Enterprise and Small Business: Can We Reduce the Confusion?

The word ‘enterprise’ in its wider sense can refer to being flexible, creative and adaptable in any situation – but instead is often used more narrowly to refer to the process of business start-up (sometimes also labelled entrepreneurship). Because of this, enterprise is often treated as a sub-set of business and consequently big business-based thinking is applied to it – such as an assumption of a profit imperative and the advocacy of business plans as the key tool for start-ups. The result is considerable confusion, not least in enterprise education. Therefore, a new paradigm is needed based on accepting the wider interpretation of ‘enterprise’.