The New York Times Small Business section opened a discussion:
Do you consider yourself a small-business owner? Or does that phrase make you cringe? Often, the terms entrepreneur and small-business owner are used interchangeably — but that’s not quite right either. Clearly, not all entrepreneurs are small-business owners and not all small-business owners are entrepreneurs. Still, there has to be some way to distinguish big businesses from, uh, … not big businesses.
Is there a better term? Does anyone have a suggestion?
Here are some of the comments:
Does it really matter what people call as long you are getting satisfaction from what you are doing and you are convinced that you are making a significant contribution to the economy?
When people ask me what I do, I do not say I own a small business, I say I own my own business. Nobody really cares if you own a small or big biz, they only care what you can do for them on a personal level.
the term small business is not demeaning; I think many people would rather be self-employed. I think society would be better off if there were more small business owners.
Entrepreneur in French has 2 meanings:1) It means being “un chef d’entreprise” or the head of a business. 2) It defines somebody who undertakes. From the verb Entreprendre.So all business owners are Entrepreneurs both by being business owners and undertakers.
I also agree the term is just way too broad. I suggest a new name for really small businesses (say, self-employed or freelancers up to 5 or 10 employees) be referred to as micro businesses.
I really like that last comment about micro businesses!
No way is the term micro business demeaning!
Most people admire you when tell them that you started and run a micro business. They will probably ask you how you did it. Be sure to send them to send them here!
My book, Running a Micro Business, has more tips on running a micro business
Carol Topp, CPA is the author of the Micro Business for Teens