Skip to main content

Mansfield University... Developing Tomorrow's Leaders Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership

Myths & FAQ

What is Entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurship is the process of organizing resources to address a need or pursue an opportunity, and assuming the risk for the enterprise. The process is often innovative and can create great wealth.

What is Social Entrepreneurship?

Social Entrepreneurship is the process of using entrepreneurial principles to create a venture to make social change. Creating solutions to social issues can take the form of for-profit or not-for-profit ventures.

For more information visit the "Schwab Foundation" website, and check out the "Skoll Foundation" web site.

What is Sustainable Entrepreneurship?

Sustainable entrepreneurship is the application of entrepreneurial principles to address challenges in the environment as well as clean and renewable energy. Creating sustainable solutions to environmental and energy issues are good for society and can be profitable as well.

A new trend in sustainable entrepreneurship is to use the "triple bottom line" system of accountability. To read more, check out the article in the Economist magazine: "Idea: Triple Bottom Line".

Entrepreneurship Myths  

Myth: "Entrepreneurs are born, not made."

Reality: Entrepreneurs are typically creative, energetic and passionate. But successfully starting and operating a business requires knowledge, skill, and a lot of work, which anyone can learn. At MCEL we believe anyone can be an entrepreneur.

Myth: "I’m just not the entrepreneurial type."

Reality: There are many examples of individuals who start businesses after years of working for others and having never thought about being their own boss. In fact, 1 in 3 Americans will own a business at some point. There are many entrepreneurial paths and many different kinds of people who start businesses – don’t be mislead into stereotypical thinking and don’t ever count yourself out.

Myth: "Entrepreneurs are risk takers."

Reality: A typical definition of an entrepreneur is ‘someone who sees opportunity, builds an organization to address the opportunity, and assumes the risk of the venture,’- so entrepreneurs do take risks. But entrepreneurs are not gamblers. Successful entrepreneurs understand the risks of their ventures, assess the risks carefully and work to minimize them, but are not afraid to work with the uncertainties presented in the face of unavoidable risks.

Myth: "Entrepreneurs are controlling and seek power over others."

Reality: Entrepreneurs are driven by their desire for achievement, responsibility, and results. They are generally competitive and determined. Entrepreneurs are leaders who shape the world we live in by doing: most successful entrepreneurs are socially inclined, work well with teams, and build broad personal networks to accomplish their missions. Entrepreneurs may seem demanding at times as they push themselves and others to strive for success with a sense of urgency.

Myth: "Entrepreneurs are motivated only to get rich."

Reality: While some entrepreneurs will enjoy great financial success and gain influence, the majority of entrepreneurial enterprises will have revenues under $250,000 and remain small. Entrepreneurs regularly report that they are motivated by things other than money, and the most important factor motivating them is the passion for what they are doing. It takes a lot of time and work to succeed in an entrepreneurial enterprise, and without a real passion for the project most would give up long before any real money was made.