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How does entrepreneurship differ from self-employment?

A ton of consultants and other people that self-employ themselves might not be entrepreneurs. What is the real difference between one another?

32 Replies

Nabomita Mazumdar
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Nabomita Mazumdar Entrepreneur
Top 100 Women Achiever Awardee by Ministry of Women and Child Development, India
Self employment and Entrepreneurship differ in terms of revenue generated and economies of scale. When you are Self-employed , you can be a consultant building a portfolio through gigs. But as an Entrepreneur you are building a firm offering product or services.

AnEntrepreneurholds larger affinity to expand, however self-employment would need partnering or even out-sourcing to produce more.

However, revenue and impact generated cannot be measured comparing the two.

For eg: Larry Page was not self-employed even when he started Google. However, Tom Peters remains self-employed till date. Therevenueby the former cannot be compared to the impact generated by the later.
David C. MSE
4
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David C. MSE Entrepreneur
CEO at Business Development

These are the literal definitions and explanations of what entrepreneurship is.


Entrepreneurship-from French word "Entreprendre" means to undertake. One who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise.-Webster


Entrepreneur- "A person who destroys the existing economic order by introducing new products and services, by creating new forms of organization, or by exploiting new raw materials.-Joseph Schumpeter-economist


An entrepreneur is someone who perceives an opportunity and creates an organization around it. The entrepreneurial process involves all the functions, activities, and actions associated with perceiving opportunities. -Portable MBA in Entrepreneurship Babson-Leading Entrepreneurship program for 20 years.


As for self employed? You are asking a very general question. I would argue some self-employment can be classified as entrepreneurship and some probably could not. There is no doubt entrepreneurship gets thrown around a lot these days. At the same time this notion that it has to be disruptive is nonsense.


I would argue a great teacher is an entrepreneur, perhaps the greatest kind because he or she is literally influencing and growing young minds. Someone who opens a sandwich shop is self-employed and an entrepreneur. Too many people want to think about entrepreneurship in this box of the next huge million or billion dollar tech start up, but the majority of entrepreneurs are small businesses. And I would argue that while they are providing a need, most are not being disruptive. The disruptive ones usually take the spotlight for entrepreneurship, but they are few and far between.


Roy A Ackerman, PhD, EA
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Helping Clients Build Products, Processes, & Profits| Adjunct Chief Financial, Research, or Operations Officers|
David's answer is a fantastic start.
I would venture thar self-employment implies a lifestyle business. The individual is performing a service or delivering a product, and in the process is generating an income that lets him or her to live (comfortably or not) according to one's own dicta.
An entrepreneur is essaying to develop an enterprise, using systems and principles that will employ others, to enjoin a team under a common mission to achieve a desired vision.
Joe Albano, PhD
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Joe Albano, PhD Advisor
Using the business of entrepreneurialism to turn ideas into products and products into sustainable businesses.
Syam - I'm curious, why do you wish to make a distinction?
Roy A Ackerman, PhD, EA
1
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Helping Clients Build Products, Processes, & Profits| Adjunct Chief Financial, Research, or Operations Officers|
Joe:
There IS a fundamental diffeence. One plans to build an enterprise; the other plans to work on one's own. One will need other folks to help with the mission and vision , and therefore needs leadership skills. The other will rely on self-direction.
Joe Albano, PhD
0
0
Joe Albano, PhD Advisor
Using the business of entrepreneurialism to turn ideas into products and products into sustainable businesses.
Roy:
I'm not arguing about whether there is or is not a difference. I'm wondering how understanding that difference will impact Syam's life.
Roy A Ackerman, PhD, EA
0
0
Helping Clients Build Products, Processes, & Profits| Adjunct Chief Financial, Research, or Operations Officers|
Joe...
Picking the wrong model to study, no matter how prosperous thatbexample, would waste time and effort. That was my presumption. Because it engages way too many of our clients.
Davida Shensky
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Davida Shensky Entrepreneur
We help small to medium size companies put together a strategy for success and hold you accountable to follow through
A entrepreneur sis someone who comes up with a kernel of an idea and build a business or service around it---they work alone or hire independent contractors to help them market their products---independent contractors can be considered self employed because they set their own hours---they can also be considered entrepreneurs
Arthur Lipper
1
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Arthur Lipper Entrepreneur
Chairman of British Far East Holdings Ltd.
The consultants and others offering service as individuals have a practice and not a business. It dies with them. Entrepreneurs want to create a business which has growth and sustainability. Arthur
Tom DiClemente
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Tom DiClemente Advisor
Management Consulting | Interim CEO/COO | Coach
Fundamentally, there is no difference. Trying to determine the difference will not help you build, lead and grow free cash flow regardless which you call yourself.
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