Are you an entrepreneur?

Are you an entrepreneur?  The question seems overly simplistic, and to most students applying or enrolled in the E Minor the knee-jerk reaction would be, “Of course I am!”  However, there are many different definitions of what entrepreneurship is and how an entrepreneur should act. According to Urban Dictionary an entrepreneur “hates bosses, rules, authority and taxes.” More formally, Merriam-Webster defines an entrepreneur as “one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise”.

When asked the big question, “Am I an entrepreneur?” students had a variety of answers and interpretations of what entrepreneurship entails

Winston George, a biology major and chemistry minor, is currently enrolled in Econ 125 and plans to apply to the E Minor. Although Winston is not a self-proclaimed “entrepreneur,” he believes that the skills he gains from the Minor will help him when he starts his own dentistry practice. He explains, “I also find business as a side hobby, and it’s very interesting to me even though I’m not pursuing the field.”

On the opposite end of the spectrum, D.J. Lester, a Management and Society major, confidently stated, “I am an entrepreneur because not only am I the person who is trying to organize and operate a business with financial risk, but I am the person who sees innovation." D.J. is currently enrolled in the E Minor pursing the commercial track. He picked the minor because he “saw no other way to be surrounded by so many like-minded individuals.” D.J. values the guidance and insight that the professors in the minor provide. When asked what exactly he plans on doing with the skills he gains from the E Minor, he explains that he does not wish to reveal his future business plans for privacy's sake but simply explains, “What I want to do is huge."

“I am an entrepreneur because I am passionate, driven, and innovative,” claimed Di An, a Global Studies major. Di is a senior and completed her internship for the minor this past summer. She worked in Beijing with New Leaders Group, Inc., one of the leading human resource consulting firms in China. She has greatly enjoyed participating in the minor and said it, “contains a group of extremely talented individuals from diverse backgrounds and interests, which helps me gain more insight into different sectors of entrepreneurship and build friendships that have lasted beyond the classroom.”

On a more personal note, I have been struggling to figure out if I am an entrepreneur. The answer so far is no. Although I am enrolled in the minor, I have come to find that I am not the type to develop new products and ideas. I like to come along once the idea is introduced and help efforts to grow the business, idea, or product. The insight provided from the E Minor has been so helpful in understanding how businesses operate, especially start-ups.  I have found that no matter what stage of business you want to be involved with, knowing how the business got to where it is – whether from bootstrapping or venture capital – is important.