Saturday, January 07, 2012

Entrepreneurs ... Born, or Made? (Follow-up Part 1)

We asked the question: Are Entrepreneurs Born, or are they Made?

Since we began our Linkedin Poll on December 18, 2011 we've been amazed to see the response and feedback that people have provided!  If you have a Linkedin Profile, we encourage you to visit the poll, cast your vote before the poll closes at the end of January 2012, and learn from the outstanding comments that many professionals and entrepreneurs have posted. For those unable to access Linkedin, we'll post some of the best comments that we've seen to this BLOG, so be sure to watch for updates!

While the question of whether entrepreneurs are 'born' or 'made' has been asked by many people over the years, I came across a report that was released a few months ago by Ernst and Young addressing this same thing.  Here are just a few of the findings from their survey of 685 entrepreneurs from E&Y's worldwide and in-depth interviews with winners of the Entrepreneur Of the Year award.

- Nearly 60% of them have worked in a corporate environment; 
          FYI - 33% say this was key to their success
- 45% of entrepreneurs start their first business after age 30
- 10% of entrepreneurs started ten or more companies

The research challenges the stereotype that all entrepreneurs start their companies without completing a formal education and without any experience of corporate life. Although many of the entrepreneurs that were surveyed started at a young age, 45% of the respondents said they did not start their business until they were 30 or more. 

And nearly 60% described themselves as “transitioned” entrepreneurs, who have previously worked in a corporate environment before setting out on their own.

When asked what was the most important source of learning in terms of their career, one third of all entrepreneurs (the highest ranking) said it was their experience as an employee. Thirty per cent highlighted higher education and 26% mentors.

Maria Pinelli, the new Global Vice Chair Strategic Growth Markets for Ernst & Young explains, “Entrepreneurial leaders are defined as much by their early business experience, cultural background and external environment as they are by any innate personal characteristics. Nurture not nature does appear to be more important in shaping the entrepreneurial mindset.”


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