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The image of an entrepreneur is important to showcase within entertainment. Broadcasting shows and movies that include entrepreneurs show audiences what typical entrepreneurship is like in day-to-day life. So why are stereotypes still being used to show entrepreneurs? Breaking down the stereotypical entrepreneur can help explain how the image is outdated as well as how we as consumers/entrepreneurs can change how entrepreneurship is shown in the entertainment industry. Here is the entrepreneur stereotype explained and how we should move forward from using these characteristics to fit all entrepreneurs into the stereotypical entrepreneur box.

The entrepreneur stereotype explained

Entrepreneurs sitting and typing on computers

For each stereotype there are usually characteristics that describe what that specific group should be or act like. Although some people do fit into these descriptions, not everyone does as certain factors play into what the stereotype is trying to depict as well as what they are trying to show us about entrepreneurs overall. The characteristics for this stereotype are shown as young, white men, only care about money or are only in it for money, all play and no work, strong and powerful characters, born with talents of entrepreneurship, and rely on venture capitalists. Now that we know what the characteristics for the entrepreneur stereotype is, here’s how we can move forward to fix these stereotypes and create a better version for audiences to envision what an actual entrepreneur is like.

How we can move forward from the stereotypes

Entrepreneur standing holding a sign about innovation

In order to move forward from these stereotypes, we first need to acknowledge the necessary steps for us to actually take the next step. A big step we can take to move forwards from the stereotype itself is to change how we view it in entertainment. This means shaking up the concept of the entrepreneur based on age, race, gender, economic status, etc. on television and movies to show a realistic and wider variety of people within the business industry. We can also use this step to further the motion of moving forward to call out those in the industry who are willing to keep these stereotypes intact. That means taking action to tell writers and producers to create entrepreneurs who are both complex and realistic in the business market and in the work they produce. This step can also be used to create an honest portrayal of entrepreneurship (even if it looks boring because let’s face it, no entrepreneur is doing the all play no work method in the real world). Although these are only a few of the steps to move forwards from the stereotypes at play, this can help create big changes within the entertainment industry in terms of how entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs are portrayed on screen.

We should be moving forward from these stereotypes because they’re not representative of what all entrepreneurs either look like or do for a living. An example of this representative changing to fit today’s standard is through the “girlboss” motif. A “girlboss” is considered to be an entrepreneur “whose success is defined in opposition to the masculine business world in which she swims upstream” and has showcased this through recent media such as the show Girlboss (Available for streaming only on Netflix). Coined by Sophia Amoruso, the term was used to create a template for powerful women to market and write in practically every industry. In more recent times, this wouldn’t be considered a good example considering it has seen its fair share of problems and has most recently been turned into a meme. By broadening up the definition of the everyday entrepreneur, we see how the misconceptions of the entrepreneur are combatted and showcase how all types of entrepreneurs are fighting against this specific stereotype.

The entrepreneur stereotype needs an updated version to include everybody when shown in entertainment. By changing how we see entrepreneurship in entertainment, we allow people and spaces to be filled and share their stories of being entrepreneurs. We may be changing things right now, but we still have a while to go before we can represent all entrepreneurs, not just the one who fit into the stereotype.

What do you think of the entrepreneur stereotype? Let us know in the comments

This post originally posted on GREY Journal.