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Entrepreneur is a person who organizes and managers a business. This is a French word that has been accepted into the English language. Its popularity probably has something to do with its grand sound which befits anyone who has the initiative to create and run a business.

Entrepreneurs are a mystery to some people, especially those who are only comfortable with a nine-to-five existence and assured weekly paychecks and fringe benefits. The entrepreneur is a business person who prefers to take calculated risks in order to be his or her own boss.

Sometimes the entrepreneur is regarded as a business person who takes risks. This is not so. An entrepreneur is a business person who minimizes risks. He or she does this by advance planning, research, and meticulous consideration of all factors that could affect and possibly endanger her or his enterprise. When the entrepreneur forgets to do advance investigation and preparation, then he or she is a gambler at best, and a failure statistic at worst.

Speaking about entrepreneurship, Professor K. Vesper of the University of Washington says that “ Businesses continue to be launched by people who didn’t make it the first time around. A driving force in entrepreneurship… is addictiveness. Once people have a taste of freedom in a business of their own, they like it. They don’t want to go back to working for someone else.”

While the percentage of growth for men entering into business independence could be measured in the teens, women’s increase in a single decade was 69 percent. There is no mystery here. Women go into business for the same reason men do – to make money and to be their own bosses. The rise in female entrepreneurship is reminiscent of what the early-20th-century immigrants did – and the more recent waves of immigrants from different parts of the world. Entrepreneurship is regarded to be the first track to success. Rather than to take low-wage, big-industry job, people opt to use their wits and energy to climb the ladder of independence the entrepreneurial way.

The American magazine Venture attempted to dissect entrepreneurs and to see what makes them tick. They conducted a survey to which 2,740 readers responded. Here is what they had in common:

1) Typically they were firstborn children who had a positive relationship with their father. (2) They held jobs before they were 15 and started their first businesses by the time they reached 20. (3) They borrowed money to launch their enterprises and made themselves personally liable. (4) Most of them are college graduates, consider themselves demanding of others, and start work early in the day (82 percent start work before 9 a.m.). (5) Twenty percent described themselves as successful; another 53 percent claimed moderate success; 27 percent reported the expectation of success.

While these entrepreneurs are intrepid adventurers on the business sea, they still seek the approval of others—often after they have launched an action. Respondent Richard M. Ask, president of the 2000-member National Association of Entrepreneurs, wrote, "I go out and do what I damn well please, and then I look around for approval to reinforce the action."

How old are the people who start new businesses? The majority are 30 to 34, with the biggest segment (70 percent) between 25 and 44.

Age of Entrepreneur %   Under 20 years    
20 to 24
60 and over



With what do entrepreneurs start up new businesses? How much money do they invest? Most businesses require between $20,000 and $50,000 in cash. The vast majority of business start-ups (87 percent) are in the range of a few thousand dollars to $100,000.

Start-Up Capital   %  
Under $5,000    
Over $500,000    


Which businesses are the most popular? There is no doubt that retailing is number one. Nearly half of all new business start-ups are retail shops. Here is the line-up:

Type of Business   %  
Retailing Service Services    
Manufacturing Finance    
Transportation Agriculture Others    



1. Do you belong to the people who are comfortable with a nine-to-five existence? Are there many people of this type among your friends, relatives, colleagues?

2. “Calculated risk’—what is it?

3. Give your variant of an entrepreneur profile (age, traits of character, business, backgrounds, etc.)


T E X T 9


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