Is a Small Business Owner an Entrepreneur?

We use these labels interchangeably – small business owner/entrepreneur. But are they the same?

Small Business Owner

First of all, even the label “Small Business Owner” doesn’t mean the same in all circles. To some it’s the little retail shop in a small town. We often call them ‘mom and pop shops.’ But the government uses statistics that include 150+ employees or 3/4 of a million dollars and up in average annual receipts!

I personally work mostly with the ‘mom and pop shops.’ They generally have 5 or less employees and the million dollar average annual receipts…. well, maybe one or two, but not very many. (see this table for statistics for specific business categories from the Small Business Administration)

Already, we have a discrepancy among small business owners.


The Merriam-Webster’s Learners Dictionary defines entrepreneur as a person who starts a business and is willing to risk loss in order to make money.

This article from has a slightly different definition of entrepreneur. In one line the author writes it as follows:

Entrepreneur + Capital = Products + Customers = Business

The entrepreneur is a problem solver. She also wants to make money. This is almost heresy to some ‘mom and pop shops.’ Our attitude about money plays a huge role in these definitions. A discussion about money will be a future post.

What do you think? Can we use small business owner and entrepreneur interchangeably?

I’ll write more on this later. For now, I’d love for you to go to my facebook page and leave a message under the post referencing this article.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply