The 13 Different Types of Entrepreneurs (With Examples)

Updated Oct 14, 2022.
Different Types of Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs have changed the world in unimaginable ways. They transform innovative ideas into successful business ventures for profit. 

The impact of entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Richard Brandon, and Larry Ellison on successful businesses is impossible to ignore.

Although there are lots of successful entrepreneur examples, too many entrepreneurs fail. One of the reasons is that they lack the essential characteristics of successful entrepreneurs

This blog post will guide you on the different types of entrepreneurship, including the category popular with most entrepreneurs.

Let’s get started.

Who is an Entrepreneur?

Entrepreneurship is the fourth division of the factor of production. Simply put, it is the process of starting up a new business. Entrepreneurs create businesses.  

How Many Entrepreneurs Are there in the World
Source: Oberlo

They recognize problems in their vicinity or the global space as an opportunity to create wealth and make a change. Entrepreneurs are creative enough to provide solutions to these problems. 

With an innovative mind, the entrepreneur converts the idea into a business venture. A successful entrepreneur is more than a regular business owner. Entrepreneurs are innovators open to risk-taking (financial risk inclusive) and challenge the status quo.

The right entrepreneurial mindset, which combines beliefs, focus, self-confidence, and attitude, is crucial for entrepreneurship success.

Types of Entrepreneurs

The entrepreneurship world is broad. Some entrepreneurs set up a new business venture while others buy up an existing company. The purpose of entrepreneurship for many is business-based (for profit), while some adopt a charitable business model. 

Despite the different types of entrepreneurs and their business models, they face similar challenges. Each entrepreneur sees these common challenges and adopts different ways and resources to resolve them.

1. Small Business Entrepreneurs

Small business entrepreneurs create business ventures that provide services for a small range of people or a local community. Examples of small business entrepreneurship businesses are local restaurants and neighborhood grocery stores.

These entrepreneurs provide solutions to a problem within their immediate environment. Such businesses often start with little capital from close relatives and friends or savings. 

A small business entrepreneur is not an expansionist in his business approach. This entrepreneur type is content with the business as long as it can cater to immediate needs. 

Small business entrepreneurship aims to make enough profit to sustain their livelihood. Most times, such businesses employ little or no labor. When they use work, their workforce is limited to local employees, including family members and people in their locality. 

However, many small business entrepreneurship models have grown into large companies. 

Motivaions for starting a small business
Source: 99Firms

Small Business Entrepreneurship Examples

A good number of successful entrepreneurs started as small business entrepreneurs

  • Howard Schultz, famous for building the global brand Starbucks
  • Daymond John, founder of FUBU
  • Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx

2. Large Company Entrepreneurs

Unlike small business entrepreneurs, prominent company entrepreneurs think global. Such entrepreneurs establish businesses to gain global relevance. 

Large company entrepreneurship goes beyond providing products and services for the immediate environment. The goal is for their great idea, business, or service to reach as many people as possible.

Due to this mindset, although they start as small businesses, they are always open to expanding. 

Large company entrepreneurship does not depend on the capital they can raise as an individual. They get funds from angel investors, venture capitalist firms, and crowdfunding sites

These entrepreneurs are not just service providers, they are innovators. They initiate new ideas in their field and source for funds to promote their innovation. 

Successful large company entrepreneurs are employers of labor. Their employees are not limited to their immediate environment. They continually innovate, developing new ideas for business growth and rapid expansion. 

Large company entrepreneurship buys off small businesses and expands them to suit their vision. This move positions the larger company to reach new markets and new customers. 

Large Company Entrepreneurship Examples

You can be categorized as a large company entrepreneur if your business idea is globally relevant. 

Examples of large company entrepreneurs are: 

  • Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft Corporation
  • Lee Byung-Chul, founder of Samsung

3. Scalable Startup Entrepreneurs

Anyone who starts a world-class business with only a visionary idea can be called a scalable startup entrepreneur. Scalable startup entrepreneurs discover opportunities in new or existing markets and develop a unique idea to fill the gap. 

Such entrepreneurs are innovators par excellence. They develop ideas that create remarkable changes in our world. 

Scalable startups are prevalent in the technology sector. These entrepreneurs are skillful at convincing investors to invest in their ideas using tools such as pitch decks. They analyze their business plans and their promising potential.

The highest-valued startups in the world
Source: Codeless

Scalable start-up entrepreneurs, like large company entrepreneurs, get capital to start the business from venture capitalists companies such as Google Inc., Accel Partners, and Sequoia Capital. 

They may be solely responsible for the business initially; however, more labor is employed to expand their business and reach. More often than not, scalable businesses are profit-oriented and target driven. 

Scalable Startup Entrepreneurship Examples

Examples of scalable startup entrepreneurs include:

  • Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp, co-founders of Uber
  • Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Noah Glass, and Biz Stone, co-founders of Twitter
  • Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s
  • Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk, co-founders of Airbnb
  • Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX

4. Researcher Entrepreneurs

Anything worth doing is worth the preparation; this is the motto of the researcher entrepreneurs. They take time to do market research, read up, and plan their business before launching

Researcher entrepreneurs prefer not to learn by experience but by studying what makes others fail. They thoroughly and carefully map out how they will provide their service or make their product available to the market. 

