The 19th Century French Economist Jean-Baptiste Say is almost always given credit for the first real definition of an entrepreneur:
ONE WHO SHIFTS RESOURCES OUT OF A LOWER AREA OF PRODUCTIVITY TO A HIGHER AREA OF PRODUCTIVITY AND GREATER YIELD (THEREBY) CREATING VALUE.
Webster says ENTREPRENEUR is a French word for ‘UNDERTAKES‘. (As a serial entrepreneur, I sometimes felt it was a French word for ‘FOOL’.)
One hundred years later, Austrian Economist Joseph Schrumpter built on this idea of VALUE CREATION with one of the most powerful ideas about ENTREPRENEURSHIP. In reading a number of articles going deep on Schrumpter, I believe this captures his simplest definition.
“ENTREPRENEURS are INNOVATORS who drive CREATIVE DESTRUCTION.”
He calls this the UNTEMEHMER or ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT.
Now is actually the PERFECT TIME (economy, meltdown, big business, more need, etc.) for each of us to unleash our UNTEMEHMER!
We need SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS. We need ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRITS with ideas and innovation and new models and no baggage.
We need the Young in Spirit and the Best & Brightest. We need the Boomer ‘Encore’ talent to move from Success to Significance and to step up and ACT.