Survey – Are You an Entrepreneur?

With the VT KnowledgeWorks Entrepreneurship Summit – which includes a Business Concept Competition, one Open, one for Students – just three months away, "What's an entrepreneur?" is a hot topic.

According to its site, "The Kauffman Foundation is often referred to as one of the largest foundations in the United States – or as the world's largest foundation devoted to entrepreneurship," yet I couldn't find a definition of an entrepreneur in its entrepreneurship section.

I asked Jim Flowers, Executive Director of VT KnowledgeWorks for that definition, posted it first here, and offer it again below:

In general terms, an entrepreneur may be defined as an independent participant in the marketplace, taking personal responsibility for his or her own financial survival and well-being.  More specifically, a “true” or “complete” entrepreneur is someone who conceives, organizes, and leads a new, independent commercial venture at significant personal cost and risk, both financial and emotional.  It is not someone who does only part of that set of jobs.  So, for example, someone who opens a new coffee shop, or buys a car wash franchise, while definitely a risk-taker,  is not a “complete” entrepreneur, since he or she does not conceive or fully organize the venture.  The same can be said of an inventor who licenses an invention to someone else who then exploits it for their mutual gain. 
Simply put, if you dream up a business, put it together, run it, and depend on it financially, you are an entrepreneur.

We'll share the results!

If you're interested in submitting an application to the Open Business Concept Competitions, step-by-step directions are hereMore about the Summit is here, including a video on the fundamentals of entrepreneurship by Jim Flowers.

A version of this post first appeared on Handshake 2.0.


VT KnowledgeWorks is a unique growth enhancement program open to entrepreneurs in the New River Valley of Virginia and beyond.  Acceleration center and incubation facilities are located in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, Virginia

VT KnowledgeWorks sponsors include Attaain, Inc., BB&T, Handshake 2.0, Harris Office Furniture, Hodges, Jones & Mabry, P.C., Latimer, Mayberry & Matthews IP Law, LeClairRyan, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and The Becher Agency (TBA).

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