"To be a successful entrepreneur, you need perseverance. Most successful businesspeople or entrepreneurs have never given up on their idea. When challenges arise, they have found innovative ways of overcoming them. You must be able to adapt to changing economic conditions, and innovate and embrace technological advances to keep your customers engaged. These things take determination and a strong focus on the end goal." – Stacey Kehoe, founder and director of communications of Brandlective Communications
The entrepreneur is commonly seen as an innovator—a designer of new ideas and business processes. Management skills and strong team building abilities are often perceived as essential leadership attributes for successful entrepreneurs.[unreliable source] Political economist Robert Reich considers leadership, management ability and team-building to be essential qualities of an entrepreneur.
"There are more entrepreneurs than investors on the Forbes list of wealthiest people, but that doesn't mean entrepreneurship is necessarily a better wealth builder than investing. There's a selection bias in that entrepreneurs have much more concentrated asset allocation, often having nearly all of their net worth tied up in their own company (and usually not able to sell it very quickly), whereas investors are more diversified. Also, for every entrepreneur who strikes it big there are many others who completely fail, so the list is not a good guide to where the most wealth is being created."
While some entrepreneurs are lone players struggling to get small businesses off the ground on a shoestring, others take on partners armed with greater access to capital and other resources. In these situations, new firms may acquire financing from venture capitalists, angel investors, hedge funds, crowdsourcing or through more traditional sources such as bank loans.
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"Being an entrepreneur is like heading into uncharted territory. It's rarely obvious what to do next, and you have to rely on yourself a lot when you run into problems. There are many days when you feel like things will never work out and you're operating at a loss for endless months. You have to be able to stomach the roller coaster of emotions that comes with striking out on your own." – Amanda Austin, founder and president of Little Shop of Miniatures
In the 2000s, entrepreneurship has been extended from its origins in for-profit businesses to include social entrepreneurship, in which business goals are sought alongside social, environmental or humanitarian goals and even the concept of the political entrepreneur.[according to whom?] Entrepreneurship within an existing firm or large organization has been referred to as intrapreneurship and may include corporate ventures where large entities "spin-off" subsidiary organizations.
Economist Joseph Schumpeter (1883–1950) saw the role of the entrepreneur in the economy as "creative destruction" – launching innovations that simultaneously destroy old industries while ushering in new industries and approaches. For Schumpeter, the changes and "dynamic disequilibrium brought on by the innovating entrepreneur [were] the norm of a healthy economy". While entrepreneurship is often associated with new, small, for-profit start-ups, entrepreneurial behavior can be seen in small-, medium- and large-sized firms, new and established firms and in for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, including voluntary-sector groups, charitable organizations and government.