The term entrepreneur (i/ˌɒntrəprəˈnɜr/) is a loanword from French, and is commonly used to describe an individual who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on financial risk to do so. The term was first defined by the Irish-French economist Richard Cantillon as the person who pays a certain price for a product to resell it at an uncertain price, thereby making decisions about obtaining and using the resources while consequently admitting the risk of enterprise. The term first appeared in the French Dictionary "Dictionnaire Universel de Commerce" of Jacques des Bruslons published in 1723.
Over time, scholars have defined the term in different ways. Here are some prominent definitions.
- 1803: Jean-Baptiste Say: An entrepreneur is an economic agent who unites all means of production- land of one, the labour of another and the capital of yet another and thus produces a product. By selling the product in the market he pays rent of land, wages to labour, interest on capital and what remains is his profit. He shifts economic resources out of an area of lower and into an area of higher productivity and greater yield.
- 1934: Schumpeter: Entrepreneurs are innovators who use a process of shattering the status quo of the existing products and services, to set up new products, new services.
- 1961: David McClleland: An entrepreneur is a person with a high need for achievement [N-Ach]. He is energetic and a moderate risk taker.
- 1964: Peter Drucker: An entrepreneur searches for change, responds to it and exploits opportunities. Innovation is a specific tool of an entrepreneur hence an effective entrepreneur converts a source into a resource.
- 1971: Kilby: Emphasizes the role of an imitator entrepreneur who does not innovate but imitates technologies innovated by others. Are very important in developing economies.
- 1975: Albert Shapero: Entrepreneurs take initiative, accept risk of failure and have an internal locus of control.
- 1975: Howard Stevenson: Entrepreneurship is "the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled."
- 1983: G. Pinchot: Intrapreneur is an entrepreneur within an already established organization.[note 1]
- 1985: W.B. Gartner: Entrepreneur is a person who started a new business where there was none before.
Influences and characteristics of entrepreneurial behavior
Management skill and strong team building abilities are often perceived as essential leadership attributes for successful entrepreneurs. Robert B. Reich considers leadership, management ability, and team-building as essential qualities of an entrepreneur. This concept has its origins in the work of Richard Cantillon in his Essai sur la Nature du Commerce en (1755) and Jean-Baptiste Say  in his Treatise on Political Economy.
Psychological studies show that the psychological propensities for male and female entrepreneurs are more similar than different. A growing body of work shows that entrepreneurial behavior is dependent on social and economic factors. For example, countries with healthy and diversified labor markets or stronger safety nets show a more favorable ratio of opportunity-driven rather than necessity-driven women entrepreneurs. Empirical studies suggest that male entrepreneurs possess strong negotiating skills and consensus-forming abilities.
Research studies that explore the characteristics and personality traits of, and influences on, the entrepreneur have come to differing conclusions. Most, however, agree on certain consistent entrepreneurial traits and environmental influences. Although certain entrepreneurial traits are required, entrepreneurial behaviours are also dynamic and influenced by environmental factors. Shane and Venkataraman (2000) argue that the entrepreneur is solely concerned with opportunity recognition and exploitation, although the opportunity that is recognised depends on the type of entrepreneur; while Ucbasaran et al. (2001) argue there are many different types contingent upon environmental and personal circumstances.
Jesper Sørensen has argued that some of the most significant influences on an individual's decision to become an entrepreneur are workplace peers and the social composition of the workplace. In researching the likelihood of becoming an entrepreneur based upon working with former entrepreneurs, Sørensen discovered a correlation between working with former entrepreneurs and how often these individuals become entrepreneurs themselves, compared to those who did not work with entrepreneurs. The social composition of the workplace can influence entrepreneurism in workplace peers by proving a possibility for success, causing a “He can do it, why can’t I?” attitude. As Sørensen stated, “When you meet others who have gone out on their own, it doesn’t seem that crazy.” 
Perception of entrepreneurs
The ability of entrepreneurs to innovate is thought to relate to innate traits such as extroversion and a proclivity for risk-taking. According to Schumpeter, the capabilities of innovating, introducing new technologies, increasing efficiency and productivity, or generating new products or services, are characteristic qualities of entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs are catalysts for economic change, and researchers argue that entrepreneurs are highly creative individuals with a tendency to imagine new solutions by finding opportunities for profit or reward. Largely due to the influence of Schumpeter's heroic conceptions of entrepreneurs, it is widely maintained that entrepreneurs are unusual individuals. In line with this view, there is an emerging research tradition investigating the genetic factors that are perceived to make entrepreneurs so distinctive (Nicolaou and Shane, 2009).
However, there are also critical perspectives that attribute these research attitudes to oversimplified methodological and/or philosophical assumptions (Gartner, 2001). For example, it has been argued that entrepreneurs are not that distinctive, but that it is in essence unrealistic preconceptions about "non-entrepreneurs" that maintain laudatory portraits of "entrepreneurs" (Ramoglou, 2011).
Classification of entrepreneurs
A. Based on functional characteristics
- Innovative entrepreneur: Such entrepreneurs introduce new goods or new methods of production or discover new markets or reorganize the enterprise.
- EX: new product, new ways of product, new markets and reorganise the enterprise.
- Imitative or adoptive entrepreneur: Such entrepreneurs don’t innovate,they copy technology or technique of others.
- EX: Chinese mobiles.
- Fabian entrepreneur: Such entrepreneur display grates situation and scepticism in experimenting with any change in their enterprise. They change only when there is a serious threat to the very existence of the enterprise.
- Drone entrepreneurs: Such entrepreneurs are characterised by a diehard conservatism and may even be prepared to suffer the losses.
- EX: Acc. To MC Kinsey in 2015, 110-130 million people will be unemployed out of which 90-100 million people will be Fresher.
