Are You Simply a Survivalist or an Entrepreneur? 6 Types of Entrepreneurs Exposed


We get into business with different motives. However, because entrepreneurship is a jungle of sorts only the very best survive as the weak ones are easily eliminated.

Statistics show that 80% of businesses in operation today will fail before 2017. In fact, before you finish reading this article, an entrepreneur somewhere in the world will have quit!

So what makes some entrepreneurs better than others? What type of entrepreneur are you? We would like to present to you 6 types of entrepreneurs and how they cope with challenging times.


They were forced by circumstances to become entrepreneurs. For instance, they finished college or high school, tried looking for jobs but weren’t lucky enough. Because they had to find means of survival, they moved on to the world of business.

They simply sell to survive. If they are lucky to get an employment opportunity, they normally quit entrepreneurship and off they go into the formal economy. Most of their businesses don’t live to see their second birthdays.

Related: The Best Business Ideas That College Students Don’t Want To Listen To

#5:The Copycats

A good number of us belong to this category and that is why we are often caught up in pyramid schemes and scams. We see the success of others and try to emulate it so as to ride in the tide as well.

Copying business ideas in Kenya

A copycat will say “Mr. Juma is making good money selling quail eggs…mmmmmhhh. I will also start keeping quails in large numbers and share the market with him.” Well, sadly most copy-cats lose their money within the first year of operation.

However, there are a few who are lucky to survive and those are the ones who dare to “remodel” the idea instead of merely copying it.

#4:Jack of All Trades

They hunt for a shilling from every possible business opportunity. You’ll find them owning a chemist, a money transfer shop, LPG gas retail outlet, milk shop etc. all under one roof.

They operate with the notion that if one business department fails then they will rely on the other one to carry on. They will sell anything as long as there is money to be made.

They however find difficulties surviving beyond ten years as scaling and adapting to changes in technology becomes a challenge.

#3:Social Entrepreneurs

These entrepreneurs emerge where a social need needs to be met. In Kenya where the government service delivery fails, the needs of people remain and social entrepreneurs attempt to meet these needs through products and services that they offer.

Their business will survive for as long as the problem(s) exists or at least until the government fills up the gap. Social entrepreneurs can survive for eternity provided they keep up with the changing dynamics of society.

Related: Learn more about the social entrepreneur behind Kuza Biashara

#2:The Opportunists

Richard Branson Photos in Kenya

Richard Branson is a good example of an entrepreneur who is quite good at spotting opportunities.

Entrepreneurs who belong to the opportunists’ class have their DNA wired to sniff out well-timed money making opportunities. They know how to jump in at the right time and jump out at the peak.

They are very quick decision makers – a trait that often serves them well or acts as their source of demise at times. They have to keep sniffing around for emerging opportunities to survive.

Their life-span ranges from as brief as 1 week to eternity – depending on the prowess of the opportunity spotter.

Related: 7 Lessons every business owner can learn from Richard Branson

#1:The Innovators

Most innovators become entrepreneurs when in the process of doing something they love a business idea pops up around them. They measure the success of their business not by how much money they make but by the impact their products brings to man-kind.

You’ll often hear them say “I would do this for free for the rest of my life if I could.” Picture Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates and you will see innovator DNA in them.

Innovators will survive for as long as no one else comes up with another better innovation to push them out of the market. Businesses started by innovators are by far the most secure ones although quite a few still don’t live to see their second birthdays.

Final Word

Understanding your motivation as an entrepreneur can be the key to growing your business and reaching whatever milestone of success you are striving to achieve. So get honest with who you are and work towards your full potential.

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