12 Facts about Entrepreneurs that May Surprise You

by Viki Forrest, CEO ANZA Technology Network

Thought I’d share this part of a study from a report “The Anatomy of an Entrepreneur” by the Kauffman Foundation.

It’s important to note that this is a study of US-based entrepreneurs, so the majority of those surveyed are Americans. It also covers industries outside of the tech world —  including aerospace and defense and health care. I think the findings would be somewhat different if focused only on Australian entrepreneurs. In the first instance, I think Aussie tech entrepreneurs tend to be younger than 40 before they start their first business and the emphasis on having a university degree is somewhat less intense in Australia — although that is changing. Here’s the list of 12 facts, though, as compiled by Dharmesh Shah for Entrepreneur Corner. Overall, they’re more interesting than surprising.

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.

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