7 Differences Between Entrepreneur and Businessman


In the vast labyrinth of the business world, two figures often stand out: the entrepreneur and the businessman. Though these terms are frequently used interchangeably, they represent distinct roles, each with its unique set of values, strategies, and risks. Understanding the differences between an entrepreneur and a businessman is crucial, not only for those venturing into the corporate realm but for anyone interested in the mechanisms of the global economy. So, buckle up as we explore the seven key differences between these integral players in the business arena.

The first, and perhaps most prominent distinction, lies in the nature of their roles. Businessmen often step into established systems, leveraging existing business models and aiming to streamline operations, increase profits, and strengthen the position of their company in its industry. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, are the game changers, the innovators. They develop new ideas and launch new ventures, often disrupting industries and introducing novel products or services. While a businessman excels in managing and growing an existing business, an entrepreneur thrives in the realm of the unknown, willing to take risks in hopes of creating something groundbreaking. So, let’s dive deeper into the unique characteristics and roles that distinguish the entrepreneur from the businessman.

Entrepreneur Vs. Businessman: The Concept

The fundamental difference between an entrepreneur and a businessman stems from their respective approaches to the business landscape. An entrepreneur is characterized by innovation, creativity, and a readiness to take risks. Their realm is often in the world of startups, where they bring their ideas to life, disrupt existing norms, and create something entirely new. They’re often seen as visionaries who look to change the world with their original ideas.

On the other hand, a businessman is typically someone who operates within an existing business framework. They work within established businesses, focusing on making them more efficient, profitable, and sustainable. Businessmen are typically risk-averse, preferring to follow tried and tested paths to success. They excel in the art of management and administration, navigating the complexities of the business world with skill and acumen.

In essence, while entrepreneurs are the architects of disruptive change and innovation, businessmen are the custodians of established businesses, ensuring their smooth operation and steady growth.


When it comes to risk-taking, entrepreneurs and businessmen tread distinctly different paths. Entrepreneurs, often considered the pioneers in business, aren’t afraid to venture into uncharted territories. They embrace risks, viewing them as opportunities for innovation and growth. The high-risk, high-reward nature of entrepreneurship often leads to innovation, disruption, and the establishment of new industries.

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In contrast, businessmen typically adopt a more cautious approach. They understand the intricacies of their industry and make calculated moves based on tried and tested strategies. Risk is something to be managed and minimized in their view. They rely on market research, strategic planning, and careful implementation to mitigate potential threats. While businessmen might not create waves of disruption like entrepreneurs, their methodical and risk-averse approach ensures the stability and consistent growth of existing businesses.

Innovation and Creativity

Entrepreneurs are often recognized as the bedrock of innovation and creativity in the business world. They are the thinkers, the dreamers, the ones who aren’t afraid to challenge the status quo. Entrepreneurs often thrive on creating something new and different, even if it means disrupting an existing market or creating an entirely new one. Their mind is constantly filled with ideas, that they are eager to implement, with the primary driving force being the creation of value.

Businessmen, on the other hand, while they value and understand the importance of innovation, tend to focus more on incremental innovations that improve existing products, services, or processes. They prefer to enhance and optimize what’s already there rather than reinvent the wheel. Their creativity is often used in solving operational problems, improving efficiency, and finding ways to increase profitability without drastically changing the business model. So, while they might not be the disruptors, their contributions to innovation are crucial for the evolution and growth of businesses.


Goal Orientation

Entrepreneurs are driven by their vision and passion, with the primary aim of introducing novel concepts and ideas to the world. Their goal extends beyond profits, focusing on creating value and bringing about a significant change or improvement to existing systems. This often means they are willing to take on larger risks in the pursuit of their vision.

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Businessmen, however, are typically more profit-oriented. They aim to maximize earnings and increase the value of their business, focusing on sustaining and growing their company in the current market. Their goals are often tied to tangible metrics like sales, market share, and profitability. While they may not be setting out to change the world, the pragmatic and strategic approach of businessmen ensures the longevity and success of their venture.

Profit Motive

Profit motive greatly differentiates entrepreneurs from businessmen. Entrepreneurs, while they understand the need for profits to sustain their venture, usually follow a ‘problem-first’ approach. They identify gaps in the market, develop innovative solutions, and believe that profits will follow if they can effectively address these identified needs. Their prime motivation is value creation and impact, and they are ready to endure initial phases of low or no profitability in their quest to transform their vision into reality.

Businessmen, conversely, focus more on a ‘profit-first’ model. They enter markets with proven demand and established business models, aiming to earn profits from day one. They meticulously strategize to streamline operations, reduce costs, and increase sales, thereby maximizing profits. For them, business success is largely measured in terms of financial gain and growth in profitability. While they value innovation and problem-solving, these aspects are often viewed through the lens of profit generation.

Growth Mindset

When it comes to growth mindset, entrepreneurs and businessmen display distinct traits. Entrepreneurs typically exhibit an expansive growth mindset. They don’t shy away from taking risks, embracing challenges, and venturing into uncharted territories. They are frequently looking for opportunities to disrupt established norms and constantly evolve their offerings. Their focus is on scaling their venture, creating a larger impact, and driving substantial change in the industry or society at large. They consider failures as stepping stones to success, learning, and adapting from each setback.

