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Different Types Of Entrepreneurs: Finding Your Path


Becoming an entrepreneur can be both exciting and challenging. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and risk-taking to start and run your own business.

But what exactly is an entrepreneur? Simply put, an entrepreneur is someone who starts their own business or organization and takes on financial risk in order to do so.


When it comes to understanding entrepreneurship, it’s important to note that not all entrepreneurs are the same. There are different types of entrepreneurs that possess unique characteristics and operate with different motives.

By understanding these differences, you can better identify which type of entrepreneur you may be or want to become. This knowledge can also help you make more informed decisions about your business ventures.

In this article, we will explore some of the most common types of entrepreneurs that exist today including traditional entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs, serial entrepreneurs, lifestyle entrepreneurs, online entrepreneurs, and necessity entrepreneurs. Each type has its own unique set of characteristics that we will delve into in detail.


When most people think of entrepreneurs, they probably have a traditional entrepreneur in mind. This type of entrepreneur is defined by their desire to create a business with the goal of making a profit. They usually have a clear idea for a product or service and are motivated by financial success.

Definition and Characteristics

Traditional entrepreneurs are typically associated with starting small businesses that grow over time. They often come from an industry or field where they have extensive experience or expertise, and use this knowledge to identify gaps in the market and create new products or services that meet consumer needs.

In terms of characteristics, traditional entrepreneurs are known for being risk-takers who are willing to invest their own money into their business ventures. They are also willing to work long hours and make sacrifices in order to achieve success.

Examples of Traditional Entrepreneurs

Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, is an excellent example of a traditional entrepreneur. He started Walmart as a small retail store in Arkansas in 1962 and grew it into one of the largest retailers in the world by focusing on low prices and convenient locations. Another example is Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group.

Branson started his first business selling records out of his car when he was just 16 years old. Today, Virgin Group includes over 400 companies worldwide.

Advantages and Disadvantages

The advantages of being a traditional entrepreneur include having control over your own destiny, being able to build something from scratch, and potentially making large profits. The disadvantages include the risks involved with starting your own business, including financial risks if your venture fails.

Traditional entrepreneurs also often face fierce competition from other businesses trying to capture market share in the same industry. Overall, traditional entrepreneurs are a crucial part of the business landscape and have been responsible for creating some of the most successful companies in history.


Social entrepreneurs are those who create businesses with the main goal of initiating social and environmental change. They use their entrepreneurial skills to solve social problems, rather than just creating a profitable business. Social entrepreneurs focus on creating a positive impact on society and the environment, often without seeking any personal financial gain.


One of the main characteristics of social entrepreneurs is their strong passion for making a difference. They are highly motivated to address pressing social issues such as poverty reduction, community development, and environmental sustainability.

Examples Of A Social Entrepreneur

Social entrepreneurs can be found in various industries including education, healthcare, technology, and renewable energy. An excellent example of a successful social entrepreneur is Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS Shoes.

TOMS Shoes operates on a “one-for-one” business model where for every pair purchased by customers, one pair is donated to children in need. This unique selling proposition has helped Mycoskie make considerable progress towards his mission to provide shoes for those in need around the world.

Advantages and Disadvantages

However, there are also some disadvantages associated with being a social entrepreneur. One significant challenge is finding adequate funding since investors may not be willing to invest in companies that may not yield significant financial returns.

Additionally, implementing societal change can be difficult and time-consuming because social problems are often complex and multifaceted. Overall though, despite these challenges faced by social entrepreneurs today there is no doubt that they play an essential role in improving our world while also contributing towards economic development through job creation and innovative solutions that benefit everyone.


Serial entrepreneurs are individuals who start and run multiple businesses over the course of their career. Unlike traditional entrepreneurs, they are not focused on building a single company but instead aim to create a series of successful ventures.

Characteristics of Serial Entrepreneurs

Serial entrepreneurs tend to possess certain characteristics that set them apart from other types of entrepreneurs. They are risk-takers who love to experiment with new ideas and create something from scratch.

