24 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2009
Date Written: November 17, 2009
Our earlier research paper, Anatomy of an Entrepreneur, provided some insights into the motivations of founders of high-growth companies, as well as their socio- economic, educational, and familial backgrounds. We found that technology entrepreneurs are most likely to come from middle-class backgrounds, to have parents who are less educated than they are, and to be married with children when they launch their first companies. Their primary motivations for launching a company are financial and emotional. They wanted to build wealth and had a business idea on which they wanted to capitalize. Many said they had always wanted their own companies some day.
In this paper, we explore company founders’ opinions and observations about their own trajectory and what influenced the success or failure of their businesses. By understanding what entrepreneurs think and believe, we hope to provide more insights into how to better support entrepreneurs and create societal, political, and economic conditions that can more efficiently foster entrepreneurship.
This research is based on a survey of 549 company founders in a variety of industries, including aerospace and defense, computer and electronics, health care, and services.
Keywords: entrepreneurship, success, failure, venture capital, financing, company founders
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Wadhwa, Vivek and Aggarwal, Raj and Holly, Krisztina and Salkever, Alex, Making of A Successful Entrepreneur: Anatomy of an Entrepreneur Part II (November 17, 2009). Kauffman Foundation Small Research Projects Research Paper No. 2. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1507384 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1507384