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Entrepreneur” and “innovator” are two terms that many people use interchangeably, however, they are quite different. Entrepreneurs and innovators have a working relationship. An innovator is someone that introduces something new, such as an idea, product, or service. An entrepreneur, on the other hand, is someone that turns a great idea into a business opportunity. For an entrepreneur, innovation is the first step. Innovators do not always become entrepreneurs, though. There is a level of risk involved in entrepreneurship, unlike innovation. Let’s dive a bit deeper into each to understand the differences further.

What is an Innovator?

An innovator is someone that introduces a new idea, product, service, model, process, and so on. This is not to be confused with an inventor – they do not necessarily make the new item they are presenting. Innovators require a level of creativity and new or different ways of thinking. They can create something out of thin air, or they can change or add value to an already existing service or product.

More often than not, the source of an innovators innovation can include new markets or market changes, new knowledge presented, technological changes, economic changes, and more. These tools or changes inspire innovators to think of new processes, products, or services. Innovators help businesses have a competitive advantage in their respective industry. However, there is no individual risk involved for the innovator.

What is an Entrepreneur?

An entrepreneur is someone that can take a great idea and turn it into a business opportunity. An entrepreneur understands there is risk involved, as the concept, service, or product may not always succeed. They can transform an idea into a reality and add tangible value, though. To do this, entrepreneurs require skills such as planning, decision making, leading, managing, commitment, motivating, and risk taking. Entrepreneurs typically don’t restrict themselves to one idea or source either. They are always searching for new sources and types of innovation.

What is the Difference?

The most significant difference between an innovator and an entrepreneur is that an innovator creates something new and an entrepreneur creates an opportunity to add tangible value to an idea. An innovator also does not have any risk involved in creating something new, while an entrepreneur does. An innovator can have low durability, while an entrepreneur has more extended durability, which often adds and increase the value of the opportunity initially created. Finally, innovators tend to lose interest after the initial stages of creating an idea, while an entrepreneur will fail, rethink the venture, and put in more work to make it successful.