Entrepreneurship – do genes play a part?

Why are some of us entrepreneurs and others not? Is it only the environment we grow up in that matters or do our genes have a part to play as well?

Professor Scott Shane of Case Western Reserve University, is one scientist who claims that people with parents with certain genetic components are more likely to become entrepreneurs.

To what extent do genes matter?

In his genetic research on identical twins, who share 100 percent of their genes, and fraternal twins, who share 50 percent of their genes, professor Shane concluded that identical twins were more likely to share the genetic factors that enable entrepreneurship. His conclusion is that 30-40% of entrepreneurship is inherited.

“But even when a person has the entrepreneurial innate makeup that makes him/her more likely to be an entrepreneur, genes interact with environmental stimuli”, professor Shane says.

Combination of nature & environment

In other words having proved that genes play a part it is still difficult to determine to what extent they shape an individual to become an entrepreneur. Without the right environment the same person may not have become an entrepreneur? Growing up in an atmosphere adverse to risk taking, creativity and innovation the same person would probably never have become an entrepreneur.

Childhood influences

My father was an entrepreneur and I don’t know how many times my mother told me I’m just like him. But if they had raised me to believe new opportunities and developing projects was wrong would I still have had the mind of an entrepreneur? Or even worse if they had discouraged curiosity, vision and persistence.

According to Professor Shane genetic factors raise the odds of a person becoming an entrepreneur but environmental factors are more crucial, and I tend to agree with him. Not least since we are able to impact what and who we surround ourselves with. It is up to us to determine our future, regardless of what genes we have inherited. Entrepreneurial genes facilitate, but unless we really make an effort and are persistent we will never succeed no matter how excellent our genes are.

The difference between having an entrepreneurial mind and carrying out entrepreneurial activity

Anyone can learn how to carry out entrepreneurial activity.  But how do you learn to have an entrepreneurial mind? Is it really possible to learn to risk everything you have in order to achieve something you passionately believe in? Because that’s what having an entrepreneurial mind entails. One headhunter I know once said to me that when someone tells them he is an entrepreneur he asks him if he is prepared to risk losing his house and everything he ownes in order to succeed? If the answer is no, which it is in most cases, he hasn’t got an entrepreneurial mind but is carrying out entrepreneurial activity which is different.

What your opinion? Do our genes have a part to play or can we learn to develop an entrepreneurial mind anyway? Learn to have the strength and courage to take risks which is crucial for an entrepreneur. What role do our genes play in this? Does a person need to be programed genetically to have the strength and courage to risk everything they have?

Photo: Flickr – Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

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122 Responses to “Entrepreneurship – do genes play a part?”

  1. mariakullberg Says:

    "My father was an entrepreneur and I don’t know how many times my mother told me I’m just like him. " I could write my name after this. :-) My mother tells me that a lot. :-)

    I think that our genes are important for the choice of becoming an entrepreneur, either you have it in you or you don´t. People who don´t, will not be as comfortable building a company. But, as you say, if those strengths were not encourouged I might not be where I am today. The environment is important; if you want to become successful you have to surround yourself with people who are successful.

    In Sweden entrepreneurship is becoming a subject in school, and I'm curious to see the outcome of that. How will it affect the children? Are we going to have a lot more young entrepreneurs? And what will the effect be when ordinary teachers are teaching the subject? Can they communicate what it's all about?

  2. Andres Miguel Airabella Says:

    My parents have never taken a risk in their life! However, me and my brothers and sisters have been always entrepreneurs, since we were very young. So, I tend to think that it has nothing to do with genes… But we’re just a single case in the entire world, so… I think there’s no true answer to that question…

  3. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad we agree Maria.

    Am certain that a massive amount of Swedes will have to become entrepreneurs in the future for the simple reason that they will have to. There will not be enough jobs for everyone. So hopefully the tax authorities will be forced by parliament to start facilitating for entrepreneurs to get up and running. Currently they are an effective antidote.

  4. catarinaalexon Says:

    You know Andres I never thought about entrepreneurship from a genetic point of view until I came across this information. But it makes sense, doesn't it?

    Maybe you and your siblings got your genes from other relatives? Or maybe you are simply the exception to the rule? Actually, if you were brought up in an environment that encouraged initiative and creativity that may explain why you are all entrepreneurial?

  5. jepaladino Says:

    My parents were immigrants and quite risk averse. My father worked for the same company for 44 years. Yet, I'm an entrepreneur. People become entrepreneurs for different reasons — not always because they want to but because of circumstances. A lot of people today are going into business for themselves because they can't find a job or the job they held is in an industry (like print publishing) that is dying. Some will find their life's work and others will return to a company as soon as they can. Each path is valid.

  6. catarinaalexon Says:

    Agree Jeannette. However, I do find the genetic aspect interesting. Your parents may have had those genes even though they didn't become entrepreneurs? Also we shouldn't forget that we get genes not only from our parents but other relatives as well. However, like the professor who did the genetic research concluded, the genes are not the main reason. The environment and other factors in life are, and I agree wholeheartedly with that.

  7. Guy Says:

    An interesting topic, Catarina – the "nature v nurture"debate applies to many fields of human behaviour, and not just entrepreneurship. Studies into, for example, criminal behaviour seem to indicate a genetic element there, too – but in all cases "nurture" (or the environment in which people find themselves) seems to play the over-riding role, with a ratio of 20% "nature" and 80% "nurture" being widely believed as the general case.

  8. catarinaalexon Says:

    Guy that's exactly how I feel. I find the subject really interesting.

    Seems you, like me, have an open mind in this respect and are open to the fact that genes most likely play some kind of part.

    Got a couple of interesting comments on Linkedin from people who have conducted similar research and they are certain that genes play a part. One even go as far as to say entrepreneurs are born.

