What appears as a real opportunity ex ante might actually be a non-opportunity or one that cannot be actualized by entrepreneurs lacking the necessary business skills, financial or social capital. Traditionally, an entrepreneur has been defined as a person who starts, organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk. Rather than working as an employee, an entrepreneur runs a business and assumes all the risk and reward of a given business venture, idea. The entrepreneur is commonly seen as a leader and innovator of new ideas. They act as the manager and oversee the launch and growth of an enterprise, Entrepreneurship is the process by which an individual identifies a business opportunity and acquires and deploys the necessary resources required for its exploitation. For Schumpeter, the changes and dynamic disequilibrium brought on by the innovating entrepreneur, the ‘norm’ of a healthy economy. Entrepreneurial spirit is characterized by innovation and risk-taking, for example, in the 2000s, the field of social entrepreneurship has been identified, in which entrepreneurs combine business activities with humanitarian, environmental or community goals. In the 2010s, entrepreneurship can be studied in college or university as part of the disciplines of management or business administration, Entrepreneur, is a loanword from French. First used in 1723, today the term entrepreneur implies qualities of leadership, initiative, economist Robert Reich has called team-building, leadership, and management ability essential qualities for the entrepreneur. Historically the study of entrepreneurship reaches back to the work in the late 17th and early 18th centuries of Richard Cantillon and Adam Smith, which was foundational to classical economics. In the 20th century, entrepreneurship was studied by Joseph Schumpeter in the 1930s and other Austrian economists such as Carl Menger, Ludwig von Mises, the term entrepreneurship was coined around the 1920s, while the loan from French of the word entrepreneur dates to the 1850s. According to Schumpeter, an entrepreneur is willing and able to convert a new idea or invention into a successful innovation, thus, creative destruction is largely responsible for long-term economic growth. The idea that leads to economic growth is an interpretation of the residual in endogenous growth theory. For Schumpeter, entrepreneurship resulted in new industries and in new combinations of currently existing inputs, Schumpeters initial example of this was the combination of a steam engine and then current wagon making technologies to produce the horseless carriage. In this case the innovation, the car, was transformational and it did not immediately replace the horse-drawn carriage, but in time, incremental improvements reduced the cost and improved the technology, leading to the modern auto industry. Despite Schumpeters early 20th-century contributions, traditional microeconomic theory did not formally consider the entrepreneur in its theoretical frameworks, in this treatment, the entrepreneur was an implied but unspecified actor, consistent with the concept of the entrepreneur being the agent of x-efficiency. For Schumpeter, the entrepreneur did not bear risk, the capitalist did, Schumpeter was of the opinion that entrepreneurs shift the Production Possibility Curve to a higher level using innovations. Cantillon emphasized the willingness of the entrepreneur to assume risk and to deal with uncertainty, thus, he draws attention to the function of the entrepreneur, and distinguishes clearly between the function of the entrepreneur and the owner who provides the money
Emil Jellinek-Mercedes (1853–1918), at the steering wheel of his Phoenix Double-Phaeton, was a European entrepreneur who helped design the first modern car.
In 2012, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues Melanne Verveer greets participants in an African Women's Entrepreneurship Program at the State Department in Washington, D.C.
Dell Women's Entrepreneur Network event in New York City