Such entrepreneurs reduce the risk of having a failed business by having a careful market survey of how companies work in their niche. They then develop better ways of making their own business successful and outstanding. 

Researcher entrepreneurs are rational decision-makers. Intuition is not a good motivation; they rely primarily on facts and figures to make business decisions.

A researcher entrepreneur will most likely conduct surveys on customers' consumption of a product and its popularity. The survey result will determine the importance of such a product to the new venture. 

Researcher Entrepreneurship Examples

Examples of researcher entrepreneurs include:

  • Theodor Hänsch, the co-founder of Menlo Systems
  • Antoine Hubert, the founder of Ÿnsect

5. Hustler Entrepreneurs

Skills and hard work are required for a successful business. Just like the name implies, they are hustlers. Their business grows on hard work and not significant capital.

This set of entrepreneurs is notable for their brilliance and hard work. They are willing to give their new business all it takes – even if it means getting dirty in their hands to succeed. 

Hustler entrepreneurs are success driven. They do not wait for investors but go all out to get their capital and establish their business. Compared to other entrepreneurs, hustler entrepreneurs are always willing to upgrade their skills to stand out in a crowd of competitors. 

These entrepreneurs devote quality time and energy to ensure their business success. They have excellent customer service and are skillful and vast in their area of specialization. 

One outstanding characteristic of hustler entrepreneurs is their consistency in business. Hustler entrepreneurs often consolidate their success by establishing branches in different places. They are open to expanding their businesses.

Hustler Entrepreneurship Examples

Examples of such entrepreneurs are:

  • Mark Cuban, Owner of the Dallas Mavericks
  • Sophia Amoruso, founder of Nasty Gal
  • Gary Vaynerchuk, co-founder of Resy and Empathy Wines
  • Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, Inc.

6. Innovative Entrepreneurs

The difference between a scalable startup and an innovative entrepreneur is that the latter’s unique idea is discovered from the lapses of other businesses in his niche.

While scalable start-up entrepreneurs develop a new idea and find a market for it, innovative entrepreneurs create innovation from the existing market. A reasonable amount of capital is required to turn the unique idea into a successful business. 

Innovative entrepreneurs aim to improve the life of people in their society. They often develop and enhance their service or product for the betterment of the users. Although they make a profit from their business, it is secondary. 

These entrepreneurs are not usually directly involved in the business; they are employers of labor. They employ qualified people to run their business and keep their ideas alive while constantly improving them. 

Innovative entrepreneurs are often driven by their desire to see a better world by developing new ideas to improve their way of living. 

Innovative Entrepreneurship Examples

Examples of innovative entrepreneurs include:

  • Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft Corporation
  • Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc.
  • Elon Musk, co-founder of Tesla

7. Buyer Entrepreneurs

Buyer entrepreneurs do not start new businesses; instead, they buy existing ones and make them into their businesses.

The buyer entrepreneurship model is for financial powers looking for profitable businesses to purchase. These entrepreneurs use their wealth to grow such companies to their desired taste. 

Unlike hustler entrepreneurs, buyers spend money in place of hard work. They buy off a business and pay capable men to develop it. 

Since the business acquired already attains a certain level of stability, buyer entrepreneurship is often more profitable and less risky. 

Entrepreneurs who fall in this category have enough money to start a business but lack the expertise or desire to handle the startup process. However, in some cases, they may have their own business and desire to expand their reach by purchasing smaller enterprises.

Buyer Entrepreneurship Examples

Examples of buyer entrepreneurs include:

  • Warren Buffett, Chairman, and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway
  • Carl Icahn, founder of Icahn Enterprises

8. Social Entrepreneurs

An entrepreneur whose business aim is to make the world a better place is a social entrepreneur. 

People who fall in this category aim to make a profit from their business to give back to society. Their principal aim is to provide services that will improve people's lives, change a community, influence the standard of living, and change the global world.

Social entrepreneurs are not profit-driven; they provide quality services at little or no cost. Their activities are geared towards social goods. It is accurate to say that social entrepreneurs are in business to sponsor their dream of a better world.

Social Entrepreneurship Examples

An example of one of the most successful social entrepreneurs is Blake Mycoskie. He is a pioneer in the field who founded TOMS in 2006. 

Mycoskie started the company to provide shoes for children who could not afford them. Whenever he sold pairs of shoes, he donated pairs of shoes to children.

9. Imitative Entrepreneurs

An imitative entrepreneur does not have new business ideas for their innovation. Just as the name implies, they imitate existing businesses to set up their own business. They can get a franchise from an established company. 

Unlike buyer entrepreneurs, imitative entrepreneurs do not have to bear a start-up risk. 

Since they are not the first to set up such a business, they can access information on how it runs. With this roadmap, imitative entrepreneurs can easily make a profit and avoid likely mistakes. 