  9. Caroline Says:

    Absolutely!
    "Great entrepreneur" is a typical psychological feature of one of the six genetic types.
    Our genes are the piano keys but epigenetics (how our genes "listen" to our environment) is the composer…
    We have the power to alter our genes' behavior.

    "The secret of your genetic type" – on my blog "Change your genetic destiny": http://blog.studiometamorphoses.com/?p=1917

  10. Jay Yurkiewicz Says:

    (FYI: I posted this reply on Catrina's LinkedIn page yesterday – but, this blog is a better forum to this sort of discussion):

    Catarina, just a brief comment (I only have a minute, but the topic is "dear" to my heart :-). I did my doctoral dissertation in 1991-1996 at Univ. of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Mngt Dept, specifically Organizational Behavior. I studied approx. 120 small-biz owners in Poland (ie, people who ACTUALLY did start their own businesses, with vast majority of the subject being 2-10 employee-firms…all located in Poland, near Lodz). Each of 120 subjects/biz owners (or, at least key decision-maker with financial stake in the firm) completed a lengthy questionnaire. Then, each subject was interviewed IN PERSON for approx 30-60 min (I speak Polish).
    Objective of the study: focus on goal setting and various personality/psychological variables to see if there's a relationship between 1) those personality variables and 2) entrepreneur's/company's success.

    Success was relatively easy to measure: it consisted of entrepreneur's all savings, capital, etc. In short: a successful entrepreneur would have a nice house/apt and drive a nice car. A less successful one would drive an old Fiat and live in a tiny, communist era apt.

    As you can see, I was fortunate re: my timing of this study. Success is notoriously difficult/impossible to measure (especially in a field like OB). Also, almost all subject started with no/little money. There was no banking system. No capital sources. Anyway….

    The findings of the study led me to believe that entrepreneurs are BORN rather than MADE.
    – few of the subjects had any biz eduction (marketing??? what's that??? :-)
    – few of the subject had experience of working for themselves (most used to have government jobs)

    In short: biz experience and financial resources played a minor role in determining success.

    What seemed to make a difference?
    – goal setting (without subjects realizing that this is what they were actually doing
    – proactive/positive "attitude as in: "IF I WORK HARD, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE"….I guess we could call it high level of confidence, persistence, perseverance, etc. HARD WORK ALONE DIDN'T MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE.
    – on BEHAVIORAL LEVEL: successful individuals were considerably better at making adjustments to their initial plans, improvising, etc. In theoretical terms, it's pretty much a goal-setting/feedback/adjustment/outcome loop. So, successful biz owners seemed to be better than less successful ones at recognizing a need for change/adaptation and/or acting quicker/better on "signs" (ie, feedback) that an adjustment/strategy change etc.
    When asked: "why did you decide to do this or that?", they'd usually credit their "intuition" as the key component NEEDED TO SURVIVE in such an uncertain/confusing environment.

    To summarize:
    – success was positively related to various psychological variables I mentioned above ("optimism" would be a good word to describe it)
    – successful biz owners engaged in more methodical goal setting/adjustment process.

    Personal interviews were extremely valuable. Either I or a Polish PhD student conducted those interviews AFTER we reviewed about 6 pages of questions. We noticed a tremendous difference between people whom we labeled as "successful" vs "less successful". I don't think this part of the study got published – it was not very scientific, to say the least :-). However, successful entrepreneurs (compared to less successful ones) seemed more energetic, extroverted, optimistic, full of plans for the future, etc. THEY WERE NOT UNREALISTIC OR DELUSIONAL.

    In my opinion, entrepreneurs are born rather than made….education helps, etc. But, whenever I talked to these people, I always thought to myself: IT WAS THAT "INNER" DRIVE AND SENSE OF PURPOSE/CONFIDENCE THAT LED TO SUCCESS. I doubt that work experience/education would have made much of a difference when those individuals DECIDED TO RISK IT ALL for the sake of a biz venture. Yes, risk-taking was also correlated with success.
    Regards and sorry about disorganized/rushed reply.
    Jay Y.

  11. James Vena Says:

    Part 1 – I do not believe that one can be taught to be an entrepreneur as the traits that make up a true entrepreneur are inborn. I am not saying that someone cannot do something entrepreneurial, without the traits. People do so everyday. But, doing something entrepreneurial doesn't make one an entrepreneur. I ask if anyone believes that "personality and charisma" are possessed as a result of upbringing and socioeconomic factors? In many cases, children from the same gene pool, will possess different talents/abilities. From a musical ear, athleticism, or a penchant to be creative, I view these abilities to be "inborn" traits, rather than a "taught" skill. The charachteristics when describing the true entrepreneur are, fearless, creative, charismatic, tireless, committed, instinctive and generally having the "it" factor. I have yet to see any of these, (let alone all of them), taught and aquired. I have seen them honed, but not taught. I don't think you can teach a person to be a risk taker, a leader or have the ability to light up a room. These traits are not ony invaluable, but necessary to be a successful entrepreneur.
    James Vena

  12. James Vena Says:

    Part II – I doubt that one can be taught a great work ethic, another neccessity of an entrepreneur. Most people work just hard enough to not get fired, and get paid just enough so that they won't quit. The true entrepreneur pusues goals for the thrill of the chase and the challenge of never being able to reach the bar that they set for themseleves. Lately, I see too many ads, offering the promise of financial freedom by learning how to be an entrepreneur, from a CD, book, or "magic beans". Oddly, in most cases, the seller is not really an entrepreneur, nor successful. They just know how to use smoke and mirrors to seduce the truly lazy, and tell them what they want to hear. Why do I say lazy? Well, the promise of more free time, working from home, extra vacations, additional family time etc is not exactly what an entrepreneur wants. Actually, being an entrepreneur can often be a curse. In my case, I believe that "he who dies with the most toys wins"! Problem is I have never had time, nor much interest to play with toys. I am not proud of that, it's just what I am.
    James Vena

  13. James Vena Says:

    My Final Word – I was recently asked to be part of an executive panel that travels to universities and business conferences to recruit future MBA's and young Executives for an entrepreneurial program. In this particular group, there were 31 participants. I told 29 of them to use their MBA to pursue a career in the corporate world. The other two I told to join, and said that who ever hired them, would be hiring a future patner or future competition. The organization asked why I would discourage the other 29 from joining. To me it was quite simple, they didn't have what it took to pursue anything where they may have to go it alone. They did not have "it". I think most would rather be told they don't have "it" and never will, when they know it. There is no class, book, certification, etc, that can make someone into an entrepreneur, and certainly not I as I believe it can't be taught, only honed if inborn. Those who have "it", should hone "it", and seek mentors that can help them understand both the good and bad, of being a true, born entrepreneur.
    James Vena – For more about me, please feel free to visit my Linked In profile.

