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Who Entrepreneurs Are And What Makes Them Tick


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Who Entrepreneurs Are And What Makes Them Tick

  1. 1. Who Entrepreneurs Are and What Makes Them Tick - sourced from business
  2. 2. In 2004 small companies employed about half of the private-sector work force and generated about half of the nonfarm private gross domestic product in the U.S., according to the Small Business Administration. Despite their enormous impact on the economy, little is known about entrepreneurs' backgrounds or motivations, beyond myths that cast them as privileged young workaholics chasing fame and fortune. A study released by the Kauffman Foundation earlier this month, titled “The Anatomy of an Entrepreneur,” led by co-authors Vivek Wadhwa, Raj Aggarwal, Krisztina “Z” Holly, and former BusinessWeek tech editor Alex Salkever aims to discover who American entrepreneurs are and what makes them tick. To do so, the team surveyed 549 successful business founders from high-growth industries between August 2008 and March 2009. Flip through this slide show for Wadhwa's thoughts on the most compelling data.
  3. 3. Not College Dropouts Entrepreneurs tend to be highly educated. We found that 95% had earned bachelor’s degrees and 47% held advanced degrees.
  4. 4. Better Educated Than Their Parents Their parents weren't nearly as well-educated. Only half the company founders' fathers and only 34% of the founders' mothers held bachelor's or advanced degrees.
  5. 5. Ranked at the Top of Their Class in High School... Seventy-five percent ranked their academic performance among the top 30% of the high school class, with a majority (about 52%) ranking their performance among the top 10%
  6. 6. ..But Drank Their Way Through College They didn't do as well in college, however. Sixty- seven percent ranked their academic performance among the top 30% of their undergraduate class, and a smaller percentage (37.5 %) ranked their performance among the top 10 percent
  7. 7. Not from Rich Families Most of the company founders came from middle- class backgrounds (35% described themselves as upper-middle class and 40% as lower-middle class). Additionally, 22% said their parents were blue-collar workers engaged in some form of manual labor. Less than 1% came from extremely rich or extremely poor backgrounds.
  8. 8. Not First-Born The average company founder was not the eldest child.
  9. 9. Not the Only Child Company founders tend to come from fairly large families, with an average of three siblings.
  10. 10. Married... About 70% of company founders indicated they were married when they launched their first business. An additional 5.2% were divorced, separated, or widowed
  11. 11. ..With Children Nearly 60% of company founders indicated they had at least one child when they launched their first business, and 43.5% had two or more children.
  12. 12. Entrepreneurship Didn't Always Run in the Family Just over half of the respondents were not children of entrepreneurs
  13. 13. Many Caught the Entrepreneurial Bug Later in Life While half of the company founders had some interest in becoming an entrepreneur when they were in college, more than a third didn't even think about it, and just over 13% had little or no interest. Those from blue-collar backgrounds were more likely to have been extremely interested in starting a business.
  14. 14. Most Had Relevant Industry Experience The majority of company founders (over 75%) had worked as employees at other companies for more than six years before launching their own companies. Nearly half launched their first companies with more than 10 years of work experience
  15. 15. They Could've Landed Jobs But Didn't Founders weighed in on a scale of 1 through 5, with 1 meaning not an important factor and 5 meaning an extremely important factor. It wasn't that they couldn't get jobs. Over 80% of company founders said that inability to find traditional employment was not a factor in starting their own businesses. Only 4.5% said it was an important factor. So why did they start companies? Just under 75% said their desire to build wealth was important; 64% said they have always wanted to own their own companies; 66% liked the appeal of a startup culture; and 60% said that working for others did not appeal to them
  16. 16. Once an Entrepreneur, Always an Entrepreneur A majority (over 58%) started more than one company. Eight percent of the company founders had started more than five companies