The 8 Types of Entrepreneurship

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If you ever intend to start your own business (as 98% of American young adults do), it will help you to know what types of entrepreneurship you are passionate about. To make the distinction clearer, we’ve outlined the 8 most common types of entrepreneurship below.


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  1. Social Entrepreneurship
  2. Opportunistic Entrepreneurship
  3. The Hustle
  4. Ecopreneurship
  5. Technopreneurship
  6. Intrapreneurship
  7. Imitation Entrepreneurship
  8. Adoptive Entrepreneurship

Social Entrepreneurship

Social entrepreneurship is driven by a desire to solve a societal problem. These types of ventures can often be non-profits, as they are more focused on making the world a better place than making money for the owners.

An example of social entrepreneurship would be if a medical professional looked for an area lacking in proper medical service and opened several clinics there. The clinics would get plenty of business not because they are better than other clinics, but simply because they are the only reasonable option for some.

Opportunistic Entrepreneurship

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Opportunistic entrepreneurship is about capitalizing on trends. An opportunistic entrepreneur identifies a product he sees is popular or foresees becoming very popular in the near future and rushes to produce that product in as much bulk as he can.

For example, all of the small manufacturers who have started humankind “designer masks” during the current social distancing lockdowns are run by opportunistic entrepreneurs.

The word “opportunistic” often has negative connotations, but there’s nothing wrong with it in a business context. After all, giving the public what they want right now is what capitalism is all about.

The Hustle

Some entrepreneurs don’t have a novel idea but still outpace their competition because they work so hard. This is known as “hustling.”

This kind of entrepreneur is driven by a passion for their business and sheer determination. Such hard work can often result in burnout, so hustler entrepreneurs have to be masters of time management.

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Also called “environmental entrepreneurship,” ecopreneurship focuses on doing what others are already doing in a less harmful way to the environment while remaining just as efficient and effective as its competition. The ecopreneurship venture beats out its less eco-friendly competition thanks to economic incentives like tax breaks and goodwill from consumers who appreciate a “green” company.

As a bonus, the founders get to feel great about themselves, and the work they are doing, which one could argue is just as or even more important than the salary.


New types of tech are being developed all the time, and technopreneurs capitalize on that fact. When a technopreneur sees a new tech innovation comes out, they ask themselves how they could work that feature into software or service that people would want to pay for.

Technopreneurs have to be tech-savvy themselves and need to be willing to take risks — the tech sphere is a very competitive environment. They also need to be creative because technopreneurship is already a very crowded area.


Some companies encourage their employees to take risks and experiment with new technologies during their work. Once in a while, one of the innovative methods used by the employees works very well. When this happens, the company funds the idea and makes it into its own offshoot company. This process is known as intrapreneurship.

An example of intrapreneurship is ELIXIR guitar string coating. It was developed by an employee at Gore-Tex who found one day that his guitar grip was more comfortable when he dipped his strings in one of the ePTFE coatings developed by the company. The idea gained a lot of traction when Gore-Tex helped publicize it, and now those coated strings bring in a ton of income as their own separate enterprise.

Check out more examples here.

Imitation Entrepreneurship

“Imitator” entrepreneurs take an existing business idea, replicate it, and then make it a bit better. Maybe they make the product a bit cheaper, a bit more convenient, or more effective… or all of the above. In this way, they put themselves above their competition and become the preferred provider.

One of the most successful exemplars of this entrepreneur type is Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart. He obviously didn’t invent the supermarket, but he did take the business model and made it leaner and more convenient than anyone ever had before.

Adoptive Entrepreneurship

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Adoptive entrepreneurs don’t adhere to an entrepreneur’s popular definition because they don’t start their businesses. Instead, they buy established businesses and try to help them thrive.

Adoptive entrepreneurship might entail buying a franchise or a growing company and making sure it stays on track, or it might mean buying a failing business and trying to turn it around.

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All types of entrepreneurship require a significant amount of risk, and it is certainly not possible to eliminate the possibility of failure. But figuring out which of the types of entrepreneurship you want to practice will help you make decisions and hire the right talent to balance out your company. We wish you good luck!



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