There are very many definitions of who an entrepreneur is. An entrepreneur is largely a person who bears the risks and enjoys the rewards when starting a business.
There are so many myths and misconceptions about entrepreneurship. Some people think that entrepreneurs are “start-ups”. Others think that entrepreneurs are “small businesses and hustlers.”
Definitions aside, experts have classified entrepreneurs into different classes. This means that other than the general definition of entrepreneurs, there are further classifications depending on their characteristics.
I will highlight some of the classes here and give an overview of their legal needs.
The first type is known as the innovator entrepreneur. These come up with a totally new idea and build a business based on it.
They are very visionary but also high-risk takers. They are bold and courageous, daring to find novel solutions to problems through their businesses.
Kenya boasts quite a number of them. Perhaps it is because innovation-related courses are offered at the university level or it could be due to Kenya’s attraction as an innovation hub.
Unfortunately, not many of these innovators succeed, possibly due to a lack of funding and other enterprise support.
The main legal need for an innovator entrepreneur is intellectual property rights protection and commercialisation strategy.
If you fall into this class, find yourself a good commercial lawyer specialising in intellectual property.
The second type is the hustler entrepreneur. As the name suggests this is the entrepreneur who is on the hustle.
The English meaning of the word is derogative as it imputes fraudulent and illegal dealings. However, it is a widely accepted slang for any person who though small in size works very hard with the hope of making it big someday.
Hustler entrepreneurs are typically very small in size and deal with smaller markets. A hustler entrepreneur's main legal need is a contracts lawyer who will guide them through various legal documents required.
The imitator entrepreneur is the third type and is one who builds on already existing ideas in the market. They find a better way of doing what is already been done. Imitator entrepreneurs run the risk of legal breaches.
For example, if they infringe intellectual property rights or data privacy laws in a bid to outsmart competitors. It is a high-risk business.
They will therefore require a lawyer to guide them through compliance and risk mitigation.
The fourth type is the researcher-based entrepreneur. This is one who takes time to study the field in great detail before getting into the business.
They possess an enormous amount of information and knowledge of their business sector. They are very patient and embark on rigorous due diligence before proceeding.
A researcher entrepreneur will need a lawyer for legal advisory services and to help them with due diligence.
It is possible in studying their sector they will need a lawyer to advise them on the legal environment and on the various laws and regulations that apply to their businesses.
The last type of entrepreneur, according to the website lonelyentrepreneur.com, is the buyer entrepreneur. This is the one who invests in promising businesses with the hope of making a profit.
This one may not have the technical know-how or in-depth information but he definitely has very deep pockets.
A buyer entrepreneur needs a corporate and commercial lawyer to advise on due diligence, valuation, and any buy-ins.
Just as there are many types of entrepreneurs so there are many different types of lawyers.