What is an Entrepreneur?
An entrepreneur is any person who starts a business enterprise or who creates value by offering a product or service by carving out a niche in the market that may not exist currently. Nearly everyone is or has been an entrepreneur in some form or another. Sometimes, the right idea for a business opportunity
jumps out at you and all you have to do is grab it and let it work for you. But in other cases, an entrepreneurmay have to work very hard on his idea to make it work. Characteristics of an entrepreneur include independence, spontaneous creativity, the ability and willingness to make decisions, and being driven by a need to create something new or build something tangible. The most common entrepreneurial traits include a strong desire to be your own boss, the drive to implement your ideas, and a thirst to control your own destiny. Other traits include the ability to:
- Problem Solve: Time might be spent troubleshooting, pinpointing problems that are plaguing the business, and trying to solve them.
- Creative and Persuasive: Possessing strong selling skills and being both persuasive and persistent. Constantly promoting their company, its products or services, and new ideas. Entrepreneurs are visionary and get others excited about and committed to their vision.
- Motivated: Continually thinking about their business and how to increase market share.
- Doing What It Takes: Entrepreneurs wear many different hats, performing a variety of tasks.
Many students interested in entrepreneurial ventures may want to be social entrepreneurs, starting socially responsible businesses which create value and adhere to principles with regard to the environment, sustainability, and other factors.
Alumni Careers Network
Alumni have VOLUNTEERED to have students contact them for advice and information about majors and careers. The Alumni Careers Network
(ACN), with 4,500 volunteers worldwide, is a searchable on-line database of Princeton alumni who are willing and eager for you to contact them so they can provide you with advice and assistance about their industry or career field.
Selected Online Resources
Resources for Entrepreneurs
- Over 100,000 unique resources for entrepreneurs on this site with an emphasis on seed-stage and early-stage investments.
Forum for Women Entrepreneurs
- The center of leadership excellence for accomplished women from a wide range of disciplines and industries to build meaningful relationships, exchange ideas, and openly share their collective wisdom with each other.
U.S. Small Business Administration
- This independent agency of the federal government was created to aid, counsel, assist, and protect the interests of small business concerns, providing financial assistance and on-line training.
– A job at a venture-backed startup can be a great stepping stone to one day starting your own company. Job listings.
Socially Responsible Business Websites
- Promotes social entrepreneurship, with internships and post-graduate listings.
Selected Professional Associations
A professional association is an organization of people who have similar career interests. These membership-based organizations often offer a reduced rate for students that allow access to the many resources they provide. Professional association websites can also offer job/internship databases as well as opportunities to find mentors or other contacts.
National Association for Self Employed - http://www.nase.org
- This association was founded by small business owners who realized that they could enjoy the same economies of scale for purchasing goods and services simply by banding together.
National Federation of Independent Businesses
- With over 600,000 members, this large advocacy association represents small and independent businesses.