The words “entrepreneur” and “businessperson” are sometimes used conversely to refer to people in business.

Although they share some similarities, using them as synonyms is a fault, as there’s a fine line between them.

Fret not. We’re here to address the differences between these terms and classify the characteristics of each profession.

Definition of an Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs make their own path, which eventually becomes a guideline for businesspeople to follow. They expect a unique business idea or concept.

Therefore, they become leaders in the market by bringing that idea into reality. Entrepreneurs lead the market, regardless of how many competitors will come later.

However, the term”entrepreneur” is widely overused and this can cause some confusion. This is mentioned time and time again by the many articles chiming in on the matter throughout the internet, such as that by The Irish Times.

While many entrepreneurs are applauded for their creative approach, as they introduce innovation to their market and make an impact by bringing change in the world they may not always stay categorised, strictly speaking, as an entrepreneur. Typically, in the long – run, entrepreneurs usually become businesspeople. Though, this brings the question of, “What is a businessperson?”

Definition of a Businessperson

Businesspeople follow a defined path. They are the market players, whereas entrepreneurs are market leaders. They set up a new business in an already existing market on commercial or industrial grounds.

Businesspeople often launch a business that is in demand to make a profit and generate revenue. Thus, the uniqueness or originality of the idea isn’t a significant factor when setting up a business.

For a businessperson, competition is very high because many rivals already exist in the market. Yet, the risk factor is low.

Key Differences Between an Entrepreneur and a Businessperson

MarketNew-marketExisting market
Risk FactorHigh: They face many risks and challenges due to their innovative ideas. The lack of other examples to follow makes the possibility of failure very high.Low: They follow other businesspeople’s paths, which makes the risk of failure less.  
Market PositionMarket leaders. They create the market for their business.Market players. They join an existing market and make their place in it.
OrientationThey give higher priority to people, customers, and employees.Profit-oriented

5 Characteristics of Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs are people who are:

  • Flexible and embrace change.
  • Risk-takers and don’t hesitate to take on new tasks.
  • Resilient in the face of challenges and difficulties they face.
  • Excellent communicators. This is essential in running a business, like networking and approaching investors and customers.
  • Knowledgeable and have a full understanding of almost every aspect of their business and market.

5 Characteristics of Businesspeople

Businesspeople share many qualities with entrepreneurs, and vice-versa, but some aspects shine more brightly for businesspeople. As such, businesspeople as usual:

  • Take the action and can make prompt decisions.
  • Are knowledgeable about their business, its aims and objectives.
  • Know how to lead and put in place their ideas.
  • Are up-to-date with the developments of their markets and the diverse needs of their customers.
  • Are open to change.

There are differences in which qualities may take priority for businesspeople and entrepreneurs, but they are certainly not mutually exclusive.

It benefits both types of professions to adopt aspects of the other. This is often the case for today’s entrepreneurs and businesspeople.


Many people mistakenly use the terms entrepreneur and businessperson interchangeably. We’ve all been there and made this mistake before, but we hope our article made the differences between the terms clear for you.

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