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The Different Types of Entrepreneurs – Entrepreneurship Defined

I am pretty sure most of this blog’s readers know what entrepreneurship means and what an entrepreneur is. But for the sake of not assuming, let’s briefly discuss the different types of entrepreneurs behind the businesses.

An entrepreneur is defined by Wikipedia as “a person who has possession of a new enterprise, venture or idea and assumes significant accountability for the inherent risks and the outcome”. I define an entrepreneur as anyone who identifies and executes on an opportunity with the intention of growing his or her investment. Entrepreneurship therefore is the activity conducted by the entrepreneur to meet his or her goals and objectives.

What used to be mostly an art is now mostly Science. With extensive studies conducted on success stories overtime, scholars have identified consistent traits that define a successful entrepreneur and characteristics that make entrepreneurship successful.  These characteristics apply to different types of entrepreneurs in all areas of business.  As a result, major Universities and Colleges today have dedicated entrepreneurship programs for students who aspire to become successful entrepreneurs some day.

The Different Types of Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship comes in many forms. It is important to note that although entrepreneurship has a general connotation, the entrepreneur behind any venture has a unique risk profile. In other words, Entrepreneurs choose a level of personal, professional or financial risk to pursue opportunity.

All types of entrepreneurs are like any prudent and responsible human being, they too have a level of risk they are willing to accept. This varies on the individual’s personal situation and the stage of life they are at. For example, a single individual is more likely to bear higher financial risk when compared to a married couple with only one working spouse.

Regardless, all the different types of entrepreneurs identify a market opportunities and fill a void by putting their resources (time, money and otherwise) effectively to accomplish this outcome. Some prefer to access other people’s cash so to minimize personal risk. This type of funding is generally referred to as angel funding, or venture capital / private equity on a much larger level. Others prefer creating something from nothing by investing sweat equity.

Some Specific Types of Entrepreneurs

Brick and mortar – these are the most common types of entrepreneurs, often times the neighbor down the street who owns a dry cleaners in the community. Similarly it could be a gas station, a restaurant, a clothing store, salon, pizzeria, you name it. This is conventional entrepreneurship in the minds of many, and usually the first avenue a new entrepreneur resorts to in most cases.

Internet based – the modern, more tech savvy types of entrepreneurs are attracted to starting some sort of a business online. Whether it is an info based website, an affiliate based website, a blog, or doing business on ebay, doing business online has several advantages. You can start operating overnight on a very small budget. I tend to classify freelancing / independent consultancy services into the internet based model because most client – consultant introductions take place on the internet.

E-tailer – this is a specific type of an internet entrepreneur who sells merchandise online. Ebayers are considered e-tailers, as are those who own their own websites. E-tailers typically buy up goods in bulk and sell them for a profit online. Others are drop shippers, who sell someone else’s goods and collect a commission for each sale.

Info-preneurs – also another breed of an internet entrepreneur, an info-preneur is someone who profits from selling information. Whether through physical books, audio books, digital or e-books, video tutorials, an info-preneur’s most valuable asset is his or her human capital. He or she is able to sell what they know for a profit through any of the mediums mentioned. I have classified these guys under internet based entrepreneurs because most of them typically sell their products online.

Investors – these types of entrepreneurs are typically ones with some cash who prefer passive investing by buying companies (or stock in companies), investing in real estate properties, trade in the stock market or lend to other entrepreneurs for a return on investment (interest rate). The more sophisticated guys who deal with big dollars are your Venture Capitalists and Private Eqyuity firms.

Some types of entrepreneurs prefer to be Passive while others prefer to be Actively involved in the business. Typically, those early in their entrepreneurship career (who have not won the lottery yet) tend to be Active, while those who are seasoned and have experienced prior success tend to become passive investors and invest some of their previously earned capital in various ventures. This is not a rule by any means, rather a trend you will commonly find among entrepreneurs.

Where Should You Pursue Entrepreneurship?

This is a matter of personal opinion. For someone who has travelled quite extensively, in my opinion there is no better and easier place to start a business than the United States of America. A Nation built on the principles of Capitalism, there is no better place than the USA to pursue your entrepreneurial dream.

Business incorporation procedures are very easy, and can typically be handled on your own without having to pay expensive attorney fees. The same goes for obtaining an Employee Identification Number (EIN) – which is your business ID, and opening a business bank account. You can be up and running within a couple weeks. Sure the tax code is a bit complex, but the US also has some of the best CPAs – (totally not a biased statement 😉 ) to help you navigate through the maze.

All that aside, borders and jurisdictions have never stopped entrepreneurs from seizing the opportunity and taking advantage of it. I know you have some level of entrepreneurial spirit inside you, or you wouldn’t be reading this blog. The question is, which type of an entrepreneur are you today? Which one do you want to become?

Read my additional thoughts on the business models different types of entrepreneurs choose to engage in.

Carpe Diem

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10 Responses to “The Different Types of Entrepreneurs – Entrepreneurship Defined”

  1. Gotta say, the web-based, info-preneur was is the way to go.

    It’s absolutely amazing how easy and low cost it is to start a web business. I’d NEVER start a brick or mortar business.. case in point, Blockbuster and Barnes & Noble going bankrupt.