B. Based on development angle
- Prime mover: This entrepreneur sets in motion a powerful sequence of development expansion and diversification of business.
- EX: Ambani
- Manager: such an entrepreneur doesn’t initiate expansion and its content in just staying in business.
- Minor innovator: This entrepreneur contributes to economic progress by finding better use for existing resources.
- EX: minimum wastage maximum production.
- Satellite: This entrepreneur assumes a suppliers role and slowly move towards a productive enterprise.
- Local trading: such entrepreneur limits his enterprise to the local market.
C. Based on entrepreneurs business
Based on personality traits
- The improver: They have unwavering to run these businesses with high integrity and ethics.
- The advisor: “Customer is right and we must do everything to please him” because company is built by advisors and advisors become customer focused.
- The superstar: All depends upon the charisma and on the high energy of the superstar CEO.
- EX: Richard Branson (400 co’s/Virgin coin), Larry Page (Google), Lt. Steve Jobs (Apple), Ratan Tata (Tata sons).
- The artists: Are highly creative type, very conscious about business. If feedback is constructive i.e. positive than also lets go with negative self-image.
- EX: Aamir Khan, Michael Dell (Dell), MC Cormich (EMI).
- The visionary: Too focused on dreams with little focused on reality.
- EX: Jack Welch (GE), Bill Gates (Microsoft), Kishore Biyani (Future Group), Warren Buffet (Berkshire Hathaway), Sam Walton (Walmart).
- The analyst: More focused on fixing problems in a systematic way.
- EX: Gordon Hore (Intel), Rana Kapur (Yes Bank), Gautam Adani (Adani Groups)
- The fireball: A business owned and operated by a fireball is full of life, energy and optimism. They have “A get it done attitude in a playful manner”.
- EX: Malcolm Forbes – Forbes magazine
- The hero: Have an incredible will and ability to lead the world and your business through challenges.
- The healer: They provide nurturing harmony to their business, they have uncanny abilities to survive and persists inner calm.
- EX: Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak (Sulabh International), Kumar Manglam Birla (Son of L.M Birla).
- The Opportunistic: take advantage of opportunities as they occur.
- EX: Mark Zuckerberg
Recent advances in entrepreneur researcher indicate that the differences in entrepreneurs and the heterogeneity in their behaviors and actions can be traced back to their the founder's identity. For instance, Fauchart and Gruber (2011) have recently utilized social identity theory to illustrate that entrepreneurs can be distinguished in three main types: Darwinians, Communitarians and Missionaries. These types of founders not only diverge in fundamental ways in terms of their self-views and their social motivations in entrepreneurship, but also engage fairly differently in new firm creation.
- ^ Guide to Management Ideas and Gurus, Tim Hindle, The Economist, page 77
- ^ Schurenberg, Eric (Jan. 9, 2012). "What's an Entrepreneur? The Best Answer Ever". Inc. http://www.inc.com/eric-schurenberg/the-best-definition-of-entepreneurship.html. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
- ^ Gartner, W.B (1985). "A Conceptual Framework for Describing The Phenomena of New Venture Creation", Academy of Management Review 10, 696-706. / Academy of Management Review; Oct85, Vol. 10 Issue 4, p696-706, 11p, 2 Diagrams
- ^ "Top 10 Qualities That Make A Great Leader". accessed December 18, 2012. http://www.forbes.com/sites/tanyaprive/2012/12/19/top-10-qualities-that-make-a-great-leader/.
- ^ See William J. Baumol, Robert E. Litan & Carl J. Schramm. Good capitalism, bad capitalism, and the economics of growth and prosperity 3 (2007), citing generally Peter F. Drucker. Innovation and entrepreneurship (1985) (attributing coining and defining of “entrepreneur” to Jean-Baptiste Say, a treatise on political economy (1834)); but see Robert H. Brockhaus, Sr., The Psychology of the Entrepreneur, in Encyclopedia of Entrepreneurship 40 (Calvin A. Kent, et al. eds. 1982), citing J. S. Mill, Principles of political economy with some of their applications to social philosophy (1848). Note that, despite Baumol et al.'s citation, the Drucker book was published in 1986.
- ^ a b http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/news/research/sorensen_peers.html
- ^ Olakitan, O. (5 November 2011).
- Deakins, D.; Freel, M. (2009). Entrepreneurship and Small Firms, 5th Edition. McGraw Hill.
- Fauchart, E and Gruber, M. (2011). Darwinians, communitarians, and missionaries: The role of founder identify in entrepreneurship, Academy of Management Journal, 54 (5): 935-957.
- Gartner, William B. (2001). "Is There an Elephant in Entrepreneurship? Blind Assumptions in Theory Development.(Business research)", Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Summer 2001.
- Minniti, Maria; Lévesque, Moren. (2010). "Entrepreneurial types and economic growth", Journal of Business Venturing, 25 (3): 305-314.
- Nicolaou, N. and Shane, S. (2009). Can genetic factors influence the likelihood of engaging in entrepreneurial activity? Journal of Business Venturing, 24: 1-22.
- Ramoglou, S. (2011). "Who is a 'non-entrepreneur'? Taking the 'others' of entrepreneurship seriously", International Small Business Journal, OnlineFirst December 2011.
- Shane, S. and Venkataraman, S. (2000). "The Promise of Entrepreneurship as A Field of Research", Academy of Management Review, Vol 25 (1), 217-226.
- Ucbasaran, D., Westhead, P., and Wright, M., (2001). "The Focus of Entrepreneurial Research: Contextual and Process Issues", Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Summer 2001.
- Gedajlovic, Neubaum and Shulman (2009). "A typology of social entrepreneurs: Motives, search processes and ethical challenges", Journal of Business Venturing, 24 (5): 519–532.