How to become a groundbreaking entrepreneur: the ultimate guide


What is an entrepreneur?

An entrepreneur is a person who innovates solutions for real problems by developing their own enterprise. They are often shaped by their experiences and zest for experimentation. An entrepreneur’s diverse knowledge and background, from arts and accounting to engineering and technology, can help inform their ideas and chosen venture. 

It’s important to understand what an entrepreneur is before making the decision to become one. Entrepreneurship involves taking risks for the chance to reap great rewards. Even the simplest ideas and innovations involve diligent work against constant uncertainty and the need for trial and error. Here is your ultimate guide to becoming a successful entrepreneur and staying ahead of the curve. 



What are the skills and characteristics of an entrepreneur? 

An entrepreneur is characterised by their aptitude for improving business models, products and services through innovation and productivity. While entrepreneurs are often perceived as inherently competitive, a successful entrepreneur should primarily aim to compete against themselves and the status quo.  

Here are 5 key attributes every entrepreneur should have: 

1. Initiative 

Entrepreneurs are self-starters prepared to make decisive judgments when necessary. While all entrepreneurs should strive toward collaboration, an entrepreneur needs to have confidence in their ideas and the motivation to see them through. 

2. Diligence  

An entrepreneur needs to be conscientious and hardworking throughout all their endeavours. As failures occur and the number of menial tasks that also need to be completed begin to rise, an entrepreneur must demonstrate resilience and continue working towards their goals. 

3. Creative 

Many entrepreneurs are perceived as inherently pragmatic; however, creativity is paramount to entrepreneurial success. An entrepreneur’s imagination and curiosity sustain growth by discovering new challenges, niche opportunities, effective strategies, and innovative solutions. 

4. Flexibility 

Successful entrepreneurs know the world is in a constant state of flux. The conditions in which they operate are subject to quick changes and their strategies must reflexively adapt. As nothing is ever certain, an entrepreneur’s flexibility helps with taking calculated risks when their environment shifts. 

5. Leadership 

With enthusiasm and encouragement, entrepreneurs must inspire their network toward achieving a shared vision. An effective leader focuses on the development of those around them with adept communication skills. By empowering the efforts of others, an entrepreneur can achieve their goals. 

What are the 4 types of entrepreneurs? 

When discovering your drive toward an entrepreneurial mindset, it’s essential to figure out which
entrepreneurial model suits your goals. The four 4 types of entrepreneurs listed below show distinctive
styles suitable for a variety of business ventures:

1. Small business 

A small business entrepreneur sets out to launch their own venture without intending to grow the
business into a franchise, chain, or corporation. Small business entrepreneurs invest their own capital
in starting a new restaurant, retail store, company, or enterprise.  

2. Scalable startup 

Founded on a small scale with often just an idea, a scalable startup needs to be nourished before it
can eventually evolve into something bigger. Often beneficiary to outside investors if successful, many
scalable startups grow from home offices into corporate spaces. See: Silicon Valley tech companies. 

3. Large company 

Driven by innovation to expand, a large company entrepreneur focuses on new opportunities to grow
an established business. From introducing new product lines to creating new divisions, a large company
entrepreneur considers new consumer markets to strengthen the reach of an existing business. 

4. Social enterprise 

A social entrepreneur creates commercial strategies to improve a specific problem in the community.
From environmental to social causes, the enterprise generates innovative solutions to enact positive
change in society rather than a focus on maximising the profits of external shareholders. 


What is the difference between an intrapreneur and an entrepreneur? 

An intrapreneur and an entrepreneur are both leaders who look to create through innovation. The primary difference: an intrapreneur is employed by an established business and an entrepreneur is the independent founder of a new business. Intrapreneurship is a form of in-house entrepreneurship and gives driven individuals an opportunity to spearhead their own project. 

An intrapreneur has: 

  • the ability to transform an existing business  

  • less execution risks 

  • company resources to fund their innovation. 

An entrepreneur has: 

  • the ability to create notable change 

  • more freedom to explore innovative ideas and areas 

  • no resources outside their own and that of potential investors. 

Intrapreneurship comes with less risk, but also less autonomy. Entrepreneurship has the potential for greater freedom and impact. Many people who start as intrapreneurs in a company gain valuable skills and transition into entrepreneurs by forming their own business. 


How can you become an entrepreneur? 

The road to entrepreneurship is often long, cemented with challenges and setbacks. These trials can eventually contribute to an enterprise’s future success if managed with clear focus and determination.  

Here are 3 tips to get you started: 

1. Find a problem and start brainstorming solutions 

It is ineffective to start a new business or launch a new product without first identifying a gap in the market. A successful entrepreneur will have spent time researching various markets to discover a problem. The problem needs to be worth solving before innovating a solution. No matter how advanced a solution may be, it is worthless if the problem holds no value.  

2. Expand your formal and informal education 

As a budding entrepreneur, it is essential to evolve your knowledge and practical abilities. Even with years of experience, refining your skillset will create more opportunities at any point in your career. Broadening your education can lead you to new environments full of inspiration and likeminded individuals.  

3. Build a network 

Networking is a key tool in building new relationships across industries. There are more chances to collaborate, break into new markets, meet potential investors and gain more resources through connecting with new communities and businesses.

Take the next steps to become a successful entrepreneur 

Postgraduate courses can advance your career as an entrepreneur by broadening your expertise, developing niche specialities and making professional connections. UQ’s Master of Entrepreneurship and Innovation allows individuals to gain the practical experience and specialist knowledge needed to test new ideas, sharpen creative problem-solving skills and drive business growth. UQ Ventures provides students with supportive networks, programs and resources to encourage future entrepreneurs and create positive change.