  14. Jay Yurkiewicz Says:

    Catarina, just a brief comment (I only have a minute, but the topic is "dear" to my heart :-). I did my doctoral dissertation in 1991-1996 at Univ. of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Mngt Dept, specifically Organizational Behavior. I studied approx. 120 small-biz owners in Poland (ie, people who ACTUALLY did start their own businesses, with vast majority of the subject being 2-10 employee-firms…all located in Poland, near Lodz). Each of 120 subjects/biz owners (or, at least key decision-maker with financial stake in the firm) completed a lengthy questionnaire. Then, each subject was interviewed IN PERSON for approx 30-60 min (I speak Polish).
    Objective of the study: focus on goal setting and various personality/psychological variables to see if there's a relationship between 1) those personality variables and 2) entrepreneur's/company's success.

    Success was relatively easy to measure: it consisted of entrepreneur's all savings, capital, etc. In short: a successful entrepreneur would have a nice house/apt and drive a nice car. A less successful one would drive an old Fiat and live in a tiny, communist era apt.

    As you can see, I was fortunate re: my timing of this study. Success is notoriously difficult/impossible to measure (especially in a field like OB). Also, almost all subject started with no/little money. There was no banking system. No capital sources. Anyway….

    The findings of the study led me to believe that entrepreneurs are BORN rather than MADE.
    – few of the subjects had any biz eduction (marketing??? what's that??? :-)
    – few of the subject had experience of working for themselves (most used to have government jobs)

    In short: biz experience and financial resources played a minor role in determining success.

    What seemed to make a difference?
    – goal setting (without subjects realizing that this is what they were actually doing
    – proactive/positive "attitude as in: "IF I WORK HARD, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE"….I guess we could call it high level of confidence, persistence, perseverance, etc. HARD WORK ALONE DIDN'T MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE.
    – on BEHAVIORAL LEVEL: successful individuals were considerably better at making adjustments to their initial plans, improvising, etc. In theoretical terms, it's pretty much a goal-setting/feedback/adjustment/outcome loop. So, successful biz owners seemed to be better than less successful ones at recognizing a need for change/adaptation and/or acting quicker/better on "signs" (ie, feedback) that an adjustment/strategy change etc.
    When asked: "why did you decide to do this or that?", they'd usually credit their "intuition" as the key component NEEDED TO SURVIVE in such an uncertain/confusing environment.

    To summarize:
    – success was positively related to various psychological variables I mentioned above ("optimism" would be a good word to describe it)
    – successful biz owners engaged in more methodical goal setting/adjustment process.

    Personal interviews were extremely valuable. Either I or a Polish PhD student conducted those interviews AFTER we reviewed about 6 pages of questions. We noticed a tremendous difference between people whom we labeled as "successful" vs "less successful". I don't think this part of the study got published – it was not very scientific, to say the least :-). However, successful entrepreneurs (compared to less successful ones) seemed more energetic, extroverted, optimistic, full of plans for the future, etc. THEY WERE NOT UNREALISTIC OR DELUSIONAL.

    In my opinion, entrepreneurs are born rather than made….education helps, etc. But, whenever I talked to these people, I always thought to myself: IT WAS THAT "INNER" DRIVE AND SENSE OF PURPOSE/CONFIDENCE THAT LED TO SUCCESS. I doubt that work experience/education would have made much of a difference when those individuals DECIDED TO RISK IT ALL for the sake of a biz venture. Yes, risk-taking was also correlated with success.
    Regards and sorry about disorganized/rushed reply.
    Jay Y.

  15. Jay Yurkiewicz Says:

    Catarina, just a “quick” comment (I only have a minute, but the topic is "dear" to my heart :-). I did my doctoral dissertation in 1991-1996 at Univ. of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Mngt Dept, specifically Organizational Behavior. I studied approx. 120 small-biz owners in Poland (ie, people who ACTUALLY did start their own businesses, with vast majority of the subject being 2-10 employee-firms…all located in Poland, near Lodz). Each of 120 subjects/biz owners (or, at least key decision-maker with financial stake in the firm) completed a lengthy questionnaire. Then, each subject was interviewed IN PERSON for approx 30-60 min (I speak Polish).
    Objective of the study: focus on goal setting and various personality/psychological variables to see if there's a relationship between 1) those personality variables and 2) entrepreneur's/company's success.

    Success was relatively easy to measure: it consisted of entrepreneur's all savings, capital, etc. In short: a successful entrepreneur would have a nice house/apt and drive a nice car. A less successful one would drive an old Fiat and live in a tiny, communist era apt.

    As you can see, I was fortunate re: my timing of this study. Success is notoriously difficult/impossible to measure (especially in a field like OB). Also, almost all subject started with no/little money. There was no banking system. No capital sources. Anyway….

    The findings of the study led me to believe that entrepreneurs are BORN rather than MADE.
    – few of the subjects had any biz eduction (marketing??? what's that??? :-)
    – few of the subject had experience of working for themselves (most used to have government jobs)

    In short: biz experience and financial resources played a minor role in determining success.

