Sunday, February 10, 2008

What makes an entrepreneur?

What are the traits and factors which decide whether somebody is going to be an entrepreneur or not? Are there some factors/traits which are more important than other for being a successful entrepreneur?

A research paper by a team of researchers from The World Bank, CEPR and CEFIR, provides good insight on above question on the basis of data collected on 400 random Brazilian Entrepreneurs.  

Some interesting findings from the paper:

  • Brazilian entrepreneurs are coming more from rural areas than urban areas and they are more likely to be married and less likely to be overweight. They are taller by one cm (approx) than non entrepreneurs.
  • Entrepreneurs were more patient than non-entrepreneurs and they expect lower returns on their investment than non-entrepreneurs (18% against 24% expected by non entrepreneurs).
  • Entrepreneurs put more value on children's education than non-entrepreneurs.
  • Entrepreneurs show more trust than failed entrepreneurs do.
  • Exploring the sociological characteristics of entrepreneurs, the paper shows that entrepreneurs are more likely to come from a family of senior managers, officials than workers. They also have more relatives and friends running their own business compared to non-entrepreneurs have. Though the social network has some role in deciding whether one is going to be an entrepreneur, but does not affect whether one is going to be successful entrepreneur.
  • Entrepreneurs are also more likely to come from a large family.
  • Mother's education seems to have some impact on entrepreneur's success. The mothers of failed entrepreneurs were less highly educated than the mother of entrepreneurs.

I do not know to what extent we can generalize the findings of this report, but surely it makes an interesting read. :)

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