The Anatomy of an Entrepreneur

The Kauffman Foundation recently published an interesting report on the anatomy of an entrepreneur. Here is a list of its key findings:

  • Company founders tend to be middle-aged and well-educated, and did better in high school than in college
  • These entrepreneurs tend to come from middle-class or upper-lower-class backgrounds, and were better educated and more entrepreneurial than their parents
  • Most entrepreneurs are married and have children
  • There is an early interest and propensity to start companies: 52 percent of respondents had some interest in
    becoming an entrepreneur when they were in college, but 34.7 percent didn’t even think about it, and 13.3 percent had little or no interest. Those from lower-upper-class backgrounds were more likely to have been extremely interested in starting a business than the average (25 percent vs. 18.5 percent).
  • Motivations for becoming entrepreneurs include building wealth, owning a company, startup culture, and capitalizing on a business idea
  • Not important or less-important factors: inability to obtain employment or encouragement from others
  • Most had significant industry experience when starting their companies
  • Early entrepreneurs and those with an early interest in entrepreneurship are different
  • 60.3 percent said that working for others did not appeal to them. Responses to this question were relatively evenly distributed in a rough bell curve, with 16 percent of respondents citing this as an extremely important factor and 16.8 percent of respondents citing it as not at all a factor.
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