    What seemed to make a difference?
    – goal setting (without subjects realizing that this is what they were actually doing
    – proactive/positive "attitude as in: "IF I WORK HARD, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE"….I guess we could call it high level of confidence, persistence, perseverance, etc. HARD WORK ALONE DIDN'T MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE.
    – on BEHAVIORAL LEVEL: successful individuals were considerably better at making adjustments to their initial plans, improvising, etc. In theoretical terms, it's pretty much a goal-setting/feedback/adjustment/outcome loop. So, successful biz owners seemed to be better than less successful ones at recognizing a need for change/adaptation and/or acting quicker/better on "signs" (ie, feedback) that an adjustment/strategy change etc.
    When asked: "why did you decide to do this or that?", they'd usually credit their "intuition" as the key component NEEDED TO SURVIVE in such an uncertain/confusing environment.

    To summarize:
    – success was positively related to various psychological variables I mentioned above ("optimism" would be a good word to describe it)
    – successful biz owners engaged in more methodical goal setting/adjustment process.

    Personal interviews were extremely valuable. Either I or a Polish PhD student conducted those interviews AFTER we reviewed about 6 pages of questions. We noticed a tremendous difference between people whom we labeled as "successful" vs "less successful". I don't think this part of the study got published – it was not very scientific, to say the least :-). However, successful entrepreneurs (compared to less successful ones) seemed more energetic, extroverted, optimistic, full of plans for the future, etc. THEY WERE NOT UNREALISTIC OR DELUSIONAL.

    In my opinion, entrepreneurs are born rather than made….education helps, etc. But, whenever I talked to these people, I always thought to myself: IT WAS THAT "INNER" DRIVE AND SENSE OF PURPOSE/CONFIDENCE THAT LED TO SUCCESS. I doubt that work experience/education would have made much of a difference when those individuals DECIDED TO RISK IT ALL for the sake of a biz venture. Yes, risk-taking was also correlated with success.
    Regards and sorry about disorganized/rushed reply.
    Jay Yurkiewicz

  16. catarinaalexon Says:

    That's interesting Jay.

    I'm sure that it's not only looks that are genetics but charachteristics as well. Why should that be an exception. However, if you become an entrepreneur or not I'm sure has a lot to do with your environment.

  17. catarinaalexon Says:

    Excellent commenbt James.

    Leaders are partly born, so why shouldn't entrepreneurs be?

  18. catarinaalexon Says:

    That's so true. Am actually appalled by the amount of people trying to sell people scams that will give them more spare time and money. Work from home, seems to be the latest scheme that will make money for the con-men.

  19. catarinaalexon Says:

    Interesting, you just proved something I have always believed i.e. that most people need to be told what to do since they don't have the initiative and discipline to go it alone. That was one conclusion I have drawn from being in charge of people.

  20. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad you agree that genes play a part, Caroline. Why should we only inherit looks?

  21. Julia M Lindsey Says:

    I am not sure if entrepreneurship is from genetic makeup or environment. Neither of my parents were entrepreneurs but they both loved to create and find innovative solutions to problems. They taught us to think for ourselves and instilled a love of learning. They raised 5 children that love to create in some way. 2 of us have had our own business. I think entrepreneurship can be learned by teaching the skills necessary to dream, problem solve and communicate.

    Julia M Lindsey
    Our Little Books

  22. catarinaalexon Says:

    Julia, don't you think it's most likely a combination of what we inherit, call it genes if you like, and environment? However, I do believe that environment plays a bigger part. Also think that if you don't have a passion for what you do you will not be exceptionally successful anyway.

  23. Ravikanth Says:

    Some one said Leaders are born not made. And some argue that Entrepreneurship is a trait which comes by birth. But @ James who says the traits of Entrepreneur are inborn but not taught. He says that one should hone their skills to become an Entrepreneur. But in the end if you dont have any interaction with some people and without implementing those honed skills you cant just become a good Entrepreneur, so its when the environment plays a leading role, I mean the people around you the place in which you live (Industrial or rural) – 'cause this also decides in which platform(industry) you want to become an Entrepreneur, the family from which you grew up and I dont have to tell as there are so many external factors. I dont say that genes donsn't play any role here, what I say is that it is the environment which plays a leading role.(but there are always some exceptions in both cases).

  24. catarinaalexon Says:

    Ravikanth, I agree that the environment and passion for achieving it plays a major role. However also believe there is a genetic factor. Don't forget that intelligence is genetic. But having said that you can have all the right genes in the world for becoming an entrepreneur if you don't do anything about it you will never excell in entrepreneurial activities.

  25. Ravikanth Says:

    Hi Catarina. I do agree with that, but what I said was when compared to environmental factors genes play a very less part in moulding oneself into an entrepreneur.

  26. catarinaalexon Says:

    Correct, but we can't just ignore that intelligence and abilities that enable us to become entrepreneurs are inhertied.

  27. Kat Says:

    I work with indigenous people in Central Australia as on enterprise development – basically I help indigenous peopel wanting to start up/develop a business, a challenging task, and I notice that, what is perceived as the measures for an entrepreneur who runs a 'successful business' that survives in the western world, is clearly cultural dependent. I experience this every day, and whether this is linked to genes or just a difference in culture that is traditionally not focused on gathering possessions, making money etc is an interesting question!

