Translating Start-Up Jargon for New Entrepreneurs & Growing Businesses

Corporate language can seem like an entirely new way to communicate and may be disconcerting if you’ve just begun to think about starting your own business. Don’t be put off by the terms you don’t understand when doing your research online. We have some helpful starter points below and there’s always Google!


But what do you do if you’re in a meeting or being asked some questions and you don’t understand? Do you speak up and say it’s a term you’re not familiar with? Or bluff it? We suggest always asking, it’s the best way to learn. But try to go in as prepared as possible. The more you work on and in your business, the more familiar you’ll become with terms that will soon become natural and just the right fit for the things you’re thinking about, discussing and proposing.


Start-Up: A newly established business.

Entrepreneur: A person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit.

Business Proposition: What your business will do, including how it will generate revenue.

Revenue: Income of the business.

Business Model: A plan for the successful operation of a business, identifying sources of revenue, the intended customer base, products, and details of financing. Similar to the business proposition.

Business Plan: The business model written down!

Accelerator: A programme to help you speed up process of de-risking your business.

Investor-ready: When a business or business plan has been created that is likely to be considered for investment.

Scalability: A scalable company is one that can maintain or improve profit margins while sales volume increases.

Angel Investor: Angel investors give more favourable terms than other lenders, as they are usually investing in the person rather than the just the viability of the business.

Seed Money/Seed Fund: A form of securities offering in which an investor purchases part of a business. The term seed suggests that this is a very early investment, meant to support the business until it can generate cash of its own, or until it is ready for further investments.



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