However, although they imitate already existing business ideas, they work towards improving them. They get inspired by other businesses and do the business their way. 

Just like hustler entrepreneurs, they are ready to give all it takes to ensure that they succeed and surpass their competitors – the original business owners. 

Imitative entrepreneurs are not as innovative as other entrepreneur types. They prefer to use their creativity to develop an already existing business than launch a new one from scratch.

Imitative Entrepreneurship Examples

Examples of imitative entrepreneurs include:

  • Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook (now Meta)
  • Oliver Samwer, serial startup cloner.

10. Trading Entrepreneurs

Trading entrepreneurs are traders that sell products and services in the most distinctive way possible. Their innovative idea is majorly on marketing strategies

Every trading entrepreneur always seeks buyers for their products. Note that trading entrepreneurs are not the same as product manufacturers or developers. 

Trading entrepreneurs develop strategies to take over the market space in their niche and get many people interested in their product. They are highly competitive in their thought patterns. Their decisions and ideas are geared towards producing the best products. 

Until their product is the first to be mentioned by the customers in their niches, they keep developing and improving their trading strategies. 

Trading Entrepreneurship Examples 

  • Paul Tudor Jones, founder of Tudor Investment Corporation
  • Nick Leeson, CEO of Bull and Bear Capital

11. Manufacturing Entrepreneurs

Manufacturing entrepreneurs are also known as industrial entrepreneurs. They are product manufacturers. These entrepreneurs envision a need and create a product that can meet that need. 

Unlike trading entrepreneurs, they are product oriented. They are in the business of developing new products and also improving on the existing products. 

The goal of a manufacturing entrepreneur is to understand the customers' needs and convert the requirements into an idea to generate more profit. 

Product manufacturers are not content with developing a product. They work towards discovering better ways to improve the performance of the product. The best way to get reviews on your product is through feedback, customer reviews, and market research.

Trading Entrepreneurship Examples

A typical example of manufacturing entrepreneurs is mobile phone companies. They produce new cell phones and improve on the existing ones, which explains why Apple keeps storming the marketing with updated versions of iPhones. 

12. Lifestyle Entrepreneur

Lifestyle entrepreneurs earn from living their lives while impacting other people. Freedom is the motivation for these categories of entrepreneurs. They get to create a business around their daily lives. 

Examples of lifestyle entrepreneurs include YouTubers, social media influencers, and bloggers. They create a business from a lifestyle of their choice and earn income from creating and sharing unique content. 

The freedom that comes with their work is enticing. These entrepreneurs have their work entwined with their lives. 

For instance, a Youtuber who wants to increase his views will have to spice up his content by creating a video log of his fun activities like vacations, hangouts, special day celebrations, and the likes.

Some of the freedom that comes with being a lifestyle entrepreneur is the flexibility of the business. Lifestyle entrepreneurs can work anywhere in the world, and it does not affect the company in case of relocation.

Lifestyle Entrepreneurship Examples

Examples of lifestyle entrepreneurs include:

  • Tim Ferriss, author, podcaster, and investor
  • Pat Flynn, founder of Smart Passive Income Blog
  • Marie Forleo, founder of Marie Forleo International

13. Intrapreneur

An intrapreneur is anyone who develops innovative ideas while working for an organization. This category includes entrepreneurs within the confines of a company. And there are some small differences between an entrepreneur and an intrapreneur.

Although they are employed to be a part of innovation, their creative minds keep producing new ideas and better ways of approaching the company's creation.

Intrapreneurs function better in groups and are more productive as a team. There are three types of intrapreneurs.

The Creator

The creator is the powerhouse of the team. After the team comes up with an idea, the creator broods on the concept and brings it to reality.

An example is a software development team. The project team agrees on the kind of software to be produced. A software engineer must create the software. They are skillful professionals.

The creator does not use their funds; they are equipped with all the resources needed to perform the task given.

The Change Maker

A great idea needs capital to become relevant in the business world. The intrapreneur team relies on this category of people to seek funds. 

Changemakers are in charge of getting sponsorship for the team. They approach venture capitalists with a well-drafted and planned-out business proposal and sell their ideas to prospective investors or sponsors with their marketing skills. 

The change maker gives out attractive offers to the venture capitalist, who invests in the business if he buys their idea. 

The Advocate 

People in this category will most likely be employers from the customer service unit. Due to their encounter with customers, they can pinpoint the problem that needs to be solved. 

Their role in a team is to present a vivid picture of what needs to be done. For instance, which part of the product requires an improvement. Advocates can gather and present feedback and customer recommendations to the team from research and survey.

The advocates are the voice of the customers. They are always bubbling with new ideas and full of inspiration.

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Anastasia Belyh

Editor at FounderJar

Anastasia has been a professional blogger and researcher since 2014. She loves to perform in-depth software reviews to help software buyers make informed decisions when choosing project management software, CRM tools, website builders, and everything around growing a startup business.

Anastasia worked in management consulting and tech startups, so she has lots of experience in helping professionals choosing the right business software.