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This content is taken from the Coventry University & Deakin University's online course, Demystifying Entrepreneurship: How to Think Like an Entrepreneur. Join the course to learn more.

Defining entrepreneurship

As we have discovered, entrepreneurship is a complex concept and we don’t always share a common understanding of its meaning.

Throughout this course we have avoided providing you with a definition, because we don’t want to limit your ideas of what entrepreneurship is and, more specifically, what being entrepreneurial might mean to you. Our conception of the entrepreneur is linked to our sense of identity and that can be subject to a broad range of complex influences.

Now that we are approaching the end of the course we would like you to reflect back on everything you have learned and write your own definition of entrepreneurship. To get you started we have provided some baseline definitions but we want you to make these your own.

Your task

Create your own definition of what being an entrepreneur means for you, using the definitions below as a guide. As you craft your definition, think back over the course and try to include:

  • What tribe do you think you might belong to (or, do you want to start your own tribe)?
  • What would success look like?
  • What entrepreneurial traits can you capitalise to help you succeed?

Compose your definition using whatever media you prefer (eg, text, video, audio, images) and add your contribution to our Padlet wall.

To do this:

  1. Create your definition (feel free to be creative)!
  2. Post your definition to Padlet (see this guide to using Padlet for more information and help)

In the comments, share your reflections and discuss what you learned from this exercise (and from the Padlet posts and comments of others).



An entrepreneur is someone who identifies an opportunity and brings it to fruition regardless of the resources at their disposal. However, this might now be termed ‘old-era’ entrepreneurship as ‘new-era’ or sustainable entrepreneurship is challenging its links with Western capitalist economic growth models, as we have been exploring.


Entrepreneurship is more traditionally associated with the activity of setting up a new business or venture. Setting up a new venture brings together enterprise and the entrepreneur. The personal attributes of the entrepreneur embody enterprising characteristics (creativity, innovation, resourcefulness) but the entrepreneur uses these specifically to start a new business venture.


Entrepreneurialism is perhaps a less familiar word. While entrepreneurship is closely linked with the start-up process, risk and venture creation, entrepreneurialism is more about the spirit or intention to behave in an enterprising or entrepreneurial way and how this is shaped by specific contexts. As we will explore in later courses, the context in which entrepreneurship takes place highly influence the process of entrepreneurship.

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This article is from the free online course:

Demystifying Entrepreneurship: How to Think Like an Entrepreneur

Coventry University