Bootstrapping is a broad term used to cover the ways that entrepreneurs manage the resourcing of their start-up ventures. It can comprise paying careful attention to costs and outgoings as well as thinking creatively about how resources are accrued and fed into the nascent venture. Some business owners continue in their day-job and use earned income to fund their early steps as an entrepreneur; others may combine savings with salary and minimising business expenditure to help invested money go as far as it can; others still will determine to make compromises in their personal lifestyle in order to channel additional funds into their venture. These strategies in isolation or combination offer some sense of what bootstrapping means for entrepreneurs.

The big advantage of bootstrapping can be that the entrepreneur can maintain ownership and control of their venture while also avoiding the potential risk of taking on debt in a venture that may not generate returns big enough or quickly enough to cover interest payments.