Cutting Edge Apparel Business Guide logo Cutting Edge Apparel Business Guide logo
Previous/next page

Copyright 2006
Cornell University.
All rights reserved.


Entrepreneurship vs. Small Business Ownership

Flat sketches of a final skirt design

Entrepreneurship describes a specific approach to business development and ownership, and it can also be a way of thinking that focuses on innovation-an innovative product or service, an innovative production process, innovative marketing strategies, or an overall approach to business.

Here's a simple 3-step description of entrepreneurship:

  • Thinking new ideas
  • Doing new things
  • Creating value in the marketplace

These three steps separate entrepreneurs from other business owners. Creativity, innovation, and unique value are the key ingredients of entrepreneurial businesses.

Simply offering the same products or services that others have offered successfully, as retail stores and sales representatives do, is not the same as true entrepreneurship.

Brill photo"We still make all of our own yarns. We twist it all and that's one of the things that makes it really interesting."

Amy Brill designs and produces hand-made sweaters from hand-twisted yarns. She talks about this process as the innovation that makes her sweaters different from others on the market and therefore a value to her customers.



Test your business idea against the innovation criteria discussed below to decide whether you are setting out to be an entrepreneur or a small business owner. Either can make money for you and provide a valuable and rewarding life's work. The important thing is to match your goals with your approach as you investigate the potential of your apparel and sewn products business.




Top of pagetop arrow
Previous/next page