The difference between a businessman and an entrepreneur

July 20, 2015
Eric Kinoti is the proprietor of Shades System East Africa - a company that manufactures and supplies tents, as well as Safi Sana home Cleaning Services/CFM
Eric Kinoti is the proprietor of Shades System East Africa – a company that manufactures and supplies tents, as well as Safi Sana home Cleaning Services/CFM

, For me an Entrepreneur, in the purest sense, is the person who identifies a need—any need—and fills it. It’s a primordial urge, independent of product, service, industry or market. Entrepreneurship is about the future and sustainability, an entrepreneur identifies a gap and creates a lasting solution and not just for money but for the future generations benefit and sustainability.

On the other hand, a business person is that person who identifies a weakness and capitalizes to make profit. For example, a typical businessman is the kind of person who while in a pub drinking with friends, notices another person is doing well financially and immediately rushes to replicate without doing any research or getting to know the hurdles involved.

These are the kind of people who open a butchery next to an already existing one, based on rumors of customers complaining about the other butchery’s services. He gets into the business to make money. That’s the primary motivation, not to fill a need.

I encourage people to follow the entrepreneurship journey because it has a lot to offer. You may not become rich overnight, but trust me, the values and lessons you learn are priceless.

To be an entrepreneur, you have to be persistent, courageous, bold risk taker, patient and strategic. I have so much respect for the like of Churchill, Danson Muchemi and others who have gone through non-imaginable patience to be where they are today.

Churchill is one entrepreneur who has built his empire around comedy. He identified a gap and commercialized it. He brings joy to the living room, to the young and to the old. It is his talent. It’s something he can do even without pay if he chooses to, but today he earns from it.

He has invested in upcoming comedians too. He mentors them and makes them stars. He gives people a platform to shine. That’s entrepreneurship.

Wesley Owiti Okoth of Bows and Tie is another Fashion-preneur. This is one person who gave young entrepreneurs an opportunity to network through an event he created, injecting professionalism, creative concepts and innovative ideas.

He is also the brain behind the Cherahani Initiative that helps people in rural areas with sewing machines and elevating lives of both young and old people. The CEO of JamboPay and Google award winner, Danson Muchemi creates ICT solutions that simplify payments. He is providing a solution to everyday problem and that’s how Nairobi County Government is working with his company to collect revenue in the city.

One thing you should know and understand however, is that a majority of entrepreneurs started small, they had many challenges on their way, but their persistent and focus on the bigger picture eventually gave them a breakthrough. You see, Entrepreneurship is about making life better and creating solutions to every day’s challenges.


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