    • Sunil says:

      it is indeed if looked at strictly from a financial perspective. close to no downside (loss of time) and unlimited upside. that said, the platform is becoming more saturated by the day. there are still some good B&M concepts out there that make money, but most won’t make you rich and don’t come without headaches. I view a lot of these as “lifestyle” businesses. for example, we have a thing for frozen yogurt, so my wife is ready to buy and run one (a store). I warned her of the pains, but she is game. will keep everyone updated as soon as something progresses

      • Nigel Chua says:

        Yeah man, keep us updated on your plans for the frozen yoghurt (it seems to be gaining popularity in Asian countries – Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia etc) yum! Will you plan to take on a franchise or will you plan an ultra-niche home-made organic frozen yoghurt approach?

        There are lots of pains with a brick and mortar business, but like any investment, the potential losses can be minimized, and it can be really fun. Though I still believe that the internet is the way to go, for the future. =)


        • Sunil says:

          We will likely starts our own with a unique twist so that it can be franchised later on. We were looking at one for sale but the guy’s tax returns just weren’t reconciling with the financial statements.

  2. Nigel Chua says:

    Hi Sunil

    I can’t agree with you more, and there is so much I’ve been reading on this site that I keep nodding my head to! Hahha the people on my left and right must be wondering what’s up with me..anyway, I embarked on an entrepreneurial journey myself, three years ago. I was not like you, having a cushy comfy and travelling CPA job – I was a therapist hired in a public hospital. It was tough, politics, low pay, and my health suffered. I went for entrepreneurship, and have never looked back.

    I agree, that younger or newer entrepreneurs tends to be more hands-on, or active and later progress to passive investing, after fine tuning their business acumen and skills, as well as having a wider tame of higher networth friends and deeper pockets to boot.

    However, like what you said in a previous post, I still believe that the Internet is the way to go, and after researching it for the last 2 years, now is my time for experimentation and to make money utilizing the Internet. I like what you have been doing and achieving so far, and God bless you, Sunil.

    Keep in touch. Will be back for more. 🙂


    • Sunil says:

      welcome to the blog Nigel and thank you for the encouragement. I am interested in learning more about you, what you do/are planning to do and how you progress. please continue to keep me posted of your progress and current activities. always let know if I can be of any help.

      • Nigel Chua says:

        Hey Sunil

        I’ve just started reading your blog a few hours ago (linked from your posts on Yaro’s Entrepreneurs-Journey) and I’ve begun to associate and like the way you write – perhaps it’s because of the way you think, reason.

        I am a Chinese man, married to a wonderful woman named Louise, and I come from Malaysia. When I was 20, I came over to Singapore to study occupational therapy, and graduated in 2005 and was bonded to work in a public hospital for 3 years, before I ventured out on my own first in 2008 (my wife joined me in 2009) and took the plunge. I never looked back. I could never go back, actually. =p.

        I run two businesses; a brick and mortar one Urbanrehab Pte Ltd, a private rehabilitation practice (I’m a hand therapist, my wife Louise is a physiotherapist) in Singapore. I’m ramping up and scaling up this business from a small part timing job, to one negotiating business potentials of half a million dollars in Orchard, the heartbeat of Singapore’s retails market. It’d consider to be a great leap forward, and I’m grateful to God for growth opportunities as such (it’s been about 3 years since we started this business).

        On the other hand, I run an entrepreneurship and leadership blog over at, to document the marketing, business, leadership and personal development lessons I gleaned from my experience in reflection and day-to-day operational lessons. I’ve written a book too, that I’ve broken down into entrepreneurial and leadership lessons every 3 days, and monetizing via donations page, on my main page and in every single email post. Later, when I finish the book, I’ll compile and put it up for sale.

        Perhaps you could advise me on how I could do better for my blog, as I’d like to bring it up the next level. Honestly, I’d want to rely less and less on my physical business, and automate/outsource it as much as I can, and to boost my publishing business, but I understand it can take time, so am bidding my time building up my newsletters, finishing up my ebooks, and making friends on my way =)


        • Sunil says:

          sounds like you have a lot of good things in the cooker. I will check out your blog. The best way to learn and the way I learned is by following a proven process that has already worked for someone. Of course you need to tweak it to adjust to current trends and changes. I will be posting frequently about what has worked and is working for me. I like Singapore and am due for another trip – it’s been too long.

          • Nigel Chua says:

            There’s much growth and growth potential in my brick and mortar business, Sunil, but I’m still a believer in the internet business, for the freedom, mobility and potential residual passive income that it can do.

            When you’re planning to come to Singapore, do let me know, and I’ll make arrangements to bring you around or for a cuppa java (or a few so I can squeeze more information and ideas from you =p)

            Anyway I’ve been reading your ebook, and I realised that your internet platform is primarily through SBI. SBI was something i read about from’s site a couple of months back, and did consider it some time already, but you seem to be doing well with it, and it seem to be very useful for you – will consider it within the next 7 days.


  3. Sunil says:

    SBI is the single best and most comprehensive platform I have come across for niche sites. My SBI sites outperform those that I built using Dreamweaver by a significant margin.

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