A debate has been going on for years in the academic world over the difference, if any, between small business and entrepreneurship. While much of this debate is rather esoteric, there is one instance where I draw a clear line between the two. It centers on private versus public ownership. An IPO is more than a financing strategy. It is a transforming event that will change a business forever (or at least until the company goes private again).
When a business, no matter how small, goes public with its stock it begins to become a different entity when compared to a classic entrepreneurial venture. Entrepreneurship and private ownership to me are critically intertwined. Once a business goes public, the founders become employed managers