12 Types of Entrepreneurs

Rafat Abushaban

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If you try and search online for types of entrepreneurs, you would find numerous results and methods of classification all aiming to characterize entrepreneurs according to their aspirations, skills, goals, and lifestyle.

Here we present three main different types of classifications of entrepreneurship containing 12 different types of entrepreneurship. Whether you are here intrigued by the title to discover your personality as an entrepreneur, or are conducting a research, you have come to the right place.

Classifying entrepreneurs as per their attitude


Innovative imitative Fabian and drone entrepreneurs

When looking at entrepreneurs according to their attitude and risk-adverseness, we can pin-point four types according to C.Danhof:

  1. Innovative:
    Those are entrepreneurs who want to come up with original ideas, and create new meanings and tools for others. Innovative entrepreneurship is a rare thing as it not only requires intellectual and innovative qualities of the entrepreneur him/herself, but such type of entrepreneurship requires the right resources, infrastructure and context to nurture and grow. Many innovative individuals with great innovative ideas have gone unnoticed in history as they did not have the right context and support to work and excel.
  2. Imitative:
    Those adopt innovations by the Innovative Entrepreneurs and apply them on in different contexts. Many get discouraged by the title 'imitative', but in reality most successful business leaders around the world are from this kind; they take an original or innovative idea or product in one context, and bring it to another market or country.
  3. Fabian:
    A risk-averse group that only adopts new approaches and technologies after they have been proven successful. This is more relevant to older generation entrepreneurs who take on innovations and imitate them with caution.
  4. Drone
    Highly risk averse, and only open to accepting innovations and new technologies after the old methods become outdated and change becomes a must.

Classifying entrepreneurs by their focus on making profits


company startup social and small businesses

When looking at entrepreneurs according to their tendency towards creating small or large businesses, and their attitude towards creating profits, we can pin-point four types according to S.Blank:

  1. Large company:
    When entrepreneurs are more focused on profits and growing their traditional-style corporations for their and for their shareholders' benefits.
  2. Scaleup/ startup:
    The new wave of entrepreneurship (mostly technology dependent) lead by the flexible lean approach of going small and swift to achieve success towards the entrepreneurs and their investors.
  3. Social entrepreneurship:
    Entrepreneurs focusing on developing products or services aiming to solve social problems, rather than focusing on profit. Such enterprises do create income if planned properly, but profit is simply not the main drive behind it.
  4. Small Business:
    The most basic type of entrepreneurship, when one opens a new grocery store or ice cream stand. Here, the goal is create personal income, and the size is fairly small.

Classifying entrepreneurs by their personality


techie advisor artist superstar entrepreneur

The Enneagram Personality spectrum has been an inspiring source for many to suggest how different personalities affect businesses. Here, it is common to have over 9 personality types, but we will focus on the main cross-cutting four to differentiate skills and structure of the approaches used to build the business.

  1. Improver/ Techice:
    This entrepreneur wants to make the world a better place with his/her vision, dreams, and tech skills. Often, this person has good technical skills but the skills are focused on certain areas.
  2. Advisor/ Professional:
    This is an established individual with a broad set of skills and experiences in life and business. When this person takes to be an entrepreneur, his/her approach will be highly structured, wide-focused and often is traditional.
  3. Artist/ Creative:
    The creative entrepreneur focuses on the innovative approaches to solving problems that are not necessary structured or traditional. This person is interested in how creative and unique the solution is, and focuses his/her skills towards achieving that goal.
  4. Superstar/ Charismatic:
    The Charismatic leader does not necessarily posses the skills and structured methods of working towards building a startup, but he/she is highly influential and has great people skills and is highly charismatic. This person can sell an idea or conecpt very well that others are triggered to follow.
Summary:Try to understand your entrepreneurship style better. Go back through the three classifications and figure out what kind of entrepreneur you are in each

 

Rafat Abushaban


Founder of Riable, Manager of Maan’s Hub for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Director at Startup Grind, and Advisory Board Member at the global SXSW Startup Competition. He holds a Master’s degree and is an IEEE member.
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