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Entrepreneurs: Information About a Career As an Entrepreneur

The term entrepreneur typically refers to an independent-minded or innovative business person who is interested in breaking out of the 9-5 environment. Read on for more information about the nature of entrepreneurship and skill-sets for self-starters, as well as alternative employment options for individuals who are considering careers as entrepreneurs.

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Career Definition

Entrepreneurs and small business owners supply the American economy with some of its jobs. An entrepreneur can be an artist, homemaker, restaurant owner or an inventor who just came up the latest cell phone application. What defines an entrepreneur is the desire and courage to strike out on one's own in the world of business, instead of working for someone else. Finding the money to start a business is often the first challenge faced by a new entrepreneur, but due to the positive effect entrepreneurs may have on the economy, efforts are made by both private and government lenders to supply promising professionals with inexpensive capital.

How to Become an Entrepreneur

Required Education

Educational requirements for entrepreneurs are non-specific; however, a strong business background can be helpful in securing financial support. While successful entrepreneurs are well trained in their field, qualifications can vary. For example, aspiring restaurateurs may be new graduates of culinary schools and hospitality programs or skilled chefs. However, someone with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) who knows nothing about cooking, but has always dreamed of owning a great neighborhood pub, may also qualify as an entrepreneur. All entrepreneurs need capital, so the ability to write an effective business plan is vital.

Required Skills

Entrepreneurs have a tolerance for risk taking and a willingness to leave the security of a 9-5 job. The ability to multitask is key, especially at the beginning of an enterprise, where an entrepreneur may need to function as a bookkeeper, customer service agent and marketing expert.

Career Outlook

Earnings for entrepreneurs vary drastically, and income is often unstable, especially in the early days of a new business. Seed and start-up money is key, since there may be little to no profit at the outset. Other entrepreneurs may build their new business gradually, while still employed in full-time or part-time positions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), entrepreneurial survival rates between 2000 and 2010 differed according to the industry, with construction enterprises ranking at the lower end of the spectrum and health care and social assistance services enjoying a higher rate of success (www.bls.gov).

Alternate Career Options

Cost Estimators

Cost estimators analyze information and determine approximately how much labor, money and time may be needed to develop a building, product or service. While cost estimators in construction may be able to get by without a college degree, completion of an undergraduate program in building or physical science, business or engineering is the usual minimum requirement for securing this position. Cost estimators must also be skilled in mathematics. The BLS reports that employment prospects for cost estimators nationwide are expected to increase by 26%, or much-faster-than-average, between 2012 and 2022. In May 2012, professionals employed in this position earned median annual wages of $58,860 (www.bls.gov).

Financial Analysts

Financial analysts help businesses and clients make sound investments, such as those related to bonds or stocks. Relevant undergraduate majors can include economics, engineering, finance or statistics, among other areas. A Master of Business Administration or Master of Science may be required for higher-level positions. As reported by the BLS, employment opportunities are projected to increase by 16%, or faster-than-average, from 2012 to 2022. As of May 2012, financial analysts were paid median salaries of $76,950 (www.bls.gov).

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