What Is The Difference Between Entrepreneur And Businessman?

What Is The Difference Between Entrepreneur And Businessman?


Ambia Hoque


Understanding the difference between entrepreneur and businessman is vital to grasping the nuances of the commercial world. An entrepreneur is often seen as a trailblazer who conceives and implements a unique concept, taking on substantial risks to fill a gap in the market or create a new one. They are synonymous with innovation, growth, and economic evolution. On the flip side, a businessman operates within the confines of an existing market, leveraging proven models to carve out profits and ensure stability.

Their journey is less about charting their own path into unknown territories and more about strategically navigating the competitive landscape of established industries. We look into the distinct roles these two types of individuals play in our economy, their mindsets, approaches to risk, and relationships with innovation and the market.

Entrepreneur Vs. Businessman

What is an Entrepreneur?

An entrepreneur brings a fresh business idea to life by starting a new business and taking on most of the risks. This process, known as entrepreneurship, isn’t just about launching a company; it’s about innovating and pushing for success in the face of potential setbacks. Entrepreneurs are crucial to the economy, as they have the skills and initiative to anticipate needs and bring valuable ideas to the market.

The entrepreneurial journey is full of challenges, like getting through red tape, finding talent, and getting enough funding. However, the potential rewards are significant, including profits, recognition, and growth opportunities. Entrepreneurs are often viewed as the builders of economic wealth, growth, and innovation.

Entrepreneurs usually write a business plan, put together a team, secure resources and funding, and provide the leadership and management needed to turn their vision into reality. They mix land, labour, and capital—the basic production resources—to make goods or offer services. The entrepreneurial path can be quite diverse, with some aiming to build scalable businesses quickly. In contrast, others might spot and capitalise on financial opportunities or innovate with new products or services. Some focus on niche areas, using networking and referrals to expand their business.

Entrepreneurship includes a range of forms, from small local businesses with no desire to become large conglomerates to scalable startup startups with unique ideas meant for significant growth. It also covers new branches within existing large companies and social entrepreneurship, which seeks to benefit society and humanity.

What is a Businessman?

On the other hand, a businessman is someone who starts a commercial or industrial venture with a familiar business concept. These individuals work within established markets where there’s tough competition because other businesses have similar ideas. The risk for businessmen is usually lower than for entrepreneurs because the original business idea or model they use has already been proven by other companies, offering a more straightforward road to success.

A businessman’s primary goal is to make money by using intellectual and financial resources. Here, customer satisfaction is critical, as it’s the foundation of a successful small business owner. You’ll find people in business in traditional commerce, like owners of saree shops, furniture stores, grocery outlets, and garment shops.

People in business focus on the here and now, aiming for short-term profits and a steady income. They work in markets where it’s hard to get an edge because there are so many similar products or services. Unlike entrepreneurs, who are often visionaries with long-term goals, people in business work to get the most out of established business models.

A Businessman Standing Next To An Entrepreneur

Mindset and Approach to Risk

Entrepreneurial Mindset and Innovation

Entrepreneurs distinguish themselves by their willingness to disrupt industries with innovative and original concepts. Their drive for innovation extends beyond creating new products or services; it involves a readiness to challenge the status quo and explore uncharted concepts.

They set lofty goals for their ventures, seeking to establish new market niches or transform existing ones. Their resilience and adaptability are crucial, enabling them to steer through the unpredictable nature of new markets with agility.

The entrepreneurial spirit is marked by creativity, resilience, and an inclination to embrace change and uncertainty.

Businessman Mindset and Stability

Businessmen prioritise their ventures’ stability, profitability, and enduring success. They are strategic thinkers who focus on decisions that promote the longevity and expansion of their businesses. They aim to optimise and refine proven practices to maintain their market position.

They use existing ideas and structures to incrementally improve. Their approach involves taking calculated risks within the competitive landscape to maximise value and strengthen their market presence.

Attitudes Toward Risk-Taking

Entrepreneurs are characterised by their readiness to take significant risks for their innovative business ideas. They tend to underestimate the risks of new ventures and overestimate the opportunities they identify.

