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What is an Entrepreneur?
An entrepreneur is someone who starts and develops a business. The entrepreneur generally takes on some financial and career risk in beginning the business, but can also reap the rewards if the business is ultimately successful.
There are have been many famous entrepreneurs throughout history. Here is a list of some of the most famous. To read more about them, click the link.
Andrew Carnegie - Built up a steel business in the late 1800s that became a monopoly. Was also known for his philanthropy (charity).
Thomas Edison - An inventor who made a business out of creating a large number of innovative new products such as the light bulb and the phonograph.
Henry Ford - Began the Ford Motor Company. He made cars affordable to the average person by building cars in high volume for the first time.
Bill Gates - Co-founder and leader of the software company Microsoft.
Walt Disney - Began Walt Disney Studios creating the first feature length animated movies such as Snow White. Also, built the theme park Disneyland.
Milton Hershey - Started the Hershey chocolate company and founded Hershey, Pennsylvania. He made chocolate affordable for the average person by producing good tasting chocolate in large volume.
Steve Jobs - Co-founder of Apple Computer. Helped to revive Apple with the iPod and iPhone. Also helped to found the computer animation company Pixar.
John D. Rockefeller - Formed the Standard Oil Company and became the richest man in history.
Martha Stewart - Created her own famous brand of products through cook books and TV shows.
Levi Strauss - A successful merchant in San Francisco during the California Gold Rush who manufactured the first blue jeans and started Levi Strauss & Co.
Madam C.J. Walker - Known as the first woman self-made millionaire.
Sam Walton - Founder of the retail store chain Walmart who brought discount prices and large stores to rural areas.
Oprah Winfrey - TV talk show host and actress who created an entertainment empire including her own magazine and TV network.
What does it take to be a successful entrepreneur?
Anyone can become an entrepreneur, but what makes an entrepreneur successful? While each one is very unique in their own way, many successful entrepreneurs have similar characteristics:
- Hard work - Most entrepreneurs are hard workers. They get up early and work hard all day. When the business is first starting, they work long hours for little or no pay.
- Risk taking - Starting a new business can be very risky. Most entrepreneurs take a great risk when they first start out, giving up a secure job and putting their personal finances on the line.
- Innovative - Entrepreneurs are generally innovative. They have new ideas and are willing to try new things.
- Willing to fail - If you read the biographies above, you will find that many of these famous entrepreneurs actually failed before they were successful. They learned from their mistakes and used them to improve their business.
- Leaders - Many entrepreneurs are good leaders. They are able to gather talented people around them who help them to succeed.
- Competitive - Entrepreneurs want to win. They are willing to take risk and work hard to get to the top.