Management September 12, 2013 Last updated September 18th, 2018 2,527 Reads share

What Motivates Entrepreneurs?

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There has been a lot of discussion and debates on what motivates entrepreneurs. How do you know if you or someone else is an entrepreneur? Deeply embedded in the practice of entrepreneurship is passion

Many startup executives have noted that having passion is one of the key drivers for entrepreneurial success.  Passion drives some entrepreneurs to assume high levels of risk taking that many may see as being unconventional and even crazy.

After teaching entrepreneurship and mentoring business owners and student startup teams for the past six years, they are essentially motivated by many of the same things:

  • The need to deliver innovation and creativity is always a motivating factor in an entrepreneurial venture.
  • While new startup founders and business owners are motivated by revenue and investments, social entrepreneurs are more focused in solving environmental and social problems.
  • But, I believe all entrepreneurs are drawn towards an in-depth understanding of problem-solving and decision-making activities that embrace ambiguity and uncertainty.

Are you scratching your head right now wondering what the hack I am talking about? Well than let me break it down for you with clear examples.

# 1. In-depth understanding

Entrepreneurs are curious beings. They want to know how it works, how it is created, what is causing the problem, what is the solution, how will it make money, who are the experts, how many lives will it change and how do I turn this into a business? They want to be able to have a full understanding to what makes things tick.

# 2. In-depth problem-solving

Entrepreneurs are opportunist. They see opportunity and take advantage of it right away. They believe in the idea that every problem has a solution.  I always tell my entrepreneurship students to think about the profits later. If you develop a sustainable solution to a real business problem, the clients and money will come.

# 3. In-depth decision-making

Entrepreneurs want to make or influence the decision. If you spent a significant amount of time trying to understand how something works (In-depth understanding) and researching the cause of the problem and creating a solution (In-depth problem-solving), then you definitely want to be a part of the decision making process.

While one or two of these bullets might describe a lot of people, I believe the entrepreneur resembles all three of the above.


The entrepreneurial spirit has always been characterized by innovation, risk-taking, creativity and their adaptability to succeed in an ever changing and increasingly competitive marketplace. When an entrepreneur wants to grow an idea or a small business into a large venture, it will be their passion, motivation and determination for all three of these driving forces that will push them forward.

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Emad Rahim

Emad Rahim

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