What is the difference between an entrepreneur and a small business owner/manager?

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  • This topic has 35 replies, 9 voices, and was last updated 4 years ago by Anonymous.
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  • #41277

    Hi Chris

    I really believe that franchisees are not entrepreneurial. I am obviously generalising which is not correct, but many are. Most franchisors do not like selling franchises to real entrepreneurs because they present problems when they begin to challenge the franchisor on issues. However, even if someone is an entrepreneur, if they purchase a franchise, while interacting as a franchise they are not acting as an entrepreneur. They are simply managing the business strategy for the franchisor who set the corporate strategy.

    Dr Rob Smorfitt said:

    I believe that the key to entrepreneurship is original thought and innovation. I have attached a copy of the Burch graphic file. I have also attached a copy of a Word document with my updated contribution to Burch. This is a work in progress and contains some placements which are wrong. however it is relevant to this topic. I believe that entrepreneurship is a scaled concept, but unlike Burch i do not believe everyone to be entrepreneurial just on a different scale. I believe there is a cutoff point which would separate entrepreneurs from those who are not. I am writing a journal article on this topic and will advise when published (if lucky 🙂 )

    Chris van Zyl said:

    To spot an opportunity where an existing business model (as per franchise) provides profit-making ability, is not necessarily less entrepreneurial than when you start an enterprise from scratch?

    Dr Rob Smorfitt said:

    The original meaning of the word was a description of a person who borrowed money to transact, with the clear intent of repaying the loan with interest and keeping the profit. The entrepreneur carried the risk and identified the opportunity. Early explorers such as Vasco da Gama could very well be described as entrepreneurs who borrowed to transact in the Far East.

    I do not believe franchisees have this same “drive”. If they were truly entrepreneurial would they not launch their own franchise? Look at the Burch continuum, which requires some updating i believe.

    Chris van Zyl said:

    Well, according some classical definitions of what entrepreneurs are: pro-active; innovative & with a risk-taking propensity, one could accept that even some (or most) franchisees could be categorised as entrepreneurs. Yet the definitions and conceptualisations of what entrepreneurship really is, seems to be wide-ranging?!

    HI Moustafa

    Are you going to be able to share with us on your course outline/curriculum/list of subjects? 🙂

    Moustafa Mohamed Moustafa wahba said:

    Dear Dr. Rob
    I will answer your specific question on the difference between an entrepreneur and a small business owner / manager (Small Sized Enterprises) in general terms.

    In Egypt we utilize entrepreneurship development as approach to quality based TVET. The Enterprise (sometimes called Entrepreneurial Firm) is a business organization and it could be a large business, a small business or a family business. The Entrepreneur is the person who organizes or operates an enterprise (business organization).

    The role of entrepreneurs is recognized to be of great significance in accelerating the pace of growth of economic development of Egypt. The developed countries such as Egypt generally owe much of their economic development to the entrepreneurs of their respective countries. Egypt is currently very conscious of the significance of entrepreneurship development.

    Entrepreneurship need not simply be confined to industry, trade and commerce but would be far greater when people in all work situations start reflecting entrepreneurial behaviour. Developing economies need greater number of people possessing entrepreneurial qualities and capable of taking decisions under conditions of uncertainties. It is this class of human resources which has the potential of transforming their under developed economies into developed economies.

    There is a growing realization that both quantity and quality of entrepreneurs are of utmost significance for achieving the goal of economic development in Egypt. Active entrepreneurs can fully utilize the Egypt’s available resources like labor, technology and fund to the greatest possible advantage.

    With regard to entrepreneurship training, Egypt is increasingly trying to promote local entrepreneurship and accelerating the pace of Small and Medium sized Enterprises SME development. The old belief that entrepreneurs are born and not created seems to be have faded away and people in Egypt now belief that entrepreneurial behaviour can be created. Needless to emphasize that quality and quantity of entrepreneurship inputs are crucial in the process of entrepreneurship development.

    The subject of entrepreneurship has thus become important and necessary for the education sector in Egypt which is directly responsible for the development of the economy of the country. The entrepreneur skills and entrepreneurship took their serious place in the educational system mainly into educational curricula of Vocational Schools, TVET Institutions / Centres and Universities (Higher Education). The TVET as sub-sector within the education sector is specifically responsible to provide technical and skilled manpower to the large enterprises, SME and industries.

    One of the new TVET methodologies to develop quality based TVET is to Include training in Entrepreneur skills and Entrepreneurship in the education curricula for the TVET Institutions / Centres as part of the Personal / Behavioural Competencies to be acquired by the trainees / workers. Such Personal / Behavioural Competencies assist the trainees / workers to activate the responsibility and the attitude for decision making behaviour and promote independence entrepreneur spirit.

    Best regards.
    Eng. Moustafa Wahba
    Competency Assurance & TVET Consultant

    Gavin Tonks

    I think the core problem we face is the confusion between sales people and Entrepreneurs.

    Entrepreneurs have characteristically created value in their business and they have a passion and drive to do business irrespective of outcome, risking everything and going out on a limb for their beliefs and gut feeling inspiring those around them to be supportive.
    Society acknowledges great entrepreneurs by their passion and commitment.

    The original Entrepreneur was a Frenchman known for his philanthropic role, so there is a wide interpretation concerning the concept and the person. Not every successful business man is an entrepreneur.
    There are many successful business out there and some run by admirable people but we do not consider them entrepreneurs.

    The idea of a Franchise is to mitigate risk and reduce school fees so an entrepreneur may consider the Franchise to be his way in, however I have noted that successful entrepreneurs having a driving passion that must be fed and sitting in a KFC for 20 years is hardly fueling the flames of entrepreneurship.


    Hi Gavin

    I agree completely.



    Would Moustafa and Chris not like to share their broad course outlines in order to give us an insight in to what they do in their approach to entrepreneurship?

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