Outlier Blog Entrepreneur HighRes
Outlier Articles Home

business admin

7 Types of Entrepreneurship Explained: Finding Your Best Fit

12.08.2023 • 7 min read

Lizann Lightfoot

Editor and Military Spouse

Learn the types of entrepreneurship, with examples of each one, to see if starting a business is the right fit for you.

In This Article:

  1. What Are the Different Types of Entrepreneurship?

  2. The 7 Types of Entrepreneurship Explained

  3. Master Basic Concepts To Succeed in Business

For anyone who has ever been stuck in a draining 9-5 job, entrepreneurship sounds like a dream.

After all, entrepreneurs get to work for themselves and focus on meaningful tasks. Entrepreneurs run their own businesses, choose their own hours, and—if they offer an online business or service—they can work from anywhere in the world.

What’s not to love about entrepreneurship?

But here’s the truth: It takes a lot of work. Sure, you get to work for yourself, but you don’t have the support of a team for your weak areas.

Yes, as an entrepreneur you can choose your hours, but many entrepreneurs throw themselves into their company and discover they work much more than 40 hours per week. It can be difficult to establish work/life boundaries when you’re trying to grow a company. There’s always more to be done, even on the weekends.

There are also many responsibilities and risks that come with entrepreneurship. You need to raise venture capital, or start-up funding. If you can’t guide your company to a positive cash flow quickly, it may fail.

One of the common mistakes among entrepreneurs is lacking a clear scope of action. It’s important to decide early what type of entrepreneurship is right for you, so you can build a company that matches your goals.

Are you interested in small business entrepreneurship? Large company entrepreneurship? Or do you want to focus on particular issues through social entrepreneurship?

Let’s discuss the types of entrepreneurship with examples, so you can decide how to start your next business.

What Are the Different Types of Entrepreneurship?

First, it’s important to understand what an entrepreneur does. Entrepreneurship is the process of developing, launching, and running a business. An entrepreneur may not do all the work themselves. They can hire any number of people as employees, contractors, or consultants to help along the way.

But ultimately, the entrepreneur is the one with a goal or a vision, and they must take the initiative to make their business match their goals.

Several factors play a crucial role in the entrepreneurship process and the likelihood of your success:.

  • Your desired business type

  • Your personal mindset

  • Your professional knowledge

  • Your individual skills

An excellent way to make your entrepreneur voyage successful is by studying the different types of entrepreneurship and learning what each entails.

The 7 Types of Entrepreneurship Explained

What are the different types of entrepreneurs? Great question! Entrepreneurs can be defined not just by the size of their business or their role in its creation, but also in their business goals and the way they make a profit. Are they focused on growth and global expansion? Do the profits come from selling a product, developing new ideas, or from external investors?

Here are 7 types of entrepreneurship with examples of people or companies you’ve probably heard of. Which one sounds like the best fit for your skills?

1. Small Business Entrepreneurship

Most of the entrepreneurs you know are probably small businesses because 99.9% of all businesses in America are small businesses, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Typically, small business entrepreneurs own and run their own company. They may hire employees or family members to help out, but their profit goals focus on supporting themselves and their family rather than becoming a billionaire or a global corporation.


  • Hairdressers

  • Plumbers

  • Consultants

  • Boutique stores

2. Scalable Startup Entrepreneurship

These companies may start small, but from the beginning they are designed to grow into companies that will change the world. Usually focused on technology solutions that solve a problem in the market, scalable startups need funds from venture capitalists to expand quickly.


  • Facebook

  • Instagram

  • Uber

3. Innovative Entrepreneurship

If you’re an innovator with lots of creative ideas, then you may be an “intrapreneur.” To be an innovative entrepreneur, you don’t have to raise funds to start your own company. Instead, you can work within another company, allowing your ideas to develop into business ventures.

Another option for intrapreneurship is to showcase your innovative ideas, products, and services at annual events hosted by larger companies.


  • Steve Jobs

  • Bill Gates

4. Hustler Entrepreneurship

You’ve probably heard the term “side-hustle” used to describe someone’s part-time hobbies and interests that are designed to generate extra revenue. Hustling isn’t technically a path to entrepreneurship. Instead, it’s more of a style or work ethic.

A business owner who is a “hustler” grows a business by working hard and achieving market growth, rather than securing huge funds or developing a creative new idea. Hustler entrepreneurs set business goals and work consistently to reach them. Whether that means constant cold calls and emails, or collaborating with other companies in their field, they are motivated individuals seeking growth.


  • Bloggers

  • Multi-level marketing (MLM) sales

  • Freelancers

5. Large Company Entrepreneurship

Instead of starting their own company, a large business entrepreneur focuses on acquiring existing companies with core products or services, then adding new products or subsidiaries to meet market demands.

This is a more advanced business model of entrepreneurship. You need a lot of resources and more capital (investment money) than other types of entrepreneurship. Plus, you’ll need to work with a team of experienced executives.


  • Microsoft

  • Google

  • Disney

6. Imitator Entrepreneurship

To run a successful business, you don’t need to come up with your own innovative concept. You can imitate other people’s business ideas, but improve them to make something more profitable.

Think of this as a combination of an innovator and a hustler. You’ll take on fewer risks because you can learn from someone else’s mistakes and correct the problem to avoid those issues.

Example: Samwer brothers, who cloned companies like eBay, Airbnb, and Groupon

7. Social Entrepreneurship

These entrepreneurs just want to make the world a better place. They create products or services that solve social problems. For a social entrepreneur, the mission of their company is more important than their profits.

Many begin as nonprofits or collaborate in the nonprofit space. This is a great fit for you if you’re passionate about a social cause and want to work with a product related to that area of interest.


  • TOMS shoes

  • Firehouse Subs

Master Basic Concepts To Succeed in Business

Now that you know the different types of entrepreneurship, you may be inspired to work on developing your next business idea! But you’re probably wondering how to get started as an entrepreneur. Do you need to earn an MBA before becoming an entrepreneur?

Technically, you don’t need a degree in business to start a business. But it will certainly come in handy, especially if you’re planning to start your own company as a small business owner or solopreneur. When you don’t have an experienced team to lean on, you want to do everything you can to educate yourself about best practices for entrepreneurs.

A great place to begin on your journey to entrepreneurship is through online classes and certifications. With online classes, you can enhance your business skills on your own schedule.

Outlier.org offers affordable online courses for aspiring entrepreneurs. All courses are entirely online and flexible to fit your busy schedule—without Zoom calls or specific class times.

You’ll earn 3 college credits, transferable from the University of Pittsburgh, so you can continue your degree anywhere you choose. Best of all, Outlier courses are affordable, just $597. That’s almost half the cost of a traditional college course!

Check out these affordable online courses to enhance your business management skills:

Intro to Business

Learn fundamental business skills to help with fundraising, management, marketing, and more! You’ll use real-world examples to develop your own basic business plan so you can become a successful entrepreneur.

Professional Communication

Through engaging workshops, games, and mock interviews, you’ll gain the confidence to become a persuasive communicator. Practice your public speaking skills and work on presentations so you’ll be ready to pitch your new business idea to potential investors.

Whichever type of entrepreneurship is right for you, you can get one step closer to your goals with business courses from Outlier.org. Enroll today, and get ready to share your next business idea with the world!

Degrees+: Discover Online College Unlike Anything You’ve Experienced

Outlier (winner of TIME Best Inventions 2020) and Golden Gate University (#1 school for working professionals) have redesigned the experience of earning a college degree to minimize cost and maximize outcomes. Explore a revolutionary way to earn your college degree: