Since I wrote about the connection between arts and entrepreneurship last month, one thought stuck with me. As you recall I made the comparison in artists and entrepreneurs as their main motivation being seeing a problem in the existing system to prove them having the same roots. But while artists express that rage to make a mark, entrepreneurs sit down and try to fix it (for e.g. by doing business).
Especially that last thought in there stuck with me and got me thinking. I always had troubles describing internet/tech entrepreneurship especially to Germans. They only know the difference between an employer and an employee and then they know about the minor part of so called free sales men. And while employers are often considered exactly that last thing, they just found a clever whole and decided to do business around it, they are simply referred to as business men.
More and more reportages and documentaries show though, that there is business men and then there are entrepreneurs - the documentary barely stating that themselves though. But take Beate Uhse for example, sure she was a clever business women, but she was also in rage of the prude-ness of post-war Germany. That was kept her fighting for it, even in court, the business was just a means to make it happen.
I think that is where the actual difference between a Business-Major, who starts and runs a company to sell tea from china directly for a slightly smaller price and the Entrepreneur, who starts a company to sell tea cheaper directly from india to make sure the farmers make more out of it, lies. One is using a whole for his own profit - as this what he went out to look for - the other has an internal urge to fix a problem, in this case the injustice between what you pay for tea and what a farmer receives from it.
As such entrepreneurs are not only in Business. Just think about all those, who fund and run non-profits to change the world to the better? Business is of second degree for an entrepreneur, if a company is not the way to solve the problem it isn’t. For a business men, if business is not the solution, he’ll move on to a different problem. It is the difference of what you value higher the tool (business) or the problem.