How many versions of ‘entrepreneur’ do we really need?
While word play can have a powerful rhetorical effect, do we really need so many versions of ‘entrepreneur’?
In recent years, ‘entrepreneur’ has been segmented into different categories based on someone’s age, gender, sexual preferences, working arrangements and more.
To start off, here are some variations:
Granpreneur – the entrepreneur who has children that have children.
Mumpreneur – the female entrepreneur who, at some point in their life, gave birth or adopted a child.
Womanpreneur – the entrepreneur born with female genitalia, or identifies herself as a woman.
Gaypreneur – the entrepreneur who is homosexual.
Teenpreneur – the entrepreneur aged between 13 and 19 years.
Kidpreneur – the entrepreneur aged between birth and 12 years.
Blackpreneur – the entrepreneur of African descent.
Homepreneur – the entrepreneur who works from home rather than an office, or has an office located inside their home.
Brandpreneur – the entrepreneur whose expertise lies primarily in the area of branding.
Techpreneur – the entrepreneur responsible for creating disruptive technology.
Gradpreneur – the entrepreneur who recently graduated or is about to graduate from University or college.
Journopreneur – the journalist with a business on the side, and identifies herself or himself as an entrepreneur.
Powerpreneur – the entrepreneur who has powerful influence on society.
Propreneur – the professional who wants to keep doing what they do without having a boss.
Trendpreneur – the entrepreneur who sets trends.
Wantrepreneur – the one who is not an entrepreneur, but aspires to become one.
Let’s explore some of the reasons why we have so many variations of ‘entrepreneur’.
Reason 1: Entrepreneur has become an overused term, and an unsatisfying title to own.
Reason 2: Entrepreneur is a very broad category and people want to differentiate themselves from other entrepreneurs.
Reason 3: Not all entrepreneurs are alike, and people want to start a community around like-minded entrepreneurs – much like small groups within larger religious groups.
Now let’s look at the possible implications of segmenting the term.
Implication 1: Causing unneeded divisions – based on age, race, gender, sexuality, etc. – among an already highly differentiated group, which can translate into inequality. By segmenting ‘entrepreneur’ into such categories as outlined above, we could invite much of the issues around age, gender, sexuality and race into the domain of entrepreneurship – even if the sub-categories are an expression of pride towards one’s identity.
Implication 2: Trivialisation of a word that signifies a wide range of things – like lifestyle, career path, state of mind, approach to addressing problem, etc.
Implication 3: Lack of clarity around what it means to be an entrepreneur – ultimately losing it’s core meaning.
Here’s another problem: What if you’re a female technology expert with a child, who recently graduated from University and rapidly becoming a trendsetter?
You would have to call yourself a woman-mum-tech-grad-trend-preneur.
Such a tongue twist!
Your race, gender, sexuality or anything else doesn’t matter. If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re an entrepreneur.
In light of all this, my proposition is: Why not keep it simple? Entrepreneur.