What is a Wantrepreneur?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 28 September 2019
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Wantrepreneurs are individuals who have the desire to be an entrepreneur, but have not yet attained that status. Sometimes referred to as "wannabe entrepreneurs," this type of businessperson may have some excellent ideas for startup businesses, but as yet is unable or unwilling to engage in the tasks necessary to allow the idea to translate into a viable and functioning business. In many cases, someone claiming to be an entrepreneur is in fact a wantrepreneur.

It is important to note that a wantrepreneur is not necessarily someone who lacks the drive and commitment needed to start a business. Often, there is the willingness but a lack of available resources, either in terms of cash flow or access to technological information or equipment that is required to launch the venture. In order to acquire what is needed to move forward, a true wantrepreneur will often become acquainted with one or more entrepreneurs and seek to make connections with benefactors who are in a position to help launch the new business venture.

In some quarters, the designation of a wantrepreneur is associated with people who are looking for quick and easy money with as little effort as possible. This particular image often is of someone who is more interested in attaching themselves to someone who is already successful and cashing in on that relationship.


However, this is not the reality with most people who want to eventually become a successful entrepreneur. Instead of seeing business connections as ongoing sources of unearned revenue, the true wantrepreneur will seek to learn from those who are already successful and attempt to apply that newly acquired bank of knowledge to the task of starting his or her own business. While the wantrepreneur may look to others for guidance and possibly financial support in the early stages of the effort, the ultimate goal is to establish a profitable business that is capable of standing on its own merits.

Graduating from the designation of wantrepreneur to a full-fledged entrepreneur is something that every future entrepreneur hopes to accomplish. Normally, the transition is characterized by three important events. First, the business is fully established and begins to function on an ongoing basis. Next, the business begins to generate revenue and at least partially cover the operating costs. Last, the business begins to realize a net profit and no longer requires financial support from mentors to keep going. As the venture finally comes into its own and repays any in investment made by mentors during the formative stages, the owner of the business can truly claim to no longer be a wantrepreneur.


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