“The thing that is wrong with the French is that they don’t have a word for entrepreneur.”

George W Bush, Former US President, (Allegedly)

What do me mean when we refer to enterprising individuals as ‘entrepreneurs’?

Well the word entrepreneur derives its origins from the French root ‘entre’ translating as ‘go between’ and ‘prendre’ meaning ‘take as in ‘undertake’. In 1934 the only definition for this word in the Oxford English Dictionary which was ‘colloquial slang’ that referred to a person who puts on entertainment usually of a musical kind. More recent definitions refer to a person undertaking business ventures with an element of ‘risk’ or alternatively acting as an ‘intermediary’ of some kind. This relates back to its French origins, and today there are many types of entrepreneurs. Those who for example in the creative industries which are the artists or designers, makers that ‘undertake’ and are their own representative and others who act as dealers, agents, who act as a ‘go-between’ the creative and the client.

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Creatives like entrepreneurs are more frequently innovators, experimental – making work or products unlike previous artists or designers, pushing the boundaries of expression or being inventive with new materials. Like entrepreneurs, in business, breaking ground with futuristic products or services, trends or fashions, require stimulation and nurturing. This is the hardest path in any venture, entering into or developing new markets, and this is what creatives are often doing. It is unlike ‘setting-up’ in business in the traditional sense, and therefore an entrepreneurial approach is a more practical and aligned with the artist’s mindset.

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