What makes you an entrepreneur?

Until this past year, I never considered myself an entrepreneur. To me, entrepreneurship meant owning your own business, and taking the risks that came with it. After all, that’s what it says in the dictionary.

The reality is that you can be an entrepreneur without owning your own business, as long as you have ideas and the passion to put those ideas in to action.

Ashoka recognizes and nurtures the characteristics that’ll translate into entrepreneurial spirit in an individual.

An entrepreneur is extroverted. In order to motivate others, you must be willing to put yourself in the spotlight. Ideas don’t go too far if you keep them to yourself. Networking is key to being an entrepreneur. The farther your reach goes, the more people you will be able to influence to gain momentum for your ideas.

An entrepreneur has leadership & team-building skills. So you’ve spread your ideas around and gotten some feedback on them. Now it’s time to get the ball rolling but you can’t do it alone. Alan Keith of Genentech said that “Leadership is ultimately about creating a way for people to contribute to making something extraordinary happen.”

An entrepreneur has passion. You have to be passionate about your ideas. If you aren’t, then you can’t others to feel passionate enough to put the ideas into action.

An entrepreneur wants to be a make a difference. By translating your ideas and passion into action, you may act as a catalyst for economic change. You may not even see the immediate results but your desire to transform social & economic condition will be a driving factor for your actions.

An important tool that an entrepreneur needs is the correct environment that’ll help nurture and take their ideas to the next level. This can be a community, such as Brazen Careerist, a local network or the right company. You don’t have to own your own business to be a successful entrepreneur. You can join others, and take advantage of the opportunities collectively.

Ashoka is an example of such an environment. With the self-identified goal of ‘solving the world’s most intractable problems by supporting innovative social entrepreneurs across the globe,’ Ashoka pairs talented entrepreneurs with pattern-changing ideas.

Want the opportunity to join a group of people looking to drive social change? Join Ashoka this Thursday, February 24th for an online recruiting event.

So tell me, what makes you an entrepreneur?