Is there a difference between an Entrepreneur and Business Owner?

The term entrepreneurship stems from the Latin word “entreprendre” which means to start something or the undertaking of business dealings.

A business owner is defined as someone who has undertaken to start a business and is responsible for the operational and monetary decisions of a business. A business owner need not necessarily run the business and can simply own the business whilst employing full time staff to ensure the business is up and running.

A business is owned by the business owner who is an entrepreneur, but not every business is entrepreneurial.

Some business owners set up their business to operate as a lifestyle business. A lifestyle business has the sole purpose of maintaining a certain lifestyle. Most lifestyle businesses have a lean business model.

The difference between an entrepreneur and a business owner is that entrepreneurship has an element of innovative disruption to the flow of business.

Some entrepreneurs start something completely new in the market they operate in, whilst others innovate services and products to the advantage of the consumer and growing their profits. Adrian Gore is considered an entrepreneur because of how he changed access to private healthcare in the South African market. The founder of Pick ‘n Pay, Raymond Ackerman, is considered an entrepreneur after purchasing an existing chain-store and improving its performance and expanding its growth.

Simply put, being innovative in the flow of business is successfully implementing a new idea and creating value for your customers and stakeholders.

The call by most governments towards entrepreneurship and operational business ownership considers the element that self-employment or entrepreneurship reduces the dependence on the job market for opportunities. According to the World Bank, African “entrepreneurs” are survivalist or lifestyle business owners in nature. They own businesses to maintain a lifestyle for themselves or their family. In South Africa over 80 percent of registered businesses are small to medium sized businesses (SMME’s). The notion of calling every business owner an entrepreneur has diluted the definition of entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship in its true definition is a business that disrupts the market and has a real impact on economic growth for the owners and the communities with a global relevance. Innovation and product refinement is key to the process of entrepreneurship.

by Ngala Communications

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