It Starts With A Vision

One Of The Many Types of Entrepreneurs

It takes different types of entrepreneurs. What type are you?
A self employed person is someone who is seeking the independence of being their own boss simply because they have had it with the idea of reporting to someone else. 
They use the skills they would be using as employees but working on their own, usually from home as a service provider. 

Plumbers who do home visits, freelance writers or consultants fall into this category. 
In the olden days being a seamstress or tailor was one of the most common forms of self employment from home or a corner shop in the neighbourhood if the business grew. Hairdressers tend to start that way as well.  

This type of entrepreneur rarely grows big to recognisable stature, such as Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Inc in the US who started out selling beauty products as a housewife and mother. Her business grew to be a conglomerate that has empowered millions of women, giving them a share of the company by selling cosmetics from their own homes. 

Locally, Lé Looks Beauty and Hair has broken the same mold by growing to have a presence at major shopping malls throughout Gauteng. It was also started from a backyard. 

The one drawback with the self employed mindset is that the main focus is being in charge of your own work without realising the need for making a profit and growing the business. 

The work becomes all consuming. They do not envision creating an enterprise that thrives on involving others in a team effort and therefore end up burning out.
Their key strengths are flexibility, personal relationships and stamina.

Social entrepreneur

This type of entrepreneur is motivated by a desire to make a difference to society. Though she may also fit the profile of a visionary, Anita Roddick created The Body Shop as a cosmetics business with a social cause linked to it. Her passion of campaigning against the abuse of animals guided her stance to ensure that her products did not contain animal fat and used recycled material for packaging her products.

Another type of social entrepreneur builds a business on ideas that empower others. Examples of this are non-profit organisations (NPOs) such as South African Institute for Entrepreneurship (SAIE), a leading enterprise development entity that works with government to provide specialist services for skills development, in this case, entrepreneurship. 

Other such entrepreneurship entities focus on raising funds for disadvantaged communities such as burn victims, Aids orphans and abused women.     

Survivalist entrepreneur

This type of entrepreneur sells something or anything to generate income. They are usually motivated by desperation and therefore are without a purpose to become wealthy but to be able to put food on the table. 

Developing countries tend to have them in abundance and they are found mostly on street corners, at traffic intersections and markets for informal traders.

Tenderpreneurs: (South African context)

They run outfits that depend solely on providing a specialist service to government and private sector through tenders. In recent years, with infrastructure development (roads and housing) in South Africa a number of entrepreneurs have benefited. 

Due to Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) a number of Black people became entrepreneurs in the construction sector for the purpose of winning business through tendering. Some succeeded and grew from this and others did not survive due to the competitiveness of the sector. 

Events management, which works hand-in-hand with food catering, is a sector that bred a number of entrepreneurs in the name of BEE since the advent of the country’s new democracy. 

Moseme Road Construction, Group Five and Big Concerts are some of the best performing businesses in the sectors which have remained sustainable till today despite the global economic crisis. Entrepreneurs are classified in a number of categories by a number of experts and the list is endless. One thing for sure though, they are all in it to make money. 

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Issue 88


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