A degree may open the door to a variety of opportunities and diverse career paths. The degree programs offered at AIU will not necessarily lead to the featured careers. This collection of articles is intended to help inform and guide you through the process of determining which level of degree and types of certifications align with your desired career path.
Choosing a BBA Degree in Entrepreneurship: What Is Entrepreneurship?
What is the meaning of entrepreneur? When you hear the word, do you think of the self-employed in general, small business owners or Silicon Valley startups?
As we’ll see, different people define entrepreneur differently. Some may consider anyone who starts a business to be an entrepreneur—in this sense, the owner of your local deli or nail salon is an entrepreneur. However, its meaning has evolved to also imply a go-getter spirit—and today, many people use entrepreneur to refer to businesspeople who have a vision and innovate.1
Regardless of how you define what entrepreneurship is, however, there are certain fundamental skills and concepts that anyone looking to start a business should be familiar with. By choosing a business administration program with an entrepreneurship degree specialization, you’ll have the opportunity to explore skills and knowledge that may help you prepare to take on the risks and opportunities of entrepreneurship.
Keep reading to learn more and decide whether an entrepreneurship program is a good fit for you.
Types of Entrepreneurship
According to the Center for American Entrepreneurship (CAE), some people define entrepreneurship as small business ownership and self-employment, while others use it to refer to firms that employ people. And still others only apply the label to those who take advantage of an opportunity create something innovative.2
The CAE, for its part, defines entrepreneurship as the process of starting a company with the objective of delivering to the market something new and improved. The “something new and improved” that an entrepreneur creates can be anything—a product, process or service. Entrepreneurship is typically carried out through a startup company managed by entrepreneurs who take on personal and financial risk in the business—with the goal of transforming the startup into a sustainable business or selling it.2 (Notice that the CAE definition appears to reflect the more modern connotation of entrepreneurship discussed in the introduction.)
There are also different types of entrepreneurship: innovative entrepreneurship, big business entrepreneurship (“big entrepreneurship”) and small business entrepreneurship, to name just a few. In more recent years, social entrepreneurship has sprung up as a new type of entrepreneurship.
According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, entrepreneurs who engage in social entrepreneurship focus on developing and funding business opportunities that positively impact society in some way. What differentiates social entrepreneurship from nonprofit work is that social entrepreneurship, despite its interest in bettering society in some way, is nonetheless a for-profit business endeavor.3
Pros and Cons of Entrepreneurship
There are pros and cons to entrepreneurship. However, what is a pro or a con is a personal matter—certain challenges of entrepreneurship might be a positive to one person and a negative to another.
As an entrepreneur, you could be your own boss. That might mean more schedule flexibility and more decision-making control. But it could also mean a greater workload that only you can manage and the lack of a steady paycheck. It might also mean that you have to shoulder the burden of any risks—success is never guaranteed. But in the event of success, you could reap the rewards.
If all of this reads more like a list of the advantages of entrepreneurship instead of pros and cons, then choosing a BBA with a specialization in Entrepreneurship might be the right path for you.
Entrepreneurship Career Paths
Making a career out of entrepreneurship could lead you down many paths. An entrepreneurship career might be focused on a single type of entrepreneurship (perhaps focusing solely on social entrepreneurship endeavors, for example) or be driven by whatever innovative product or process you believe could be the most likely to succeed.
When it comes to earnings, entrepreneurship is a risk—there is no “entrepreneurship salary” to speak of. Small business entrepreneurs, technology entrepreneurs, lifestyle entrepreneurs and every other type of entrepreneur you can think of have to wait for their product, process or service to become successful. And the ultimate payoff for a successful endeavor will vary depending on the market and whether the entrepreneur decides to keep the business or sell it.
How to Become an Entrepreneur
There is no one-size-fits-all method on how to become an entrepreneur. You may know you want to pursue a career path in entrepreneurship and decide to work toward earning an entrepreneurship degree or a business degree with a specialization in entrepreneurship. You may have professional experience or a degree in a certain field—like criminal justice or accounting, for example—and decide to utilize that existing knowledge and turn it into a new business venture. Or you may be a small business owner who sees an opportunity to adjust your business’ strategy to fill a niche that is currently unserved in the marketplace.
Although your path to becoming an entrepreneur will be different depending on the scenario, no matter what path you take, there are resources that may be able to help you figure out how to navigate the planning, launch and growth of your big idea. Here are just a few:
- U.S. Small Business Administration
- Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
- International Council for Small Business
- Entrepreneurs’ Organization
Entrepreneurship Degree Specialization
American InterContinental University’s Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)—Entrepreneurship degree program is designed for students who want to work to develop foundational entrepreneurial skills.
In this program, you’ll have the opportunity to study entrepreneurship fundamentals, including different ways to profitably launch and exploit business opportunities, how to draft a comprehensive business plan, how to develop a risk management plan, an overview of contracting and procurement activities within the global supply chain and more. Courses in the entrepreneurship degree specialization may include:
- Risk Management
- Advanced Entrepreneurship
- Managing Project Risks and Opportunities
- Team Leadership
- Contracts and Procurement
Ready to explore the challenges and opportunities of entrepreneurship? Learn more about AIU’s programmatically accredited Bachelor of Business Administration—Entrepreneurship degree program or apply now.
1 Merriam-Webster, “The Characteristics of an Entrepreneur,” https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/entrepreneur#note-1 (visited 4/19/23).
2 Center for American Entrepreneurship, “What Is Entrepreneurship?,” https://startupsusa.org/what-is-entrepreneurship/ (visited 4/19/23).
3 U.S. Chamber of Commerce, “What Is Social Entrepreneurship? 5 Examples of Businesses with a Purpose,” https://www.uschamber.com/co/start/startup/what-is-social-entrepreneurship (visited 4/19/23).
American InterContinental University cannot guarantee employment, salary, or career advancement. Not all programs are available to residents of all states. REQ1929386 4/2023
Classes Start June 7, 2023