Entrepreneurship vs. solopreneurship

Explain what is meant by the term entrepreneurship and ‘solopreneur’

An obvious difference between an Entrepreneur and a Solopreneur is the fact that a Solopreneur works alone.


One definition of an entrepreneur is an individual that starts their own business to make money on their own terms. Another definition reveals that an entrepreneur is a sole proprietor that has the majority shares in a particular incorporated venture. In today’s world, entrepreneurs are an individual that starts their own business, whether it is a tech startup or a makeup company.

Entrepreneurs risk a fair amount of loss when starting a business as there are no guarantees in the world of entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurs have the idea for their business and are able to work past the risk, finance their company, and build a successful business over time.

Entrepreneurs know that the path of the founder is not easy. Regardless of how long it takes or how many times they fail, entrepreneurs are able to learn from mistakes and keep building their brand.



The Solopreneur Institute defines a solopreneur as:

“An entrepreneur who prefers the freedom to run a business without any w-2 employees.”

This means that you can work with people, but you are not actually hiring employees with an office. You can hire contractors and simply pay by hour or project.

A solopreneur is very agile in the sense that they can take on new roles quickly and provide different kinds of services based on the demand of the customers.

They are also more resilient, in the way that they are not dependent on anybody else to make decisions, and they most likely have other clients as well to diversify their revenue streams.

Read more here:

Identify the characteristics and skills of solopreneurs

The Entrepreneurial gene is illusive. What does it take to make a good entrepreneur, and can these special skills be learned or are you born with them?

In 2016, the European Commission proposed a New Skills Agenda, proposing a revision of the key competencies required in the 21st century.

One of the results of these investigations was EntreComp: The Entrepreneurship Competence Framework.

EntreComp is a reference document and a common framework developed by the European commission that identifies the competences that make someone entrepreneurial, so that these can be promoted in organisations, companies, the education sector and among citizens. First it defines what entrepreneurship is; the capacity to act upon opportunities and ideas, and transform them into financial, cultural, or social value for others. This definition is broken down into three key areas, each area includes five specific competences that define entrepreneurial behaviour.

When fully developed the EntreComp skills should make you capable of mastering the following actions:

Spotting opportunities: Learners can seize and shape opportunities to respond to challenges and create value for others.
Creativity: Learners can transform ideas into solutions that create value for others.
Vision: Learners can use their vision to guide strategic decision-making.
Valuing ideas: Learners can develop strategies to make the most of the value generated by ideas.
Ethical and sustainable thinking: Learners act to make sure that their ethical and sustainability goals are met.
Self-awareness and self-efficacy: Learners can compensate for their weaknesses by teaming up with others and by further developing their strengths.
Motivation and perseverance: Learners can stay focused on their passion and keep creating value despite setbacks.
Mobilising resources: Learners can define strategies to mobilise the resources they need to generate value for others.
Financial and economic literacy: Learners can make a plan for the financial sustainability of a value-creating activity.
Mobilising others: Learners can inspire others and get them on board for value-creating activities.
Taking the initiative: Learners can look for opportunities to take the initiative to add or create value.
Planning and management: Learners can refine priorities and plans to adjust to changing circumstances.
Coping with uncertainty, ambiguity and risk: Learners can weigh-up risks and make decisions despite uncertainty and ambiguity.
Working with others: Learners can build a team and networks based on the needs of their value-creating activity.
Learning through experience: Learners can improve their abilities to create value by building on their previous experiences and interactions with others.


Source: https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=738&langId=en&pubId=8201&furtherPubs=yes

Know your entrepreneurial mindset and ability

Entrepreneurial mindset: a way of thinking that enables you to overcome challenges, be decisive, and accept responsibility for your outcomes. It is a constant need to improve your skills, learn from your mistakes, and take continuous action on your ideas. Anyone willing to do the work can develop an entrepreneurial mindset.

Here are the characteristics of entrepreneurship:

1. Decisiveness
To succeed as an entrepreneur, you must gain the ability to look at a problem or situation, digest all available data (at that point in time), and make a confident decision to move forward.

2. Confidence
There are many skills you will need to learn to accomplish everything you want in life.

3. Accountability
The entrepreneurial mindset comes from taking responsibility for your actions and outcomes.

4. Resilience
As an entrepreneur, you will need to learn to deal with making mistakes and failing. They are inevitable and a part of your growth.

5. Humility
Humility is freedom from pride or arrogance, and it links all of the characteristics of entrepreneurship.

For more details see here:


Prepare a Personal Development Plan to meet personal knowledge and skills gaps

Just like a business plan focuses on the goals and success of a business, a personal development plan is a plan for an individual’s personal goals. It is equally important for entrepreneurs to define and follow a personal development plan because self-improvement can benefit your business in more ways than you imagine.


A 6-step Personal Development plan

1.   Define What is Important
To create a personal development plan, the first step for you is to list down all the important goals you want to achieve.

2.   Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses
The next step for creating a personal development plan is to analyse your strengths and weaknesses. List down your key strengths and weaknesses and ask for your friends and family’s help if you cannot think of this on your own.

3.   Learn New Skills
You can think of any skill that you want to learn; it can be an interpersonal skill such as verbal communication skills or a new professional skill such as learning coding and programming or social media marketing.

4.   Set a Deadline
Once you decide on a skill you want to develop, you have a goal to work on. Every SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) goal should have a deadline.

5.   Have an Action Plan
Having decided upon a goal and a deadline means the next step is to draft an action plan. Here you need to decide what you exactly need to do to accomplish your goals.

6.   Evaluate Your Progress
To keep yourself motivated in achieving the goals you need to measure your own progress. You can make a list of your accomplishments and refer to the previous steps to find out how much progress you have made and if your approach is effective or not.
Find a template for your personal development plan here:


Case: The difference between Entrepreneurs and Solopreneurs
The distinction between a solopreneur and entrepreneur can be difficult to see, especially since so many entrepreneurs start out working alone. But the mindset of a solopreneur and entrepreneur are subtly different and noting those differences can help professionals determine the long-term direction they’ll take with their businesses.


Case: Entrepreneurial Mindset: How to Think Like an Entrepreneur


Case: The personal development plan.

This 6-Step Personal Development Plan Made Me a Better Entrepreneur


Case:  A Business Owner’s 2020 Guide To Personal Development

A Business Owner’s 2020 Guide To Personal Development (entrepreneurshipinabox.com)


The entrepreneurial mindset states that a good Entrepreneur must be:

Decisive, Confident, Accountable, Resilient and Humble

This is a tall order to ask of any one person, but reflect on these concepts for a minute, and see if you can find concrete examples of them (and/or the opposite) in your own personality.
Make a personal development plan

Read this guide on how to make a Personal Development Plan


Print out the Template and fill out your own PDP for your VA plans.

Make sure that you keep your focus on your own situation and only apply those ideas that are relevant for you.
MyVA Project number: 2020-1-SE01-KA226-VET-092491
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. 
The European Commission's support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
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