This optimistic view of risk is integral to their drive to explore new territories. In contrast, businessmen take a more cautious approach to risk. They evaluate risks in the context of existing competition and market dynamics, focusing on growth and stability through careful planning and risk management.

While entrepreneurs are lauded for their courage in facing uncertainty, businessmen are adept at navigating within known parameters. They apply their expertise to seek opportunities for growth and stability within familiar markets.

Both groups must deeply understand market trends, consumer behaviour, and industry dynamics to make informed decisions. Their leadership is vital in guiding their organisations toward success, and their financial management skills are key in optimising profits and managing risks. Despite their differing approaches to risk and innovation, both entrepreneurs and businessmen play essential roles in the vitality and progress of the business landscape.

Two Men At Work

Goals and Objectives

Entrepreneurial Goals: Disruption and Growth

Entrepreneurs strive to disrupt the market by introducing novel solutions to establish new market segments or create entirely new markets. They are typically willing to embrace uncertainty and take calculated risks in pursuit of their ambitious growth objectives.

They’re adaptable, constantly seeking fresh ideas and innovative methods to establish a foothold in the business world. Their passion for change drives their goal to not just enter the market but to transform it fundamentally.

Businessman Goals: Profit and Sustenance

Businessmen are more focused on managing and growing existing businesses. Their primary objectives revolve around achieving stability, profitability, and sustaining success within competitive markets. Businessmen tend to operate with a mindset geared towards maintaining the status quo, using traditional and tested approaches to navigate the complexities of the business landscape.

They’re market players who seek to identify opportunities within established markets, the market risk factor often prioritising short-term profits and risk aversion. The high competition in these existing markets necessitates a strategic approach to decision-making. There’s an emphasis on optimising and refining established practices to maintain and enhance their competitive edge.

Long-Term Vision versus Short-Term Objectives

Entrepreneurs often have a long-term vision that guides their strategic direction. They set broad, overarching goals that may take years to achieve but advance their innovative ideas and contribute to creating new market dynamics.

This long-term perspective allows for flexibility and adjustment as conditions change, ensuring that the entrepreneur’s vision remains relevant and achievable.

On the other hand, businessmen may focus more on short-term objectives that concentrate on immediate results and maximising productivity. These short-term goals are clear and feasible and serve as actionable steps towards the achievement of the organisation’s broader aspirations. They give purpose to daily operations, aligning them with the company’s long-term business strategy.

However, it’s crucial for both entrepreneurs and businessmen to track their progress meticulously. They use dedicated tools that align short-term achievements with long-term ambitions, ensuring that each step taken is a deliberate move towards the ultimate goal, whether it’s market disruption for the entrepreneur or market sustenance for both businessmen and entrepreneurs.

Scale and Type of Ventures

The scale of Entrepreneurial Ventures

Entrepreneurial ventures typically begin with a dynamic approach to scaling and growth, often starting with seed funding and advancing through various funding stages. On average, moving from Seed to Series A takes between 10 and 18 months.

As these ventures expand, the scale of investment increases. Series A startups might spend $400k or more each month. By the time they hit Series C, the average funding amount can soar to $68 million.

Scaling is challenging; only two out of five startups turn a profit. The rest either break even or continue to incur losses. Despite these challenges, the entrepreneurial spirit is resilient. There’s been a significant 21% year-on-year growth in early-stage ventures reported by platforms like AngelList.

Becoming a ‘unicorn’—a startup valued at over $1 billion—is an extraordinary achievement. Just about 1% of startups reach this milestone. These unicorns, like Airbnb and Uber, often require massive investment, sometimes exceeding a billion dollars, to reach their high valuations.

The scale of entrepreneurial ventures can also depend on the founder’s experience. Founders who’ve previously built successful businesses have a 30% chance of success with their next business venture.

Traditional Business Ventures

Traditional business ventures typically operate on a more modest scale. In the United States, for example, there are over 30 million small businesses, defined as having fewer than 500 employees and vital to the economy.

Many traditional businesses start with modest capital. For employer firms, 31% of startup capital is less than $10,000. These businesses may rely on conventional financing methods. Business loans, credit cards, and lines of credit account for about three-quarters of financing for new firms.

