Drawing on Bem’s psychological theory of self-perception, this paper presents and tests a
model that examines the impact of business accomplishments and gender on entrepreneurial
self-image and explores the definition of entrepreneurship according to Vesper’s Entrepreneurial
Typology. Regression techniques are used to identify those business accomplishments that
university alumni associate with self-perceptions of entrepreneurship. Experience as a small
business person (founding, running, and/or owning a small business) most clearly predicts entrepreneurial
self-image. Results also support predictions of both direct and indirect effects of
gender as well as direct effects of education and business degree. Results of a separate expert
panel study are used to rank business accomplishments according to degree of entrepreneurship.
Results of both studies reveal stark contrasts in the implied definition of entrepreneurship
between entrepreneurship experts (academic and practitioner alike) and the general business
community (as represented by the alumni). This raises questions about the meaning of
the term “entrepreneurship”, what the word “entrepreneur”, in particular, conveys to the general
public, and the implications for practice and future research.