This is another slice-n-dice job (aka cran-morph or "cranberry morpheme"). To belabor this a bit, the opening morpheme, as it were, of entrepreneur is entre- . (We actually know the word entrepreneur in English via the closely related enterprise.) A slightly facile etymology for entrepreneur is given as entre- "between" + prendre "to take".
Anyways. With some reanalysis, we can chop off entre- and be left with preneur, which means ... hmm ... "business-starting person." (Does that sound right?) In effect, the entire meaning of entrepreneur shifts to this new morpheme -preneur, which we can then prefixize al gusto to qualify the meaning.
Some other examples:
- Intrapreneur, which appears to have been invented way back in the 1970s.
- Actor-preneur, "a theatrical performer who operates and assumes the risk of a business venture"
- Mom-preneur, which I particularly like.
Note also that, unusually, these formations break the original word into what are etymologically its original roots. (Contrast hamburger, which went from Hamburg+er to Ham+burger). People don't carry etymology around in their heads, and there isn't currently (well, wasn't) any such word or morpheme as preneur in contemporary English, so in a narrow sense this is still a cran-morph. I would guess that the word break falls on historically accurate lines because entre- is sufficiently close to something that sounds like an English prefix to feel like a detachable piece. Which then yields preneur, and here we are.
The example of nontrepreneur is interesting because it borrows -tre- from the original word, unlike the other examples I find. But I don't think there's any subtle semantics to the construction; nontrepreneur (to me) sounds better and is more obvious than nonpreneur, which in fact has a vaguely negative connotation, what do you think?
Riffing on nontrepreneur, James Britt writes a blog entry and, along with commenters, throws out some humorous variations, like the following:
- Salontrepreneur: Operates out of some hip, literary hangout.
- Gonetrepreneur: Ex-founder.
- Don Juantrepreneur: No business plan, but still charms women into providing funding.