Updated: Aug 27, 2021
Written by Vivian Song
It’s a typical Tuesday afternoon and you are in the midst of contemplating the vast anomalies of existentialism. You suddenly decide to take a look at the news to distract yourself from the depths of your dilemmas and a blazing headline in bold print catches your eye: “JEFF BEZOS JUST WENT TO SPACE AND BACK." Jeff Bezos, well regarded as the wealthiest man in the globe and the founder of the largest multinational e-commerce and delivery company, Amazon.
When we ponder the ideals of modern day entrepreneurs and innovators, several big names immediately come to mind, Jeff Bezos among the many. Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Michael Bloomberg, I'm sure these names also ring a bell. What the vast majority of us fail to realize is that the portrayal of entrepreneurship in the headlines is only a fragment of what it is in actuality. We are taught to believe that entrepreneurs are limited to the personifications of billionaires and multi-millionaires, individuals, typically middle-aged CEOs who have reached exceptional levels of achievement in their lives. In reality, entrepreneurs aren’t confined to this persona, but rather take on a multitude of different forms.
So what exactly is an entrepreneur and what do they do? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the term, “entrepreneur” as, “one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise.” In Nicole Martins Ferreira’s article, “What is Entrepreneurship? Entrepreneur Definition and Meaning,” she deemed the general term of entrepreneurship as, “the act of creating a business/organization and continuously expanding it to meet a desired goal (e.g. generate profit)” (Ferreira). These definitions are by no means false, however, they are broad and greatly undermine the true depiction of modern entrepreneurship. The term, “entrepreneurship” is a rather subjective term with a plethora of different interpretations. For example, entrepreneurship can refer to the characteristic billionaires and philanthropists who turned an idea into a successful and marketable business. Comparatively, it may also be thought of as a means of evoking immense change or impact on the world by solving substantial and relevant global issues through different mediums such as inventing a life-changing product or an innovative piece of technology. One popular rendition of the concept is that entrepreneurs are visionaries, individuals who are able to challenge the norms reinforced by society and see opportunities in their greatest dilemmas. Most of all, entrepreneurs can take on a wide variety of forms. Whether you are in your twenties, thirties, forties, or even in your adolescent years, entrepreneurs lie in every demographic.
“Studies show that 6% of teenage boys and 4% of teenage girls have started a business of their own.”
Entrepreneurship can take on numerous avatars. Starting a nonprofit organization with the aim to evoke social change in your community, selling homemade delicacies at a self-owned bakery, or developing an app to track your incoming deliveries are all examples of entrepreneurship. In fact, entrepreneurs aren’t limited to the demographic of middle-aged adults but can take the form of young adults and even teenagers. Junior Achievement (JA) and Ernst & Young LLP (EY) conducted a survey on youth impressions of entrepreneurship and business start-ups. According to the results of the survey, studies show that 6% of teenage boys in the survey and 4% of teenage girls have started a business of their own and 61% of teenage girls and 54% of teen boys claim they have considered starting a business. (Lesonsky). Based on these statistics, it’s quite evident that entrepreneurship is prevalent in the youth demographic and just about anyone can pursue such a path if they desire.
The ever-increasing rise of entrepreneurs has been astounding and as the job market grows in complexity, entrepreneurship and innovation has become a focal point in modern day society. In fact, there are approximately 582 million entrepreneurs in the world as of 2020 (MARKINBLOG 2020).
In summary, entrepreneurship in a modern day society, while universally interpreted as the glorified multimillionaire doesn't simply confine to that particular depiction. Whether you are a young adult fresh out of college or working a mediocre 5-10 day job and aspire to put your ideas into action, just about anyone can be an entrepreneur.