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What is entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurship is one of those $50 words related to business and the economy. In fact, in one of the presidential debates, it was used several times. But what does it mean? N.C. State University economist Mike Walden explains.

“Well it’s also hard to spell … I always have to use the spell-check when I use it. It was actually coined … by a French economist as someone who buys something at a certain price and then sells it at an uncertain price, but hoping to make a profit. So, I think, (in) short … it refers to someone who’s taking a risk in their business. They’re trying to make money, obviously, and they’re moving into an uncertain area. They think they’re going to do well, but they’re not necessarily sure.

“So entrepreneurs are people who are always looking for business opportunities, often business opportunities that are not obvious — that is, they want to get there before other people do, therefore, they’re attracted to the potential for making a big profits.

“But they know that if it is a successful area to go into, those high profits won’t last. And so they’re going to make their money fast and perhaps then go on to another thing. But they do realize that they always take a chance of failing. Now, it’s not a sure thing.

“Now, entrepreneurs, I would argue as an economist, are vital to our economy, because these are people who are going to push the envelope in the business world. These are people who are always looking for the new and better things, but those new and better things are going to be uncertain.”

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