Have you ever wondered if any relationship exists between creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship? Let’s try to find out.

A lot of people tend to rope creativity and innovation together as the same thing, while reasoning that creativity and innovation are all about bringing out new things. We have discovered this not to be true from research.

Creativity and innovation though they look to be similar on a lot of fronts, but there is a clear and important distinction between them. It is especially critical for businesses to understand this distinction before instituting a new organization-wide innovation initiative.

What is creativity?

Creativity is most often defined as the ability of the mind to conceptualize new, unusual or unique ideas, and to see the connection between these random or unrelated ideas. It is important to note that creativity is a mental ability anyone is capable of. It is not reserved for only special individuals who for instance can paint, sculpt or craft. Also, consider this definition by David Burkus to enable you understand the concept of creativity better. He said that creativity is seen by most experts in the field as the process of developing ideas that are both novel and useful. From this, we have discovered that the operative concept for creativity is ‘ideas’.

What is innovation?

Innovation on the other hand is defined as the process that transforms those forward-looking ideas into real world products, services, or processes of enhanced value. The result of such a transformation can be incremental and evolutionary on the sector which it is targeted at. This then means that innovation means executing new ideas to create value, or the process of idea management.

What is entrepreneurship?

According to Wikipedia, entrepreneurship is the process of designing, launching, and running a new business which is often initially a small business offering a product, process, or service for sale or hire. The people who create these businesses are called entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs are still the people that innovate, and entrepreneurship is doing this through the vehicle of a new venture. Entrepreneurship involves the ability to recognize new opportunities and the willingness to take risks in an unpredictable scenario.

What then is the relationship between creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship?

While these three areas have slightly different meanings, they share the same goal – to create value for people. Creativity is the central spark that takes the creative process and makes it into an innovation that would be used to develop a business model that can create wealth.

Creativity is the ability to make something new or do something differently from any other traditional method. Innovation is the ability to build upon known methods or expand existing ideas or improve upon a given object. Both of these abilities require that the user think outside the box and attack known problems from previously unknown or unseen angles. Entrepreneurship on the other hand is the ability to market those new innovations to create wealth or profit for a business or organization.

It has been generally acknowledged that entrepreneurship or even market growth may only be attained via creative and innovative solutions. Growth and development in business cannot be sustained without additional innovations usually in the product or services or in its marketing. To grow and prosper, most enterprises need to constantly improve their existing products and services. For the survival of their various enterprises, entrepreneurs must create new products and services to meet yet unfulfilled needs. This then means that creativity and innovation are the soul of an enterprise, and no entrepreneur can make a headway in the business world without applying these two factors.

Enterprises that rely exclusively on innovation will prosper until their products and services become obsolete and non-competitive. On the other hand, enterprises that are totally creative or rely on creativity alone will have their new products and services ready to launch, but often too few current products sufficiently up-to-date and competitive to generate the cash needed to fund their creativity.

The organization that is not creative and innovative cannot survive in the market place. Thus, entrepreneurs and enterprises are urged to be continuously creative and innovative to remain relevant to their customers.

It is the duty of the entrepreneur to keep his or her organization lean, young, flexible, and eager to try out new things in order to continuously delight their customers. Creativity and innovation therefore trigger and propel first-rate entrepreneurship by steering organizational activities in whatever new directions are dictated by market conditions and customer preferences.


Creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship are all important, and they all intersect. It is impossible to develop a truly innovative organization if creativity is ignored or stifled. And likewise, without effective processes in place to transform creative ideas into practical, real world, value added innovations, creativity is of no commercial value whatsoever. Entrepreneurship is the vehicle that drives creativity and innovation. Innovation creates new demand and entrepreneurship brings the innovation to the market.

Once you understand the distinction between creativity and innovation and their role in entrepreneurship, the road to success of your business begins.

Ajaero Tony Martins