When you’re browsing the internet today, you will find there is a variety of entrepreneurs to find. There is the classic entrepreneur. What is that, anyway?

According the the BusinessDictionary, the enterpreneur is

someone who exercisesinitiative by organizing a venture to take benefit of an opportunity and, as the decisionmaker, decides what, how, and how much of a good or service will be produced.

An entrepreneur suppliesrisk capital as a risk taker, and monitors and controls the business activities. The entrepreneur is usually a sole proprietor, a partner, or the one who owns the majority of shares in an incorporated venture.

According to economist Joseph Alois Schumpeter (1883-1950), entrepreneurs are not necessarily motivated by profit but regard it as a standard for measuring achievement or success. Schumpeter discovered that they

  1. greatly valueself-reliance,
  2. strive for distinction through excellence,
  3. are highly optimistic (otherwise nothing would be undertaken), and
  4. always favor challenges of mediumrisk(neither too easy, nor ruinous).

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In a time when clever wordplay is important as a means to capture the reader’s attention within a medium that overflows with information, many X-preneurs have come into being. X being the factor for another clever word. The Solopreneur is one variation. The Mom-Preneur another one. And there are other examples like The Social Preneur, The E-Preneur and so on.

There is also one kind of -preneur that I find really interesting. The Antipreneur. It’s a Person, who for some reason came into business-ownership. Maybe they have actually wanted to own a business and worked for it. It’s also possible they were the second in command and took over when the first was unavailable. In small family businesses it sometimes happens that the owner falls sick or dies and the spouse has to step into his or her footprints. The key to Antipreneurship is that they are not cut out for it and do not understand the demands of their position. However, Antipreneurs are really important members of our society. Without them there would be a whole in the local press pages that report business failures. There are many consultants who would make a lot less money. And there would be a lot less to talk about.

The thing is: The Antipreneur doesn’t know and / or care about business. He has other goals than making money, creating jobs or a good climate. They kind of do that business thing on the side because for some reason they have to. You can find Antipreneurs in very different situations. They can be sitting in a huge organization . Maybe a federal one where business success doesn’t matter. Or, that one is more likely, the run small business that just won’t thrive. Sometimes you can come into an area where a whole branch is dying away.

So it does make sense to take a closer look at The Antipreneur. He could be your boss! He could be your wife. He could even be you! So after some experience with antipreneurs, I come to the following definition: an antipreneur is

someone who will stay passive by letting a venture run its course. He does what has to be done withoug much of a plan and will deny the roll of the decisionmaker. So the decision what, how, and how much of a good or service will be produced is rather coincidental or born out of necessity, but not planful.

An entrepreneur won’t take any risks. He’ll play it safe. He will keep his money locked away and spend only the most necessary amount. He won’t monitor, he’ll take over whenever he can, saving human and capital ressources. He won’t understand the business acitivies but will give the impression that he does. The entrepreneur is usually a sole proprietor, come into business by coincidence and not able to let go of it or take advice.

Opposite to the entrepreneurs Joseph Alois Schumpeter (1883-1950) describes, antipreneurs are not necessarily motivated by profit and they also do not regard it as a standard for measuring achievement or success. They are driven by fear and pessimism, a severe stinginess and a huge want for values. They

  1. try not to spend a penny. And as little as possible on employess and quality.
  2. strive for nothing in particular but are driven by an inner system of fear, rules and fatalism, often accumulated during childhood and never understood nor changed.
  3. are highly pessimistic (which is why nothing new will happen around them),
  4. and always favour no challenges at all (and so increase their risk of losing everything daily).

So let’s look forward to getting to know The Antipreneur and see what his fascination world holds for us 😉

I know that the term ‚Antipreneur‘ is in use for people who do business – and successfully so – without following the business rules, as a protest to the system we live in. I support that. My very own ‚Antipreneur‘ has nothing to do with them. It’s a fictional type of business person that is based on my experience in a difficult environment over the last years and what that experience lead to.  Every forthcoming article about ‚The Antipreneur‘ will adhere to the definition above. So please, real antipreneurs of the world, go about your business and be proud of it. I don’t mean any harm!

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