They have a deep understanding of business models and market trends, which enables them to identify opportunities for growth. In addition, they possess excellent leadership skills that allow them to attract talented individuals to work with them on their ventures.

Examples of Serial Entrepreneurs

Some famous examples of serial entrepreneurs include Elon Musk, Richard Branson, and Steve Jobs. All three have started multiple companies and achieved great success in each venture they pursued. Elon Musk founded SpaceX, Tesla Motors, Neuralink, The Boring Company, SolarCity and more; Richard Branson founded Virgin Group with over 400 companies under its umbrella; Steve Jobs co-founded Apple Inc., Pixar Animation Studios, NeXT Inc., all highly successful companies.

Advantages and Disadvantages

One advantage of being a serial entrepreneur is the ability to learn from past mistakes and failures. Each new venture provides an opportunity for self-reflection and growth, enabling serial entrepreneurs to refine their skills as leaders and business owners. Additionally, having multiple successful ventures under one’s belt can lead to increased personal wealth and social status.

However, serial entrepreneurship also has its downsides. Running multiple businesses simultaneously can be overwhelming and lead to burnout if not managed properly.

It requires a high level of dedication and commitment that may not be sustainable in the long term for some individuals. Serial entrepreneurship is an exciting and challenging path that requires a unique set of skills and characteristics.

While it has its advantages, it also comes with its own set of challenges. Ultimately, being a successful serial entrepreneur requires a balance of risk-taking, resilience, and strategic planning to achieve long-term success in the world of business.


Lifestyle entrepreneurship is all about creating a business or career that can support the life you want to lead, rather than the other way around. It’s a growing trend among those who value experiences, freedom and flexibility over traditional notions of success.

Definition and Characteristics

Lifestyle entrepreneurs are driven by more than just financial gain. They seek to create a business that aligns with their personal values and goals, such as spending time with family or traveling the world. They often prioritize work-life balance and may prefer to work remotely or set their own schedules.

Another characteristic of lifestyle entrepreneurs is their ability to turn their passions into profitable ventures. They focus on creating products or services that they themselves would use and enjoy, rather than following market trends.

Examples of Lifestyle Entrepreneurs

One prominent example of a lifestyle entrepreneur is Tim Ferriss, author of “The 4-Hour Work Week.” He built his career around the idea of maximizing efficiency in order to free up more time for travel and hobbies. Another example is Michelle Phan, who started out making makeup tutorial videos on YouTube before launching her own beauty subscription service called Ipsy. She was able to turn her passion for makeup into a successful business that allowed her the freedom to travel and pursue other projects.

Advantages and Disadvantages

The biggest advantage of being a lifestyle entrepreneur is having control over your schedule and priorities. You can design your business around your life instead of sacrificing your personal life for work. However, there are also some drawbacks to this type of entrepreneurship.

Since lifestyle entrepreneurs are often driven by personal fulfillment rather than financial gain, it can be difficult to scale up their businesses or make significant profits. Additionally, because they prioritize work-life balance, they may not have the same level of dedication as traditional entrepreneurs who are willing to work long hours and make sacrifices for their businesses.

Overall, lifestyle entrepreneurship offers a unique path to success that allows individuals to find fulfillment both professionally and personally. It’s not the right fit for everyone, but for those who value freedom and flexibility, it can be an incredibly rewarding way to live and work.


Online entrepreneurs are those who start or operate businesses on the internet. This type of entrepreneurship has grown rapidly in recent years, thanks to the increasing accessibility of technology and the internet. Online entrepreneurs can be found in a variety of industries, from retail to consulting to entertainment.

Definition and Characteristics

Online entrepreneurship is defined by the use of technology and the internet as primary tools for conducting business. Online entrepreneurs often have a strong understanding of online marketing and social media, as they rely heavily on these channels to reach customers.

One characteristic that sets online entrepreneurs apart from traditional ones is their ability to work remotely. With the help of cloud-based tools such as project management software and video conferencing platforms, online entrepreneurs can run their businesses from anywhere in the world.

