It’s amusing how often we use the words “entrepreneurship” and “small business” interchangeably. After all, they are almost the thing, aren’t they? No, they are not the same thing. To an entrepreneurial novice, they are the exact same thing. Sure, they are self-employed and working for good profit, but there are few prominent differences that set both of them apart.

An Entrepreneur is an individual who starts and runs a business with limited resources and planning, taking account of all the risks and rewards of his or her business venture. Small businesses are privately owned corporations, partnerships, or sole proprietorships that have fewer employees and/or less annual revenue than a regular-sized business or corporation.

A start-up is based on bringing a new innovative product or service into the market while small business is focused on inheriting or running existing businesses. The business idea of a start-up is usually a new innovation, product or service, rather than an existing business model.  Small businesses sell already available goods and services. The investment, risks and profits involved are much higher in a start-up than those in a small business.

Entrepreneurs never want things to stay as they are. They are always looking to change things, have more action, more energy. Small business owners are often happy with how things are, content to make a profit. Entrepreneurs invent things and are often technically minded. Small business owners are more likely to do something others are doing. Entrepreneurs are always looking for the next big thing, ready to move on once their company is good enough. Small business owners are often more sentimental, and see their business as part of the community. Entrepreneurs will do things more often than not because of passion rather than profit. Entrepreneurs want to change the world. Small business owners want to make a living.

So, we can clearly see that small businesses are trend followers, who avoid taking much risk and are satisfied with the expanse of their business and the amount of profits they make. They are more deeply rooted with the community than start-ups. On the other hand, entrepreneurs are more risk-taking, passion driven and more innovative in their approach.


By Piyush Barskar