Entrepreneur or Self-Employed

Entrepreneur or Self-employed

Often we hear the terms entrepreneur and self-employed used interchangeably, but they do not necessarily mean the same thing. So who is an entrepreneur and who is a self-employed?

Merriam-Webster defines the Entrepreneur as one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise. They define a Self-employed as one earning income directly from one’s own business, trade, or profession rather than for a specified salary or wages from an employer .


While they both will operate a business, the self-employed will create a job for her/himself. They usually work long hours and sometimes do everything, as in some instances they might not have anyone else to assist them. The entrepreneur on the other hand is the inventor and visionary behind the business, but not necessarily involved in day to day tasks. They are more interested in creating new businesses and ideas.

Here are three points to take note of when deciding whether someone is self-employed or an entrepreneur:

  • visionary/creator of new businesses and ideas
  • grand architect, directing overall business, hire others to carry out vision
  • take financial risk above usual to bring an idea into reality
  • creating a job for her/himself
  • success is largely dependent on his own skills/abilities
  • usually integrally involved in the day to  day tasks
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