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I'm trying to find the right translation of "Porteur de projet", which means in French someone who wants to create a company/business. So he is not yet an entrepreneur, but just going to be one when the company will have a legal existence.

Those words really mean something in French, but it is hard for me to find something in English with the same "philosophy". I've found "project holder" but I'm not sure it means something for English speaking people.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

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    As someone who has created various companies, usually they call us Founders. But I suppose that, like Entrepreneur, is usually reserved until after a company has been established. Hm... – Tucker Jul 8 '16 at 10:22
  • 'project holder' does not mean 'intending to create a company' and is not a known phrase for someone like that (those two words don't really go together, how would one 'hold' a 'project'?) I can't think of an accepted word/set phrase for such a person, but variations on entrepreneur seem the most likely: pre-entrepreneur, founder-to-be, and the like, but those are somewhat informal and not likely to be used. I'd expect you'd just say things like 'In the planning stages, just before becoming an entrepreneur, Bob was meeting with potential investors'. – Mitch Jul 8 '16 at 14:25
  • Questions which lack results of research are out of scope. Writing advice requests are out of scope. Word or phrase requests are out of scope, unless they are expert-level, particularly interesting, unique, and thought-provoking, and show effort and research. For help writing a good question, see How to Ask. – MetaEd Jul 8 '16 at 20:49
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Entrepreneur in English is neither a technical term nor narrowly restricted to operators of actual businesses;it could be used informally to designate someone seeking to bring a business into existence.

But in more formal use the term you want is probably promoter:

A corporate promoter (also "projector") is a person who solicits people to invest money into a corporation, usually when it is being formed. An investment banker, an underwriter, or a stock promoter may, wholly or in part, perform the role of a promoter. Promoters generally owe a duty of utmost good faith, so as to not mislead any potential investors, and disclose all material facts about the company's business.

  • a promoter is a person who does the preliminary work incidental to the formation of company.

[...]

Entrepreneur Promoters
They are both promoters and entrepreneurs. They conceive idea of a new business unit, do the groundwork to establish it and subsequently become a part of the management.

Wikipedia, Corporate promoter

  • Agreed. In its most basic usage, 'entrepreneur' describes someone who seeks to fill a need by creating a business that caters to said need. – Rome_Leader Jul 8 '16 at 11:08
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For someone who is not an entrepreneur but wants to be, you can use the description an aspiring entrepreneur.

The term is widely used in business circles.

Anyone who wishes to attain some status aspires to it.

  • Perhaps also "prospective entrepreneur" or "wannabe entrepreneur", depending on how likely we think he is to become an actual entrepreneur. – GEdgar Jul 8 '16 at 12:49

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