Examples of Online Entrepreneurs

Some well-known examples of online entrepreneurs include Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, and Elon Musk, founder of Tesla Motors. However, there are countless other successful online entrepreneurs who operate businesses across a variety of industries. For example, Jamie Salvatori started with just $6 worth of gummy bears.

Today his website sells various products including unusual gifts targeted towards niche audiences. Another example is Pat Flynn who runs several websites focused on helping individuals develop an audience through podcasts or webinars.

Advantages and Disadvantages

One major advantage for online entrepreneurs is that they often have low overhead costs compared with traditional business models. They can save money by working from home instead of renting expensive office space or hiring employees right away.

Another advantage is that online businesses can scale quickly due to access to global markets through e-commerce platforms such as Shopify or WooCommerce which help you sell products globally at ease without worrying about currency exchange rates or cross-border trade regulations which would have been a nightmare in past. However, there are also disadvantages to being an online entrepreneur.

One major challenge is the competition as with low overheads, it is easy for competitors to enter and capture your market share. Also, since online businesses rely heavily on technology, technical glitches or website crashes can be devastating for sales and customer relationships.

Overall, online entrepreneurship offers many opportunities for innovation and growth. By leveraging technology, entrepreneurs can create businesses that are scalable, flexible and have high potential earnings.


Necessity entrepreneurs are those who start a business out of need rather than desire. They do not necessarily have a passion for entrepreneurship, but they may be forced to start a business due to a lack of employment opportunities or financial hardship.

Definition and Characteristics

Characteristics of necessity entrepreneurs include resourcefulness, persistence, and the ability to adapt quickly to changing circumstances. These individuals often have limited resources and must find creative solutions to problems that arise. They also tend to be very focused on generating income as quickly as possible.

Examples of Necessity Entrepreneurs

Examples of necessity entrepreneurs can be found all over the world, particularly in developing countries where formal employment opportunities are scarce. A person who opens a food cart on the street corner because they cannot find work elsewhere is an example of a necessity entrepreneur.

Another example is someone who starts their own cleaning business after being laid off from their job. 

Advantages and Disadvantages

One advantage of necessity entrepreneurship is that it provides individuals with an opportunity for self-reliance and financial independence.

It can also lead to the creation of jobs for others in the community. However, there are also some disadvantages associated with this type of entrepreneurship, such as limited access to capital and skills training.

While it may not be ideal to start a business out of necessity rather than passion or desire, it can still lead to success and provide opportunities for personal growth and community development. It takes courage and determination to become a necessity entrepreneur but those who pursue this path may find that they have unlocked unexpected opportunities for themselves and others around them.


Necessity entrepreneurs are those who start a business out of need rather than desire. They do not necessarily have a passion for entrepreneurship, but they may be forced to start a business due to a lack of employment opportunities or financial hardship.

Recap on the importance of understanding the different types of entrepreneur

Understanding the different types of entrepreneurs can be essential to determine which type you want to be. By knowing the characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages of each type, you can make an informed decision on which path is right for you.

It also helps you to identify your strengths and weaknesses as an entrepreneur and plan accordingly. Moreover, understanding different types of entrepreneurs is vital for investors or anyone who works with startups to provide better support to entrepreneurs based on their needs.

Final thoughts on how to choose which type to become

Entrepreneurship is a journey that requires commitment and hard work. Choosing what kind of entrepreneur you want to be depends on your interests, skills, experience, goals, and resources.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to entrepreneurship. So take your time in exploring various entrepreneurial paths before deciding which one suits you best.

Remember that being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean working alone; it can mean having a team working with you towards a common goal. Finding like-minded individuals who share similar values and visions can help keep you motivated throughout your entrepreneurial journey.

Don’t forget that entrepreneurship comes with risks and challenges but also rewards and opportunities. Believe in yourself and your vision, keep learning from failures as well as successes, stay adaptable and focused while keeping an eye out for new opportunities that come your way! If you are looking for more resources and information for small business owners, check out more of our articles on entrepreneurship!