  28. nystan Says:

    My limited experience is based on the children of wealthy, entitled business people in the NY region. The 'true' innovators in the arts and sciences will always break all the rules. It goes with the territory. Original thinking is just that. However, since the odds are stacked way against the average Joe ever becoming the next Bill Gates )read Outliers for some fresh perspective on that ball of wax), what I have noticed, for better or worse, is that the wealthy are willing to invest huge sums in order for their children to be kept in an elitist subculture. Is this wrong? Should they be forced to attend gritty inner city schools and be forced to be subjected to a second rate education? It is perplexing. Yet the fact remains that these kids, for the most part, move on and into life as part of an entitled class of people who went to the right schools, played the right sports with the right team members, joined the right clubs, drive the right cars, and in the end, enter business and politics to a high degree, and end up running the world, much like in the book 'Bonfire of the Vanities' (been so long, I might have gotten that title a touch wrong..)….
    so it depends on what you mean by 'Entrepeneur.' If you mean the Donald Trumps of the world… or the inventive souls who figure out how to provide potable water to a small village in the middle of nowhere, way far away from the headlines.
    In either case, I very much doubt genetics play much of a role…more like the luck of the human crap shoot, much like wondering if you can invent/create/predict another Mozart.

  29. catarinaalexon Says:

    What you are talking about are not entrepreneurs but priviliged children. That's something different. You have always had that kind of an elite in society and always will have. Just look at the Roman empire.

    Entrepreneurs are people like Richard Branson, Henry Ford, Donald Trump. Call it genes, nature or what we inherit from our parents/relatives but it does play a part. You will not become a new Mozart if you are tone deaf. Having said that however, I am sure environment is the most important factor.

  30. coreybiggs Says:

    Being a entrepreneur has nothing in my mind to do with genetics. It has to with many different scenarios, when you were born, the atmosphere brought up in, and the many hours of deliberate practice is what makes super performers.

  31. catarinaalexon Says:

    Agree with you Corey that those are the most important factors. However you genes/nature/what you inherit from your parents & relatives play a part as well.

  32. Talal Says:

    I would rather not think it's genetic. What if I don't have it in my genes?! I'd have no chance to be an entrepreneur? It's not the most encouraging idea. However, I agree that environment plays a great part.

  33. catarinaalexon Says:

    Thanks Talal, you are the first person to be honest why you don't want to believe that genes/nature whatever you want to call it play a part. You are obviously brave.

  34. Catherine Lockey Says:

    Wow! Thanks for this information Jay. Interesting how many of the Polish entrepreneurs had government jobs. Fascinating research.

  35. Catherine Lockey Says:

    I've read that over half of all entrepreneurs are dyslexic. What do you think of that? Another portion of them suffer from sleep disorders and cannot follow a traditional schedule. Perhaps these physical disabilities are part of the genetic make-up of a creative person. Fascinating topic Catarina.

  36. obaid Hableel Says:

    1) I believe that it is a combination of four elements how ever genes do play a large part of the process of insinuating an entrepreneur. History had established that over 3000 years of trading activities between east ( INDIA ,CHINA,AFRICA and Southern part of The Arabian Peninsula) was always dominated by some traditional Arab Families from Yemen, the Home of "Gardens of Eden" as mentioned in the bible and the Home of Kingdome of Sheba.
    People from that part of the world have concord the High seas to reach to China , Malaysia, Brunei (as the Sultan of Brunei is originally Yamani) the Oldest ever bank to be built in Malaysia was established by al KAAF Family . They have dominated the Silk and Spice trades for 3000 to 4000 years. Usually they have brought the Commodities by sea from different locations into Aden and then it was carried out by caravans, Camel convoys to reach Roman and Persian Empire. Today some of Arab Wolds richest non governments (Ruling families) are originated from Southern Part of Arabian Peninsula. (Al-Mihdhar Tarim – Wadi Hadramaut – Yemen). "Could be easily goggled" .

  37. Obaid Hableel Says:

    1) I believe that it is a combination of four elements how ever genes do play a large part of the process of insinuating an entrepreneur
    2) In addition to the genes we need to have as mentioned earlier above Environment
    3) Substance and material ( cattails) to form around it
    4) The need (as they say if there is a will there should be away ) normally derived by Skill.
    It takes all four elements to become an entrepreneur, however the size of the operation and competition or vested interest of the Politicians and Corrupt elements of the Society ( like Mafia) or Communist mind sets could become a major drawback to success .
    Like Arabs ; the Chinese shared trading activities throughout centuries as they dominated the Pacific ocean the Arabs made Indonesia and Malaysia Trade posts for Barter with the Chinese
    But the Environment in China prohibits Large scale entrepreneurship as everything is State owned.

  38. catarinaalexon Says:

    It is isn't it Catherine.

  39. catarinaalexon Says:

    Interesting Catherine. For some reason people mainly associate entrepreneurs with business. But you find entrepreneurs in all walks of life. Churchill, Stalin and Mao are well known examples of leaders who were entrepreneurs. None of them followed a traditional schedule. Stalin and Mao couldn't sleep until in the middle of the night. People around them were hence exhausted. Don't know to what extent entrepreneurs are dyslexic, but it's possible that those figures are correct. Do you know if that figure applies to people with an entrepreneurial mind or people carrying out entrepreneurial activity?

  40. catarinaalexon Says:

    Good comment Obaid.

  41. keyuri joshi Says:

    Very engaging post Catarina. Both nature and nurture are vital components in determining our future. Some aspects of nature cannot be changed. For example, introverts and extroverts are typically born that way and stay that way. Either group can be leaders (entrepreneurs) if their environment is conducive to promoting it. Nurture as we know can make a big difference. In the research I have read about emotional intelligence, we know that children who are "emotion coached" as childrren (even 40 % of the time) grow to be happier and more successful.
    I think we also have to be careful about how we define "entrepreneur" or for that matter even "leader". Julia touched upon it in her comment in the way that her parents promoted creative thinking. So one can be blessed by nature or nurture to have components of entrepreneurship without riskiing their home.

  42. catarinaalexon Says:

    Great comment Keyuri. Like your question of what is an entrepreneur? Most people wrongly associate entrepreneurism with business only. That's not the case. You find entrepreneurs in all walks of life. How many members of Linkedin don't consider themselves entrepreneurs? But are you really an entrepreneur if you just carry out entrepreneurial activity and don't have an entreprenuerial mind? The difference is that entrepreneurs that really make it big and break new ground have entrepreneurial minds. But there is a negative side to that which is that sometimes things go wrong and you lose everything you have.