Businessmen, on the other hand, often operate with a more conservative growth mindset. Their emphasis is on sustainable, incremental growth rather than explosive, disruptive expansion. They strive to strengthen their existing market position, gradually increasing their market share and steadily climbing the ladder of success. Businessmen see risks as potential threats to their business stability and hence, adopt a more calculated approach. They value consistency and stability over high-risk, high-reward scenarios. This prudent approach helps them maintain steady progress and longevity in their business endeavors.


In terms of adaptability, entrepreneurs are often seen as the pioneers of change. They thrive in dynamic environments and have a knack for pivoting their strategies in response to shifts in the market or technological trends. Their ability to adapt is rooted in their willingness to experiment, learn, and iterate, which makes them quite resilient in the face of uncertainty. They are swift to recognize and adapt to changes, using them as a springboard to innovate, refresh their offerings, and seize new opportunities.

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On the contrary, businessmen are generally more measured in their adaptability. They prefer maintaining an element of predictability and control in their business operations. While they do understand the importance of adapting to changes, they tend to do so in a more systematic, planned manner as opposed to the spontaneity displayed by entrepreneurs. They approach change with caution, carefully analyzing the potential impacts and designing strategies accordingly. This approach helps them minimize disruptions to their existing operations and maintain a steady growth trajectory.

Often the words “entrepreneur” and “businessman” are used interchangeably. But the fact is that the meaning they signify is as different from each other as it can possibly be. In the course of ignorance, many businessmen label themselves as entrepreneurs.

7 More Differences Between Entrepreneur and Businessman

A businessman is any person who engages in a series of economic activities to earn a profit. An entrepreneur, on the other hand, is someone who conceives an idea or a solution to a current problem that society is facing, finds investors and sets up an enterprise to offer his expertise to the general public.

There are many differences in the way both think, operate and do business.

  1. A businessman starts his business with an already existing and mostly well-exploited area whereas an entrepreneur conceives a fresh concept/idea/solution to start his enterprise.

    The entrepreneur has an object to provide a never-tried-before solution to an existing problem instead of capitalizing on a tried-and-tested idea.

  2. A businessman is afraid to take risks whereas an entrepreneur is always ready to plunge deep in.

    A businessman is apprehensive about trying new things. An entrepreneur is almost habitual in taking risks.

  3. A businessman is concerned with hiring people to increase his business productivity whereas an entrepreneur brings productivity to his employees.

    An entrepreneur hires people and converts them into a pool of resources that can be easily and effectively tapped by society.

  4. A businessman shies away from changes and often finds himself at the receiving end of a turbulent business environment whereas an entrepreneur is always eager to face challenging business conditions.

    A businessman is apprehensive of changes whereas an entrepreneur embraces changes.

  5.  A businessman, more often than not, sticks with his older products and is afraid to innovate. An entrepreneur is renowned for his knack of innovating and creating a better product for the society.

    An entrepreneur thrives on his risk-taking capabilities and strives to outshine all his previous products each time.

  6. A businessman stays with the more traditional way of doing business whereas an entrepreneur is obsessed with unconventional ways of doing things.

    Beginning from the product idea and going till after the product has been sold, an entrepreneur makes an effort to be boldly unconventionally different.

  7. A businessman is known for making revenue whereas entrepreneurs are focused on creating value.

    Adding value to society is the reason entrepreneurs exist. Entrepreneurs want to bring in a revolutionary change in the way society thinks and works.

A businessman adopts an idea, starts a business, and brings it to life whereas an entrepreneur plants the seed, nourishes it over years, and creates a value-generating asset for the world, he brings life to his business.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Q: What makes an entrepreneur different from a businessman?

A: The main difference lies in their approach to risk, adaptability, and innovation. Entrepreneurs tend to thrive on uncertainty and change, while businessmen prefer predictability and stability.

  1. Q: Are entrepreneurs more adaptable to change than businessmen?

A: Generally speaking, entrepreneurs are often seen as more adaptable due to their willingness to experiment and iterate. They tend to recognize and respond to changes more swiftly than businessmen.

  1. Q: How do businessmen handle risks?

A: Businessmen usually see risks as potential threats to their business stability, hence they approach risk with caution and calculation. They value consistency over high-risk, high-reward scenarios.

  1. Q: Can a businessman be an entrepreneur or vice versa?

A: Yes, the roles can overlap. A businessman can display entrepreneurial traits and an entrepreneur can adopt business strategies. However, their fundamental approaches often differ.

  1. Q: How do entrepreneurs and businessmen approach business growth?

A: Entrepreneurs often pursue growth opportunities aggressively, even if they come with higher risk. Businessmen, on the other hand, prefer steady and slower growth, ensuring stability in their operations.


In conclusion, while entrepreneurs and businessmen both play pivotal roles in the economic landscape, they often possess distinct characteristics and approaches to business. Entrepreneurs are risk-takers, innovators, and masters of change who thrive in uncertain conditions and are driven by the potential of their visionary ideas. Businessmen, on the other hand, prioritize stability, calculated risks, and systematic adaptability, striving for consistent growth and longevity in their business operations. Understanding these differences can offer valuable insights into the diverse paths and strategies for achieving success in the business world. It’s important to remember that neither approach is superior to the other; rather, they offer different perspectives and methods for navigating the challenges and opportunities in the world of business.

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