This is an introductory paper to a special issue on climate governance entrepreneurship, where entrepreneurship is understood as acts performed by actors seeking to ‘punch above their weight’. By contrast, actors who are merely doing their job are not ‘entrepreneurs’. In order to understand climate policy and governance, we need to learn more about the factors that condition variance in entrepreneurial activity, strategies and success. In this introduction, we present a comprehensive review of the literature on entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship in policy in governance, with special attention to the recent upsurge in studies of climate governance entrepreneurship. We distinguish two types of entrepreneurship: (1) acts aimed at enhancing governance influence by altering the distribution of authority and information; and (2) acts aimed at altering or diffusing norms and cognitive frameworks, worldviews or institutional logics. The contributions in this special issue offer valuable insights into how personal motivations, policy windows, international trends, cultural-institutional traditions and the distribution of structural power influence entrepreneurship. However, more work is needed – not least as regards whether actors that seek change are more active and/or more successful as entrepreneurs compared to those that defend the status quo, and whether there is more successful entrepreneurship in public or in private arenas of governance.