  43. Larry Cummings Says:

    I agree "born." I have found an audit tool where the intensity of Entrepreneurship can be proven. A combination of personal value constructs make it up. Personally my Top Market Sectors, where my contributions should be asked for, are 'Technology, Marketing and Entrepreneur.' I have lived the last 20 year using my "Entrepreneur" to grow businesses for my partners. So I've invested in this New Zealand company that audits the intensity of its ee' values. I now have a partner I can "TRUST." The tool is proven at auditing and identifying corrupt personal / entitlement mentality / employee stress and why / pockets of inefficiencies.

  44. whatlittlethings Says:

    I love the discussion that came out of your post, Catarina! I came across your blog through the Bloggers LinkedIn group and am excited to be a follower. =)

    I'm not an expert, but 30-40% inheritance seems low to me in the sense that it leaves 60-70% of room for us to be engaged and affected by our surroundings. I like the idea of recognizing that our biology plays a part in who we are because there's beauty in realizing that we're not only connected to our family but also generations of others. At the same time, it instills so much hope to realize that we have the power to learn, adapt and grow.

    To build on your conversation with Keyuri, I also wonder if the term "entrepreneurialism" can be restricting. The label has certain connotations (e.g., being a risk-taker) that some people may not identify with even though their actions show an entrepreneurial spirit.

  45. Susan Oakes Says:

    Interesting post Catarina. Like most things I think it is a combination of factors. I do believe genetics some part as it does in other aspects of our lives and environment helps shape it or in some aspects discourage the entrepreneur spirit. Although my parents were not back in my family history there were others who were entrepreneurs.

  46. catarinaalexon Says:

    Thanks Susan. I'm sure it's a combination of nature and environment + other aspects. You know we don't just inherit abilities from our parents but other relatives as well. So the fact that your parents were not entrepreneurs doesn't mean a thing. Maybe they had entrepreneurial minds that were never developed because of circumstances?

  47. catarinaalexon Says:

    It's definitely a combination of nature and enviironment. But currently the definition of entrepreneur to many people is simply someone who has a business of their own. And that's simply not the case. Entrepreneurial has become fashionable and a lot of people believe that allpeople who want to work for themselves and all successful business people are entrepreneurial, which is simply not the case. A real entrepreneur is a person of very high aptitude who pioneers change, possessing charachteristics only found in a small fraction of the population. Or as Princeton Universtity defines it a person willing to take risks in order to make a profit.

    Nobody, including entrepreneurs, want to take a huge risk if they can avoid doing so. However when you pioneer change for instance new products, production methods, markets or organization it frequently entails taking huge risks. Henry Ford, for instance did, and at least once lost everything he had. A fundamental aspect of an entrepreneurial mind is hence the willingness to take risks to achieve something you passionately believe in. Examples of people with entrepreneurial minds are Henry Ford, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

  48. whatlittlethings Says:

    Well said, Catarina! It makes complete sense that no one wants to take a huge risk if it can be avoided. And being a pioneer is exactly how I envisioned an entrepreneurial spirit. =)

  49. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad we agree. If you are an entrepreneurial spirit just beware that you will lose everything you have on average 3.1 times in life. That's the catch with having an entrepreneurial mind. However, we bounce back swiftly.

  50. catarinaalexon Says:

    Thanks Jill. There is a difference between having an entrepreneurial mind and carrying out entrepreneurial activity. Almost anyone can learn to carry out entrepreneurial activity but how do you learn how to get an entrepreneurial mind .e. pioneer change and develop charachteristics only found in a small fraction of the population? The most difficult part would be to teach someone to take HUGE risks.

    So the question is what is an entrepreneur? Nowadays the world entrepreneurial is in fashion and some people define it as anyone wanting to work for him/herself i.e all business owners. Here's an Ivy League definition from Princeton: "entrepreneurial – willing to take risks in order to make a profit" – do you agree with them?

    By the way, all successful businesspeople are not entrepreneurs. That's another misconception. Just as the belief that entrepreneurs are only found in business. You find entrepreneurs in all walks of life. Winston Churchill is one famous example.

  51. Sherryl Perry Says:

    Very interesting article Catarina. I had honestly never given any thought to this.I would not have thought genes would play a thought but I would think intelligence and environment together would have an impact. Very interesting and thought provoking post.

  52. catarinaalexon Says:

    Yes Sherryl, it's a fascinating subject isn't it? Were does intelligence come from? We inherit it and then develop it don't we. So like entrepreneurialism it is a combination of nature and environment.

  53. CArolien Says:

    Hi Catarina,

    For a publisher l interviewed a 16 year old entrepreneur who's cometing. He answered not to be brought up with entrepreneurialship but having build it up from scratch. As a 12 year old he got interested in firms and business and developed an idea for a webshop! At 14 he contacted an investor and now he has this succesful delivery on command service for enviromental goods.
    But the best part is yet to come: because of his success his mother recently went starting a business for herself (lol.)

  54. catarinaalexon Says:

    CArolien, makes you wonder if the mother had the genes but never used her skills, doesn't it?

  55. catarinaalexon Says:

    Thank you for the link to the interview Michael. Maybe genes don't matter most. Who knows. Do you believe that anyone can learn to take huge risks i.e. losing everything they have to succeed? Should we, according to you differentiate between having an entrepreneurial mind and carrying out entrepreneurial activity?

  56. findingourwaynow Says:

    I agree with your conclusion. Genes play a part, but environment is key to the choices we make in our work and home life. I saw this in action as a first grade teacher. Some children found a way to rise above difficult home lives when they were offered strong positive encouragement and examples of what life could offer them when they applied themselves.
    My recent post Van Ruiten Sauvignon Blanc 2010: Wine

  57. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad we agree that it's a combination of genes and environment, Susan.

