In a world where we are all trying to not just survive but excel, discover and live our purposes, people are always looking for avenues where they can realize and leverage opportunities, and to do so, those people have about three options; first is to identify gaps and convert them into opportunities for investment, second is to wait for others to identify gaps, invest in them, create job opportunities and employ them, or the third is to just give up and become become thieves. I am trying to be modest by not including the category that is scammers. So let’s talk about the types of entrepreneurs (those who take the first option) and who they are in the first place.
Definition of an entrepreneur
I know this is a rather harsh philosophy to sell, but truth be told, we cannot all create opportunities, otherwise there would be no one to help grow those opportunities. Therefore, there has to be those who create, and those who use the created opportunities to change the world. Make no mistake, these two are important to each other, for it is almost impossible for one to make it without the other.
The creators are known as entrepreneurs, and the process of seeing and creating those opportunities as entrepreneurship.
Author Joseph Schumpeter defines an entrepreneur as an adventurous innovator who, acting on his own account, introduces changes that others do not dare to experiment with.
Types of entrepreneurs by Arthur Cole
Arthur Cole developed three classes/ types of entrepreneurs namely, empirical, rational and cognitive entrepreneurs.
- The cognitive entrepreneur is one who is also well versed with the industry and economy, seeks advice from thought leaders in the industry, and introduces innovations that demonstrate a complete break from the norm, and this is a leader who leverages the blue ocean strategy.
- The rational entrepreneur is one who is well versed with the industry and economy, and brings new ground-breaking innovations to the market.
- The empirical entrepreneur is one who does not really bring anything new to the industry, and is a cautious person who likes to follow only the tested and tried ideologies
Private versus public entrepreneurs
This is probably one of the most evident and visible classification, and is mainly based on the motivation behind wealth creation. Private entrepreneurs are motivated by profit, so they prefer to see gaps and leverage opportunities in sectors with undeniably high profits.
On the other hand, public entrepreneurs maintain a meticulous balance between social interests and profits. This classification is the foundation for the discussion on planet versus profit, where private entrepreneurs will go to any extent, even damage the planet if only they will get profits, while public entrepreneurs will go to any extent to protect the planet, even if it will cost them profits.
Small scale versus Large scale entrepreneurs
This type of entrepreneurs on the basis of their scale or scope of operations. A small scale entrepreneur has a relatively small resource base compared to a large scale entrepreneur who is able to initiate large scale productions and invest in technologies that have the capability to change the market.
Innovative, Imitative, Fabian and Drone Entrepreneurs
1. An innovative entrepreneur is defined as an aggressive market leader one who conducts research and uses that information to develop outstanding products
2. An imitative/ adoptive entrepreneur is defined as an entrepreneur who simply replicates the successful innovation or products that have been introduced into the market by other entrepreneurs.
3. A fabian entrepreneur is defined as a timid and cautious individual, and adopts innovations or products from other entrepreneurs only if failing to do so may lead to business failure.
4. A drone entrepreneur is defined as an entrepreneur who adopts just one or two innovations or products, and is adamant to take up more for fear of the risks. This kind of entrepreneur is also very cautious of adopting changes.
These are just some of the few types of entrepreneurs we can synthesize for you. We hope you will have fun discovering where you fall. You can of course fall into more than one category. As a matter of fact, you should be able to see yourself in each and every category.