The Five Types of Entrepreneur

The Five Types of Entrepreneur



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If I asked you to picture a typical entrepreneur, you might think of Virgin’s own charismatic leader, Richard Branson, or maybe it would be Mark Zuckerberg for others, Donald Trump. 
It might be someone who dropped out of college to pursue their great idea, someone that turned adversity into success and I would guess that it would be an innovator, a risk-taker, a brave pioneer. This is a very well used stereotype of an entrepreneur, but this personality type actually describes a small proportion of the founder community.

Apart from the unfortunate fact that an entrepreneur is still disproportionately likely to be male (just 18 per cent of UK SMEs are female led, and in the US just 30 per cent of all US businesses are majority female owned), it is extremely difficult to define the typical entrepreneur - there’s simply no such thing.

Through The Supper Club, I’ve had the privilege to get to know hundreds of entrepreneurs, and while some are risk-takers, plenty of others take a very calculated attitude to risk – even more so than your average person perhaps. While some are extremely extroverted, who love nothing better to talk about their business (or better still, sell their products) many others prefer to run things from behind the scene. Some base their business on great innovations, others succeed because they’re excellent managers who know how to build and motivate teams.

But whilst there might be no such thing as a typical entrepreneur, they all stand out as being remarkable. Here are five ten personality traits I’ve recognised in the business leaders I’ve known - see if you can identify yourself.

1. The Cuckoo

Perhaps the most famous type of entrepreneur - this entrepreneur is always seeking out a new thrill, moving from one business to the next. The phrase "fingers in lots of pies" could have been written for them. They are an opportunist and can’t help themselves, they just have to look into that potential market demand. 
Working with this leader is a rollercoaster ride and it can be hard for some to keep up with constant change and to constantly know what’s going on in their head, but the excitement of new opportunities is never far away.
2. The Brains

This entrepreneur uses their scientific, technical or business experience to find truly innovative solutions, whether that is in product or service. They can often be found at the helm of disruptive technology or manufacturing businesses. Think of Sir James Dyson, who is an inventor first and foremost.

These leaders know that innovation is king, although they’re also likely to be perfectionists, so might struggle with the concept of a minimal viable product.

3. The Pied Piper

This is common personality type amongst many entrepreneurs – an inspirational leader that has innate charisma – the ability to make their staff, customers, investors follow them to the ends of the earth. They inspire passion amongst those who work for them, and build deep loyalty with their customers. 
Their people skills put them right at the centre of the business and no-one is better at selling their product. Of course, the risk is that they build a business that’s based on personality, which is inherently risky.

4. The Disruptor

Then there are the people that refuse to follow the rule book entirely. These are the stories that outlast all the others, the dreamers that change the course of history – think Steve Jobs. These people just seem to see further than others, or think in a completely different way.

They thrive on innovating, inventing and improving, often solving problems their consumers didn’t even know they had.

5. The Campaigner

Lots of social entrepreneurs fall into this category. They’re in it to make a difference to the world: they’re passionate about their chosen cause, and often highly extroverted and enthused to “sell” their mission. You’re increasingly likely to come across them, but they’ve been around for a long time.
The most successful manage to connect cause with commercial sustainability and growth – think of The Body Shop’s Anita Roddick as a prime example.


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Is there a 6th type of entrepreneur? add them to the list below.

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