  58. Geek Girl Says:

    I don't have much to add to what has already been said. Personally I think genes play a role, but I think environment plays an equally important role.
    My recent post Career Choices

  59. catarinaalexon Says:

    Maybe. But can anyone learn how to take huge risks i.e. lose everything they have to succeed? Personally believe it's a combination of genes and environment.

  60. Leora Says:

    I see you have attracted a large amount of thoughtful comments on this topic! My initial reaction is entrepreneurship, like other traits, is probably some combination of genes and environment.

    You wrote another post about leadership – this reminds me of that one, with a similar question asked.

    In my own family, I see some of my children inherited my creativity gene. Some of my children inherited my husband and my family's math genes. But what they do with those is individual and related to environmental circumstances.
    My recent post What’s Your Sales Pitch?

  61. Ian Peter MacDonald Says:

    My father was an entrepreuneur. he ran a pub and a small whisky company in the highlands of Scotland. He did what he liked when he liked. He had money some days, little other days. Of the five of us kids, three of us have our own businesses and are relatively successful. Why did we do this ? I think largely because we had seen the life we wanted to live, free wheeling, give anything a go. AND guess what the bad days were not THAT bad ! we learned resilience and no fear of failure. Ian Peter

  62. catarinaalexon Says:

    Ian, your father sounds like a true entrepreneur. Don't you think the fact that 3 out of 5 of you kids are entrepreneurs has something to do with genes?

  63. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad you agree with me Leora. It's not enough to have the genes. You must do something with them and that's where the environment comes in.

  64. Adeline Says:

    Great post, Catarina. I personally believe that everyone of us has got the potential to be an entrepreneur inside of us. But things like the environment that we've grown up in does have an effect. I consider myself lucky that my father would always remind me and my brother to gain experience as an employee but not to settle there, and to strive to set up our own businesses. I live in a country where many people grow up within a setting where they were taught to strive to get a good position in a company, and then stop there.
    My recent post What to Do Before Choosing Your Investment Options

  65. catarinaalexon Says:

    True Adeline when it comes to carrying out entrepreneurial activity. But having an entrepreneurial mind i.e. be prepared to lose everthing you have in order to succeed is different. Most likely that's where genes come into play.

  66. Bindhurani Says:

    After reading your post, I think, I don't have the entrepreneurship gene in me.I am mostly a people lover . I am trying in my own ways to make my craft business succeed. I can see what I am lacking. Your articles are really helpful. thanks for sharing. Not many people are prepared to let the safety net go.
    My recent post Finished Crochet Projects

  67. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad my articles are helpful Bindhurani. Love your honest answer. Most people who don't think they have the entrepreneurial genes take the easy option of just saying the environment is what makes you an entrepreneur. Most likely because entrepreneur is a buzz word at the moment and people believe anyone having his/her own company is an entrepreneur.

  68. keepupweb Says:

    That headhunter's question to vet entrepreneurs is excellent Catarina. It's easy to call ourselves entrepreneurs. Yet very few of us are.
    My recent post The 2012 Reader’s Choice Award for Best Marketing Strategy Blog

  69. catarinaalexon Says:

    It is isn't it Sherryl.

  70. akandrewwriter Says:

    Wow! – well done on garnering so many comments Catarina. I think it's definitely a little bit of both genes & environment. My father was an entrepeneur, and it rubbed off on me, but not my siblings. I think you can be a risk taker and be considered an entrepeneur without having to bet the farm. You can certainly learn business skills, but some people just aren't going to take the risk. Have to be a type A personality, that's for sure. Good post. Thank you.
    My recent post Changing Procrastination Creatively

  71. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad you agree with me AK. My father was also an entrepreneur and, like in your case, I got the genes, but not my siblings.

    By the way, don't forget that you don't find people with entrepreneurial minds in business only. You find them in all walks of life. Mahatma Ghandi, Winston Churchill, Mother Teresa and Julius Caesar are great examples.

  72. jim cooper Says:

    Well put together Catrina. I believe there is a lot of merit to your thoughts on entrepreneurs. Keep sharing.

  73. catarinaalexon Says:

    Thank you Jim.

  74. Ciaran Walsh Says:

    Some years ago I surveyed 40 of my 200 entrepreneurial client base and found that none of them had a parent who was an entrepreneur. Small sample, but it convinced me that entrepreneurship is not inherited.

  75. catarinaalexon Says:

    Thank you for your input, Ciaran. Your conclusion may or may not be correct. When you surveyed them did you look at if any of them had a parent that was running a business?

  76. clairecappetta Says:

    I think it's all about how one goes through life. I have met many successful people and they always had an optimistic outlook down to the old phrase of "when life hands you lemons, make lemonade'… Then there are the people who would look at the lemons and say "Yuk, What the heck am I supposed to do with these?" I don't think upbringing has really anything to do with it. I believe people are born with it.
    Great thought provoking post!
    My recent post A Broken Ring done! 1st chapter free ;) he-he

  77. catarinaalexon Says:

    Claire, I'm glad you agree that genes, or something we inherit, plays a part. But environment also plays a part.

  78. Steve Boyce Says:

    Very interesting debate. Being adopted myself I have spent years wondering what parts of me were genetic and what parts were environmental.
    I am now in the certain belief that regardless of genes,personal life circumstances EVERYTHING is trainable. We can individually evolve into anything we want. All we have to do is choose.

  79. catarinaalexon Says:

    Thank you for conveying your opinion Steve.

  80. Vincent E Martinelli Says:

    At the risk of repeating, I am writing this comment before having read any other replies.

