Forget any preconceptions you may have about entrepreneurship. The digital age and the invention of so many useful technological tools have changed the opportunities available to each of us. In the modern world, there are up to four different types of entrepreneurs, which provides a broader range of choices for those with the ambition to succeed.
Small Business Ownership
This is the most traditional type of entrepreneurship and it has been around since the birth of the nation. It often involves scraping up what little capital an individual can save and borrow to get started with his business idea. Typically, the small business owner starts out with a minimal operating budget, using frugal spending and developing smart marketing strategies to fuel growth.
Scalable Startup Businesses
This is the method commonly used in the tech industry. Facebook was a scalable startup, as was Apple, Microsoft, and dozens of other tech businesses. It involves building a business around a single product, which is often revolutionary. It may rely on receiving funding from venture capitalists, angel investors, and traditional commercial lenders. This creates a responsibility to return investor capital by three times in order to be deemed successful. Entrepreneurs in this category either have to sell shares in the company via stocks or they may have to sell the company to repay investors.
Large Corporation Startups
Even larger companies can be considered entrepreneurs when they expand their business into new categories. For instance, IBM expanded into the PC or desktop computer business at the end of the 1980s, creating an entirely new company to handle this part of their business. While IBM owned Entry Systems, the company operated independently of IBM and was, therefore, considered an entrepreneurial enterprise.
Social entrepreneurship is on the rise, allowing young entrepreneurs to start socially conscientious businesses. While turning a profit for the business owner, these startups provide services and products that solve social, ecological, or political problems. For instance, The Ocean Cleanup Project provides ways to collect debris from the planet’s oceans without contributing to pollution. Other types of projects might address poverty, famine, or an endangered animal species.
As this brief overview shows, there are many types of entrepreneurial opportunities in today’s world. The type of project you pursue is up to you and will largely depend on your own passions. However, understanding that there’s a variety of paths to choose from can open you up to new possibilities that you hadn’t previously considered.