The survival rate of these businesses varies by industry. For instance, the mining sector has the highest five-year survival rate, at 51.3%. Small business owners face unique challenges, such as the cost of health insurance and payroll, which can be significant burdens.

In 2022, the median salary for self-employed individuals was $84,305. Payroll costs for a small team can average around $300,500 in the first year.

StartupsStartups vs Established Businesses

Startups, in their formative stages, focus on developing a unique product or service with the goal of disrupting existing markets.

Startups face a high risk of failure. About 90% of startups fail, and 10% do so within the first year. Misreading market demand is the most common reason for failure, occurring in 42% of cases.

StartupsStartups also need help with cash flow problems. In 2023, 82% of businesses that failed did so due to cash flow issues. In contrast, established businesses have achieved market validation and stability.

Established businesses have a customer base and established products or services, along with more predictable cash flow. Their challenges often revolve around sustaining growth, innovating, and staying competitive in an evolving market.

Startups and established businesses each contribute to the economy. Startups drive innovation and can potentially offer high returns on investment. Established businesses provide stability and ongoing employment. The journey from startup to established business owner is complex and filled with obstacles, but it also showcases the resilience and creativity of entrepreneurs.

Two Men Working On Laptops

Relationship with Innovation and Market

Entrepreneurs and Market Creation

Entrepreneurs are recognised for their role in pioneering new industries and markets. They are the architects of change, like Steve Jobs, the entrepreneur businessman whose work with Apple Inc. led to transformative shifts in the technology sector.

These individuals embark on ventures driven by unique visions, often venturing into untested territories. Their methods may be unconventional, as they seek to coordinate resources in ways that defy traditional business models.

The focus for entrepreneurs extends beyond immediate financial gain to encompass the welfare of customers, employees, and society. Their ultimate aim is to leave a lasting impact, creating a legacy that transcends mere profitability.

Businessmen and Market Competition

Businessmen, in contrast, engage in the competitive environment of pre-existing markets. They strive to secure a place for their businesses amidst a sea of competitors with similar products or services.

Their approach is methodical, relying on established methods to generate revenue and ensure the longevity of their ventures. The skills they hone are essential for navigating the intricacies of the business environment and making strategic choices that promote long-term success.

While their ventures are less risky due to the proven nature of their business concepts, businessmen must still adeptly handle the market’s competitive pressures.

The Role of Innovation in Entrepreneurship versus Business Management

Innovation is at the heart of entrepreneurship, with entrepreneurs often being the first to introduce groundbreaking concepts. Their ventures can lead to the establishment of new sectors and significant progress.

In business management, innovation is more about refining what already exists. Businessmen enhance the current or market leader’s offerings, focusing on incremental improvements rather than market creation.

Entrepreneurs and businessmen each play distinct roles in fostering economic growth. The former drives expansion by developing new markets with the same business ideas. In contrast, the latter solidifies and advances established ones.

In summary, entrepreneurs are the vanguards of innovation, charting new paths, while businessmen optimise the course within established boundaries. Both are indispensable, providing a balance of economic progress and stability.

Vital Pioneers and Seasoned Navigators

In the tapestry of the modern economy, entrepreneurs and businessmen are interwoven threads, each vital to the richness and texture of the business world. Entrepreneurs are the daring pioneers, mapping out new territories with an eye for innovation and change. They redefine what’s possible, fuelled by passion and a relentless pursuit to leave indelible marks on the market. In contrast, businessmen are:

  • The seasoned navigators.
  • Expertly steering the ship through known waters.
  • Safeguarding and expanding upon the foundations of those who dared to dream before them.

Both roles are essential, for without the entrepreneur’s vision and the businessman’s understanding, the business landscape would lack depth and dynamism. Together, they ensure a harmonious balance between the audacity to innovate and the wisdom to sustain, keeping the wheels of progress turning ever forward.

Reach for your dreams.
Create your legacy.




Quarter Deck
QE2, Mina Rashid
P.O. Box 554789
Dubai, UAE

Copyright © 2024 Duqe. All rights reserved. | Website by Wild Creative