Defining the Entrepreneur
Statistics from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, a nonprofit research collective that tracks worldwide entrepreneurial trends, indicate the percentage of established entrepreneurial ventures in the United States grew from 5.8 percent in 2001 to 8.1 percent in 2010.
These numbers indicate the percent of population ages 18 to 64 that dually have owned and managed an established business for at least 42 months. Continued growth in the service sector, despite the challenged economy, is largely credited with this progress.
But being an entrepreneur, particularly a successful entrepreneur, is much more than ownership and management. Review a definition of entrepreneur from Merriam-Webster.com and it’s astonishingly similar to another word -- leader. I’m not talking about the dictionary definition of leader, but the definition from Warren Bennis in his business classic “On Becoming a Leader."
Bennis cites attributes of leadership as those of passion, integrity, caring, risk-taking and daring. While words themselves can be hollow descriptors, invoke the names Benjamin Franklin, Henry Ford, P.T. Barnum or Steve Jobs and the definition of entrepreneur springs forth to life in multifaceted dimension. Personally, I cannot imagine any of these men without seeing their faces and remembering their successes, failures, challenges, gumption and commitment to achieving something bigger than themselves and to making their mark on the world.