Have you ever dreamed of becoming your own boss? Many of us have dreamed of having a business of our own at some point in our lives. Nearly five million people realized that dream in 2022 in the United States, adding to the nearly 25 million small businesses already in existence. That breaks down to around 14,000 new businesses starting up every day.
The term “entrepreneurship” encompasses a broad range of skills and situations. Some examples of entrepreneurship include the local diner with that great breakfast special, and the local machine shop with a few dozen employees, as well as the latest tech startup company, or the prospective companies you see profiled on TV shows like “Shark Tank.”
WHAT IS ENTREPRENEURSHIP?
Broadly put, entrepreneurship is the process of creating a company from scratch and making it profitable. The type of business can range from home-based businesses to large, global corporations. With entrepreneurship, the owner takes the risk of the business failing and losing their investment as well as other financial investors.The risk of failure is not insignificant when you decide to be your own boss. According to “Forbes” magazine, only around half of all businesses survive five years or more, and only one in three make it to the ten-year mark.
However, for this risk, the owner is generally compensated with the vast earning potential of their business along with the many perks of being one’s own boss.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP
There are a number of different types of entrepreneurship. Some of the major categories include:
Social entrepreneurship describes companies that use their business to help address social causes. This might include a bank that offers financing to those in underserved, low-income communities or a shoe company that donates one shoe for every shoe they sell.
Innovative entrepreneurship is one of the riskiest types of entrepreneurship. This is when a company offers a product or service that’s never been offered before. Walt Disney’s theme parks and Apple computers are good examples of innovative entrepreneurship.
Small Business Entrepreneurship
The majority of businesses in the United States (99.9%) percent are considered small businesses. These include local restaurants, hardware stores, dry cleaners, auto shops, and florists and are generally self-funded and have a small cadre of local workers. The business model for most small businesses is simple and the owner generally plays an integral part in the day-to-day operations of the business.
Large Company Entrepreneurship
Large company entrepreneurship involves acquiring one or more small businesses and introducing new products or services to an existing market. Examples of large company entrepreneurship include Google and Microsoft.
Google and Microsoft offer a wide range of products and services that cater to large company entrepreneurship. Some notable products and platforms from each company can benefit large companies:
- Google Cloud Platform (GCP): GCP provides cloud computing services, including virtual machines, storage, databases, machine learning, and more. It offers scalable infrastructure and tools for large-scale data processing, analytics, and application development.
- G Suite (now called Google Workspace): Google Workspace is a productivity and collaboration platform that includes Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, and more. These tools enable large companies to enhance communication, document collaboration, and workflow management within their organization.
- Google Ads: Google Ads is an online advertising platform that allows businesses to create and manage advertisements across various Google platforms, including Google Search, YouTube, and partner websites. It helps large companies target specific audiences, promote their products or services, and drive website traffic.
- Azure: Microsoft Azure is a comprehensive cloud computing platform that offers a wide range of services for large-scale application development, infrastructure management, and data storage and analytics. It provides scalability, security, and flexibility for businesses in various industries.
- Microsoft 365: Microsoft 365 is a productivity suite with popular applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. It also offers collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams for efficient communication and project management within large organizations.
- Dynamics 365: Dynamics 365 is a set of integrated business applications that cover various aspects of customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP). It helps large companies streamline their sales, marketing, customer service, and operations processes.
Scalable Startup Entrepreneurship
Scalable startup entrepreneurship is when a person or group looks for gaps in the marketplace and creates a company to fill that need. Good examples of this include Amazon, Uber, and most social media platforms.
BENEFITS OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Being your own boss offers several benefits. Not only do you not have to answer to someone else, but you are free to pursue your own vision rather than someone else’s. Just a few of the many benefits of entrepreneurship include:
Opportunity for Innovation
When you own your own company, no one can squash your ideas. You can run with your ideas and take them as far as the market and your funding will allow. This type of atmosphere can lead to “out-of-the-box” thinking and the creation of products and services that have never been offered before. Think of the first Bell telephone or the Model T Ford. For more modern examples, consider the Tesla automobile or Amazon’s Alexa voice-controlled virtual assistant.
