What exactly is an entrepreneur?

WEFEST6Brad Feld wrote a post in July that we need a new word for entrepreneur.  That post really stuck with me.   So..what exactly is an entrepreneur?  Entrepreneur is defined as a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.   A founder is defined as one that founds or establishes.  These are very different definitions and should be noted.

I started using the word founder when I talk about the person who has started a company vs entrepreneur.  Although founders are very entrepreneurial so are many people and that doesn’t mean that they started a company.

Next April will be the 6th Women’s Entrepreneur Festival.  I am more excited about this event for several reasons.  The event is going to be held at 1 World Trade Center, the event will be taking itself on the road out of the NYU setting, we will be able to have more attendees and we will be able to create a new dialogue with multiple speakers and panels.

WEFestival has always been about celebrating women entrepreneurs.  The attendees are across many verticals. Someone who runs a large division inside a company is an entrepreneur because they have to be innovative in order to succeed.  A doctor who creates innovative products for their patients  makes them an entrepreneur.  Someone who runs the family business is generally entrepreneurial.  The word entrepreneur is about being a leader, being innovative and being able to take risks.  WEFestival has always wanted to champion those women and will continue to do so.

One of the conversations is that women should not pigeon hole themselves.  We have to be more strategic in our our skills using them not only to apply to our families but our businesses as well.  There is a balance between using your heart and using your brain.  There are so many ways to be entrepreneurial and that is what WEFestival embraces.

Bottom line is just because you aren’t a founder doesn’t mean you are not an entrepreneur.