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Entrepreneur vs. Manager: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 26, 2023
An entrepreneur initiates and assumes the risk of a new business venture, while a manager oversees and coordinates its daily operations.

Key Differences

Entrepreneurs and managers play distinct roles in the business ecosystem. An entrepreneur is someone who identifies a market need, creates a business to fill it, and assumes the inherent risks. On the contrary, a manager is an individual appointed to oversee, guide, and ensure the smooth running of an existing business or department.
Entrepreneurs are characterized by their innovative spirit, willing to challenge the status quo and introduce new products, services, or even entire industries. Managers, meanwhile, focus on streamlining processes, allocating resources, and achieving the organization's short-term and long-term goals.
Entrepreneurs typically shoulder the risks of the venture, meaning they stand to gain or lose the most depending on its success. Managers, in contrast, often operate with a more structured framework, primarily driven by the objectives set by higher-ups or the entrepreneur themselves.
While entrepreneurs are generally seen as visionaries who drive change and evolution in the market, managers are often the stabilizing force within companies, ensuring that daily operations align with the business's strategic vision. Both roles are crucial: entrepreneurs lay the foundation, and managers build upon it.

Comparison Chart

Primary Role

Initiates new business ventures
Oversees daily operations


Assumes business risks
Limited personal risk


Often introduces new ideas
Implements & optimizes ideas


Long-term vision
Short-term goals & tasks


Business success & growth
Salary & job stability

Entrepreneur and Manager Definitions


An entrepreneur is a person who starts and runs a new business.
The entrepreneur invested her savings into launching the innovative app.


Managers often report to higher-ups and implement their directives.
The department manager relayed the CEO's directives to his team.


Entrepreneurship involves innovation and the introduction of new products or services.
The young entrepreneur introduced a sustainable alternative to plastic packaging.


A manager's role includes planning, organizing, and directing resources.
As a project manager, she allocated resources effectively to meet deadlines.


Entrepreneurs often drive economic change and growth in a market.
The tech entrepreneur's innovations revolutionized the industry.


A manager is tasked with ensuring the team meets its objectives and targets.
The sales manager introduced new strategies to boost the team's performance.


Entrepreneurs take on financial risks in the hope of profit.
As an entrepreneur, he understood the challenges of launching a startup.


Managers handle daily operations and ensure tasks are completed efficiently.
The store manager handled customer complaints promptly.


An entrepreneur identifies opportunities in the market and capitalizes on them.
Spotting a gap in the market, the entrepreneur launched a new line of eco-friendly cosmetics.


A manager is an individual responsible for overseeing a team or department.
The manager scheduled a meeting to discuss the project's progress.


A person who organizes, operates, and assumes the risk for a business venture.


One who directs a business or other enterprise.


Do entrepreneurs typically assume more risk than managers?

Yes, entrepreneurs assume the primary risks of a business venture.

Is an entrepreneur necessarily a manager?

No, an entrepreneur can hire managers to oversee specific business operations.

What does an entrepreneur primarily do?

An entrepreneur initiates and runs a new business venture.

Do entrepreneurs usually receive a fixed salary like managers?

No, entrepreneurs' earnings are often tied to the success and growth of their business.

Do managers generally handle innovation in a company?

While managers can be innovative, their primary role is to implement and optimize ideas, often introduced by entrepreneurs.

Is an entrepreneur's role static, like a manager's?

Entrepreneurs' roles can evolve as their business grows, while managers' roles are more defined.

What is the main responsibility of a manager?

A manager oversees and coordinates daily operations.

What are key skills a manager should possess?

Effective communication, leadership, organization, and problem-solving are crucial skills for managers.

Do managers make decisions about business direction?

Managers often make decisions within their domain, but overarching business direction typically comes from higher-ups or entrepreneurs.

Do managers require more specialized training than entrepreneurs?

While managers often undergo specific training, entrepreneurs might have varied backgrounds and learn through experience.

Who typically handles the financial aspects of a business?

Both can be involved; entrepreneurs make overarching financial decisions, while managers might handle budgeting within their domain.

What qualities are essential for a successful entrepreneur?

Vision, risk-taking, innovation, and resilience are key qualities for entrepreneurs.

Is every business owner an entrepreneur?

Not necessarily; an entrepreneur is characterized by innovation and risk-taking, while not every business owner embodies these traits.

Can entrepreneurs and managers coexist in a company?

Absolutely, entrepreneurs can set the direction, and managers can help achieve it.

Do all businesses have both an entrepreneur and a manager?

No, small businesses might have the entrepreneur acting as the manager, while larger ones might separate the roles.

Is the role of an entrepreneur more uncertain than that of a manager?

Generally, yes, as entrepreneurs face the uncertainties of starting and growing a new business.

Can an entrepreneur work within a larger corporation?

Yes, as "intrapreneurs," they can drive innovation within established companies.

Who typically sets the vision for a company: the entrepreneur or manager?

The entrepreneur usually sets the company's vision, while managers align operations with that vision.

Which role is more leadership-oriented: entrepreneur or manager?

Both roles require leadership, but entrepreneurs often provide visionary leadership, while managers offer operational leadership.

Can a manager become an entrepreneur?

Yes, a manager can transition into entrepreneurship by starting their own business.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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