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Difference between Entrepreneurship and Self-Employment

The distinction between entrepreneurship and self-employment revolves around the existence of an innovative business concept or idea. Entrepreneurs are attempting to develop something new. People who are self-employed, by contrast, typically engage in selling their labor to perform a specific set of tasks that are to some extent routine, but might differ in quality depending on who does them.

Due to layoffs, the ranks of the self-employed have swelled.  Many are technical specialists who are simply performing – as subcontractors – the same activities for their former employers as they did when they were employees. These individual typically still think of themselves as employees in all but a technical sense; in many cases, they are.

By contrast, an entrepreneur's task is to build a business around a new concept or offering.*

* Incubating New Enterprises, Lichtenstein & Lyons, p. 22

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

Ralph Waldo Emerson