Bet you didn’t know this about entrepreneurs

After interviewing about 20 Bahraini entrepreneurs over the last few weeks for the Bahraini Views project, I thought I found a common denominator: they are driven, they come in all ages and from different backgrounds, and their religious affiliation doesn’t have anything to do with their success (the last part is important, Bahrainis would probably understand).

But fault in initially suggesting a certain age-group of between 18 and 30 for this project, due to my supposition that our target demographic (young Bahrainis) would respond more readily to, I now think is based on a mistaken notion. Based on these interviews, I found that apart from anything else, they are passionate about what their doing and that passion transcends every other criteria you can think of.

I am therefore really glad to find some academic corroboration for this premise; a recent report from the Kauffman foundation for entrepreneurship, entitled “The Anatomy of an Entrepreneur”, is based on a survey of 549 company founders across a variety of industries in the United States suggests the following:

    1. The average and median age of company founders when they started their current companies was 40.
    2. 95.1 percent of respondents themselves had earned bachelor’s degrees, and 47 percent had more advanced degrees.
    3. Less than 1 percent came from extremely rich or extremely poor backgrounds
    4. 15.2% of founders had a sibling that previously started a business.
    5. 69.9 percent of respondents indicated they were married when they launched their first business. An additional 5.2 percent were divorced, separated, or widowed.
    6. 59.7 percent of respondents indicated they had at least one child when they launched their first business, and 43.5 percent had two or more children.
    7. The majority of the entrepreneurs in the sample were serial entrepreneurs. The average number of businesses launched by respondents was approximately 2.3.
    8. 74.8 percent indicated desire to build wealth as an important motivation in becoming an entrepreneur.
    9. Only 4.5 percent said the inability to find traditional employment was an important factor in starting a business.
    10. Entrepreneurs are usually better educated than their parents.
    11. Entrepreneurship doesn’t always run in the family. More than half (51.9 percent) of respondents were the first in their families to launch a business.
    12. The majority of respondents (75.4 percent) had worked as employees at other companies for more than six years before launching their own companies.

Interesting observations aren’t they?

So what do YOU consider the most important assets of an entrepreneur? Please share your thoughts.


  • Shirley Dockerill
    16 November 2009

    thanks for that. most useful, went away and downloaded original file 🙂

  • AGA
    18 November 2009

    So what do YOU consider the most important assets of an entrepreneur?

    I am not an entrepreneur, but I have worked with/for a number of them. The single most important asset of an entrepreneur, in my judgment, is “confidence.” This confidence, or perhaps conviction, enables action. The entrepreneurs that I have known simply do. They aren’t afraid of failure and seem to operate from a conviction that whatever they are engaged in will work. This confidence also enables perseverance in the face of adversity, and setbacks are always viewed as temporary. And, its more than self confidence, its confidence in the organization and its people as well which usually translates into a sense of optimism that is noticable.

Awesome Photographer’s T-Shirts