contribute to expansion, and therefore it helps to prioritize those initiatives.

McKinsey Horizon Model

The McKinsey Horizon Model helps a business focus on innovation and growth. The model is a strategy framework divided into three broad categories, otherwise known as horizons. Thus, the framework is sometimes referred to as McKinsey’s Three Horizons of Growth.

Porter’s Five Forces

Porter’s Five Forces is a model that helps organizations to gain a better understanding of their industries and competition. Published for the first time by Professor Michael Porter in his book “Competitive Strategy” in the 1980s. The model breaks down industries and markets by analyzing them through five forces.

Porter’s Generic Strategies

According to Michael Porter, a competitive advantage, in a given industry could be pursued in two key ways: low cost (cost leadership), or differentiation. A third generic strategy is focus. According to Porter a failure to do so would end up stuck in the middle scenario, where the company will not retain a long-term competitive advantage.

Porter’s Value Chain Model

In his 1985 book Competitive Advantage, Porter explains that a value chain is a collection of processes that a company performs to create value for its consumers. As a result, he asserts that value chain analysis is directly linked to competitive advantage. Porter’s Value Chain Model is a strategic management tool developed by Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter. The tool analyses a company’s value chain – defined as the combination of processes that the company uses to make money.

Porter’s Diamond Model

Porter’s Diamond Model is a diamond-shaped framework that explains why specific industries in a nation become internationally competitive while those in other nations do not. The model was first published in Michael Porter’s 1990 book The Competitive Advantage of Nations. This framework looks at the firm strategy, structure/rivalry, factor conditions, demand conditions, related and supporting industries.

SWOT Analysis

A SWOT Analysis is a framework used for evaluating the business‘s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It can aid in identifying the problematic areas of your business so that you can maximize your opportunities. It will also alert you to the challenges your organization might face in the future.

PESTEL Analysis


Scenario Planning

Businesses use scenario planning to make assumptions on future events and how their respective business environments may change in response to those future events. Therefore, scenario planning identifies specific uncertainties – or different realities and how they might affect future business operations. Scenario planning attempts at better strategic decision making by avoiding two pitfalls: underprediction, and overprediction.

STEEPLE Analysis

The STEEPLE analysis is a variation of the STEEP analysis. Where the step analysis comprises socio-cultural, technological, economic, environmental/ecological, and political factors as the base of the analysis. The STEEPLE analysis adds other two factors such as Legal and Ethical.

SWOT Analysis

A SWOT Analysis is a framework used for evaluating the business’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It can aid in identifying the problematic areas of your business so that you can maximize your opportunities. It will also alert you to the challenges your organization might face in the future.

Other strategy frameworks:

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