Entrepreneurship has traditionally been defined as the process of designing, launching and running a new business, which typically begins as a small business, such as a startup company, offering a product, process or service for sale or hire.
The people who create these businesses are called entrepreneurs. It has been defined as the “capacity and willingness to develop, organize and manage a business venture along with any of its risks in order to make a profit" While definitions of entrepreneurship typically focus on the launching and running of businesses, due to the high risks involved in launching a start-up, a significant proportion of businesses have to close, due to “lack of funding, bad business decisions, an economic crisis – or a combination of all of these or due to lack of market demand.
In the 2000s, the definition of “entrepreneurship" expanded to explain how and why some individuals (or teams) identify opportunities, evaluate them as viable and then decide to exploit them, whereas others do not and, in turn, how entrepreneurs use these opportunities to develop new products or services, launch new firms or even new industries and create wealth.
Recent advances stress the fundamentally uncertain nature of the entrepreneurial process, because although opportunities exist their existence cannot be discovered or identified prior to their actualization into profits. What appears as a real opportunity ex ante might actually be a non-opportunity or one that cannot be actualized by entrepreneurs lacking the necessary business skills, financial or social capital.