Autonomy and Flexibility
Becoming an entrepreneur allows you the autonomy and flexibility to design your company and your work life according to your parameters. For example, you can fit your schedule around your personal responsibilities. You can do things like take every Wednesday off in the summer to spend with your loved ones. However, it’s important to remember that just because you have the flexibility, you will still have to put in the time to make your business grow. The nice part is that you can choose when to work and when to “play.”
Personal and Financial Growth
Unlike most jobs, entrepreneurs have virtually unlimited potential for financial and personal growth. When you run your own company, you won’t run against a salary cap or a commission ceiling. However, if your business isn’t profitable, you won’t be able to take much of a salary, if any. You’ll also have the opportunity to “stretch” your skills and challenge yourself to learn new things that you may never have had to use working for someone else.
Entrepreneurship is one of the best ways to create generational wealth in the United States. A successful entrepreneur can reap enormous benefits if the company goes public and the stock value of the company skyrockets. Look at Jeff Bezos (founder of Amazon), Mark Zuckerberg (co-founder of Facebook/Meta), or Steve Jobs (co-founder of Apple) as examples.
TECHNOLOGY AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Some of the world’s top recent innovations have been in the tech sector. Things like cloud-based storage, artificial intelligence (AI), and robotics have made products and services possible that could not even have been conceived of a decade ago. Tech companies make up a large percentage of new start-ups. Fintech leads the list at 7.1% of new start-ups, followed by AI with 5% and AdTech with 3.3%.
When you look at where venture capitalists have put their money, tech companies reign. In 2022, nearly $90 billion in startup funds went to companies that offer software products. This was followed by $31 billion to companies in the pharma and biotech sector and $8.2 billion to companies in the IT hardware sector.
ECONOMICS AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Entrepreneurship is essential to maintaining a strong economy, both in the US and around the globe. With nearly all US businesses being small businesses owned by entrepreneurs, this sector forms the backbone of the US economy and employs many workers.
Entrepreneurs help shape the economy. For example, products and services that were not around two decades ago, such as Facebook, Amazon, and DoorDash, are now an integral part of the global economy. In addition, entrepreneurship can affect social change. For example, LuminAID is a solar-powered inflatable light created to address the lack of safe and reliable lighting in disaster-stricken areas.
EDUCATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP
The American entrepreneur is often perceived as a self-made person, one without a formal education. However, that is largely a myth. Bill Gates (co-founder of Microsoft) and Zuckerberg attended Harvard University, while Bezos graduated from Princeton University, While an Ivy League education is not essential to being a successful entrepreneur, a background in business can give you a head start and help you to feel comfortable in your role as “boss.”
An entrepreneur wears many hats. They are usually the chief fundraiser, recruiter, and hirer of key employees, creator of the company’s marketing plan, and the architect that guides the company from idea to profitability. Training in finance, accounting, human resources, and management can be invaluable. A four-year degree in business allows you to concentrate immediately on your business and not spend time teaching yourself business basics – and making basic business mistakes. You’ll also make connections with teachers and fellow students that can help you with networking right out of school and as your business flourishes in the years to come.
EARNING A BS IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP AT JWU
Johnson & Wales University (JWU) is a great place to get the training you need to be a successful small business owner. The university offers many business degree programs, including a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration — Entrepreneurship. This unique, four-year degree program focuses on areas such as ethical business practices, how to write a successful business plan, how to hone your business communication skills, leading change within your organization, and identifying capital funding sources for startup and existing businesses. These are skills that you’ll use right away as you start your new business.
The BSBA in Entrepreneurship at JWU is offered at both our Charlotte, NC, and Providence, RI, campuses. This degree program can also be completed online, which gives students the flexibility to choose when they want to “attend” classes and complete coursework (within certain parameters). Online students also save on commuting and parking expenses. It’s a great option for students with full-time jobs or family care responsibilities.
This degree program is unique in that it requires students to have at least two years of work experience after they graduate from high school.
ABOUT JOHNSON & WALES UNIVERSITY
Johnson & Wales University offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degree programs in more than 50 fields of study. Founded in 1914, Johnson & Wales has a current enrollment of around 8,000 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students. The university is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education. Financial aid is available for qualified students.