What Exactly Is an Entrepreneur?

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In English, the term entrepreneur often means nothing more than a "businessman" or a "businesswoman". This term is also used in German-speaking countries. However, there are small differences in the meaning. In the following article, you can read about what exactly is an entrepreneur and what requirements you need to meet to become one.

What Is an Entrepreneur - A Short Entrepreneur Definition

Whether entrepreneur in German or as a term from the English-speaking world - the meaning of entrepreneur is composed of the French words "entre" and "prendre".

As a definition of entrepreneur, this combination means something like business or businessman, but it is about more than just founding a company. It refers to the owner of a company who is characterised by certain qualities. Entrepreneurs are often visionaries who break new ground with their ideas.

Examples include start-ups with innovative ideas or companies whose business goals are outside the mainstream. They often take high risks to realise their goals and do not allow themselves to be dissuaded even by setbacks. Successful entrepreneurs are often considered responsible, independent and strong-willed.

What Does Entrepreneurship Mean?

The answer to the question "What does entrepreneurship mean?" can also be derived from the meaning of entrepreneur. It means as much as entrepreneurial spirit and businessmanship. Depending on the orientation, this can be differentiated into the following types, for example:

Young or Senior Entrepreneur: Very young founders without professional experience and older founders with a lot of experience

Serial Entrepreneur: Founding just one company is not enough for many visionaries. They therefore often follow up their first success with further start-ups and are virtually always on the lookout for new, promising ideas that they can realise in a start-up project.

Eco Entrepreneur: The focus is on sustainable business ideas (e.g. environmentally friendly, organic, fair trade).

High-Tech Entrepreneur: The focus here is on innovative technologies. These start-ups are often the most cost-intensive.

Did you know? The female equivalent of the entrepreneur is called fempreneur.

Entrepreneur in Residence Meaning

You don't want to start your own business straight away, but would like to gain the necessary experience and important skills first? As an entrepreneur in residence, you start as a founder in an already existing company in order to build up your practical know-how, which is a prerequisite for your own start-up.

As an entrepreneur in residence, you will be supported by an established company that will give you an insight into many different areas of business management. You can bring in your ideas and implement them with the help of the company.

Above all, you can learn know-how about the legal, strategic and financial aspects of founding a company as an entrepreneur in residence. You can also take on more responsibility without immediately founding a start-up at your own risk. In this way, you minimise the risk of failure due to little experience with setting up a business.

An experienced entrepreneur in residence can start something new within a company. Creative university graduates and other entrepreneurs in residence with fresh ideas, on the other hand, are first prepared for independent start-ups by going through all departments within the company.

Alternatively, you can also study entrepreneurship to gain the know-how for setting up a business.

Entrepreneurship: Examples

There are many examples of successful entrepreneurship. The investor Frank Thelen is one of such German entrepreneurs. Internationally, the founders Steve Jobs (Apple), Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Elon Musk (Paypal, Tesla) and Bill Gates (Microsoft) are successful examples of entrepreneurship.

How Do You Become an Entrepreneur?

You need certain prerequisites to become an entrepreneur. Among other things, the following characteristics are important if you want to be successful as an entrepreneur:

Visionary: If you want to take off as an entrepreneur - Think visionary and future-oriented. You can be inspired by famous examples, but you should follow your own path.

Bold: Put your ideas, your concept and the planned implementation into words and present them boldly to important decision-makers. A complete business plan is an ideal basis for this.

Self-confident: Market yourself and your concept confidently to find potential investors.

Willing to take risks: Be willing to take risks, but do not overestimate yourself.

Not conflict-averse: It is important to also deal with uncomfortable things that are part and parcel of being a founder. For example, dismissing employees who don't really fit into the company.

Goal-oriented: Failure is part of the game. Don't give up, but pursue your goals. Keep going despite possible setbacks, fight for your success.

Patient: Don't expect to hit the ground running. Success often only comes with time. Maybe you need several attempts until it works.


Whether you are a German or international entrepreneur - the right prerequisites are important if you want to get off to a successful start with your ideas and business concepts. Acquire the necessary expertise as an Entrepreneur in Residence or during your studies if you don't want to take the full risk right away. Here you can learn everything about successful entrepreneurship and become a successful founder yourself with the necessary know-how.

Florian Kassel

Florian Kassel

Online marketing expert

Florian Kassel is the founder of the online marketing agency Digitale Trends and has been dealing with all topics related to digital marketing for more than 10 years now. Whether search engine optimization (SEO), social media or brand building.

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