Part III Becoming an Entrepreneur – ‘Entreprendre’ – The Origin & Meaning of the Word Entrepreneur

Erroll Flynn pirate

By serendipity I can across this origin and meaning of the word “entrepreneur” in some forgotten Google equivalent of Quora named Google Answers. It fits perfectly with what I’ve been saying in Part’s I and II about becoming an entrepreneur:

“The word entrepreneur comes from the 13th century French verb entreprendre, meaning  to do something or to undertake.”

I think that sums it up perfectly!

“By the 16th century, the noun entrepreneur, had emerged to refer to someone who undertakes a business venture. The first academic usage of the term was by economist Richard Cantillon in 1730. For Cantillion, the bearing of risk engaging in business without an assurance of the profits that will be derived is the distinguishing feature of an entrepreneur.” And, that’s an okay definition but it fails to capture the importance of the action the verb conveys: to do something, to undertake.

In short, being an entrepreneur should be thought of as a VERB, it’s all about action; not a NOUN that simply describes someone. I think a more modern definition and update to Cantillon’s should be: someone who does, someone who JFDIs… someone who has a passion to achieve something that is greater than themselves with no regard to being guaranteed any success or profit.

So to go forward in your understanding of becoming an entrepreneur by going back to the 13th century French verb and think entreprendre… to do and JFDI!

 

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