company vs enterprise

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scorpio

Member
spanish/spain
Could anybody tell me the difference between company and enterprise?? I don´t see the difference in a dictionary. Company is a very big enterprise with lots of departments and lots of people working for it, am I right? And an enterprise is a small one may with just one owner. Is it? Thanks for your help.
 
  • DavyBCN

    Senior Member
    UK - English
    scorpio said:
    Could anybody tell me the difference between company and enterprise?? I don´t see the difference in a dictionary. Company is a very big enterprise with lots of departments and lots of people working for it, am I right? And an enterprise is a small one may with just one owner. Is it? Thanks for your help.
    For me size is not important - in this context. Enterprise probably has a wider meaning than company. Private enterprise as an alternative phrase for capitalism or the free market, for example. Although, in the UK at least, there are charitable companies which are non profit making, the word companies is normally limited to organisations whose purpose is to make profits. These can be called enterprises as well, but there are enterprises which have different purposes, such as community enterprises (for job creation, environmental purposes,etc) and educational enterprises.
     

    GrandBlank

    Member
    English/U.S.
    To add to DavyBCN, I would say that the two words are synonyms that differ only in nuance. Enterprise may be used to emphasize a sense of action or growth, almost as a compliment. An enterprise (used to mean company) may be starting, growing, or proceeding/moving on with vigor.

    Regards,
    GrandBlank
     

    nycphotography

    Senior Member
    American English
    Could anybody tell me the difference between company and enterprise?? I don´t see the difference in a dictionary. Company is a very big enterprise with lots of departments and lots of people working for it, am I right? And an enterprise is a small one may with just one owner. Is it? Thanks for your help.
    Company is a simple, universal word that means a collection (one or more) of indivuduals working towards a shared goal.

    Enterprise is a word which in this context means exacty the same thing, but corporate, management consultants, and marketeers, and other wonky types use it because they deem it "more sophisitcated and important sounding".

    Whenerver some pinhead in pinstripes uses the term around me, I get an instant image of a cardboard box full of note paper with a flashing light on it (as invented by a "Junior Enterpriser" in Risky Business).
     
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