    Many of us are pre-wired toward an independent (entrepreneurial) spirit, but environment also plays a key role. Likewise, many whom are not wired as such may become entrepreneurial via cultivation or need. Additionally, measuring such a genetic influence becomes difficult since infinite factors are at hand. With that said, as a family genealogist with over 2,800 known relatives, I can say with "relative" certainty that genetics plays a huge role.

    For instance, nearly everyone in one of my family branches is in law enforcement and/or is an attorney. Obviously, nurture may be playing a role here as well. Likewise, another huge branch of my family have almost all taken on rolls of the drone workers; this is despite the fact that this is arguably the most intelligent (measured by those fill-in-the-dot with your #2 pencil tests) branch of the family (supporting the argument that intelligence is also genetic).

    I've also noticed that a high percentage of people whom have descended from a particular city in the "old" country have become business owners. Likewise, certain cultures have become known for their business inclinations. It has been said "They don't come to America to work, they come here to go into business and send their money home." Again, it is difficult to differentiate the genetic factor from the other factors such as need, environment, and culture. Perhaps if these same people lived in a democracy, they would have owned businesses in their "old" country as well.

  81. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad you agree with me that it's a combination of genes and environment, Vincent.

  82. Rudee Says:

    I agree with you that genes and your environment play a big role in entrepreneurs. My parents had 4 girls and each of us are entrepreneurs while our husbands are not. Growing up I think we all had to prove ourselves as we came from a family that there was no option but to succeed. I saw my father more than once risk everything he had in order to achieve something he passionately believed in. When I look back at some of his ideas, he was before his time. He was born in 1918 and I remember he said one day you will be able to talk on the phone and see the other person. Everyone thought he was nuts. Maybe that is the key, to be a little nuts and take the risk. He was a doctor, an attorney and owned a mortgage company and he did it on his own as his parents had little money. We girls knew we had to be successful. Something played a big part in what we all are doing today

  83. catarinaalexon Says:

    Rudee, my late father also had an entrepreneurial mind. And like your father he was before his time. Products he worked on in the 70's, like disposable barbeques, are hits today. By the way he also embraced globalism already in the 50's.

    And as we both know, sometimes we inherit those genes:-)

  84. Patricia Weber Says:

    From my and my husband experience, I'd give it a 50/50 truth. My dad and his 4 brothers, all ran a business together as partners. My mom, stayed at home until we 3 daughters were close to graduating high school and then became a nurse. My husband's dad, worked for a brewery all his short life. My mother-in-law was a successful realtor. You can see from my perspective, it's a roll of the dice! But great that you shared the research with us Catarina.
    My recent post 5 Tips To Understand and Get Out of LinkedIn Group Posting Jail

  85. catarinaalexon Says:

    Yes, Pat, genetics is a gamble. What we get is not fair. But what the research concluded makes sense. Why should determination, perseverance and bravery not be to some extent genetic?

  86. Christina Says:

    Interesting thoughts! Ten to fifteen years ago I wouldn’t have considered being an entrepreneur. I think the experiences of being in an organization where my skills were utilized to advance others and my true growth was stifled was the catalyst for me to start in a new direction.

  87. catarinaalexon Says:

    Can't help wondering if you now believe you many be an entrepreneur, Christina?

  88. Leora Says:

    I certainly believe there is an entrepreneurial gene! I haven't seen a lot of signs of it in my family. We've got the math gene and a separate art gene. I tried to teach my eldest art – he had no interest. He definitely has the math gene. My middle one and my youngest have the art gene, and I never tried teaching them art. My youngest does not have the math gene, but I've seen her learn math, all be it with struggling. So those of us without the entrepreneurial gene will struggle and get somewhere.
    My recent post Resize or Crop an Image with Pixlr

  89. Tim Says:

    This is a subject I have often thought about as many of my friends growing up who were dead set on working in their own businesses were the children of business owners. From what I saw they seemed to carry with them a much more care-free attitude towards money and therefore risking it was less stressful.

  90. Susan P Cooper Says:

    When I think of genes I think of brains and intelligence. So absolutely, I believe they play a part. We can't discount the environment as a key player in the choices we make in our work life and our home. When the right environmental influences and solid intelligence are there, the inherent genes are obvious. Just my thoughts. :-)
    My recent post Bend In The Road: #Story – #Musing

  91. Michele Harvey Says:

    "Is it really possible to learn to risk everything you have in order to achieve something you passionately believe in? Because that’s what having an entrepreneurial mind entails," you ask? I'm grateful for your definition because it describes me. I don't believe someone without a genetic pre-disposition for entrepreneurship can be turned into a successful entrepreneur with the "right" environment. They may develop some ability that they wouldn't have otherwise, but, I think entrepreneurial behavior would ultimately prove too stressful to a person with a more passive disposition.
    My recent post Traveling Solo Through Chile For Personal Growth – Part 2

  92. yearwoodcom Says:

    An interesting post. I have thought about entrepreneurs in many different ways, but mostly as people who are compelled by circumstances to start a business. Yet what you say makes perfect sense to me and accurately describes the difference between a natural entrepreneur, that person who not only strikes out on their own, but will continue to start businesses regardless of their failure or success rate, and that individual who starts a business during difficult times rather than go without work. The difference between entrepreneurial activity and an entrepreneurial mind is immense, I wonder how it impacts success rates?
    My recent post Pride – Do you love it or hate it?

  93. catarinaalexon Says:

    Well said, Susan. It makes sense it's a combination of genes and environment, doens't it.

  94. cheryltherrien Says:

    I believe both environment & genes play a role. If you have the right environment, then the right genes will take the lead and play their role. You make a valid point though when you say that if a person is not ready to risk it all to make their idea work, then they likely do not have an entrepreneurial mind. You might be able to think like an entrepreneur but still not act on those ideas.
    My recent post United Plant Savers: Conference

  95. catarinaalexon Says:

    Spot on, Cheryl. There's more to being an entrepreneur than meets the eye:-)

  96. lenie5860 Says:

    This is like the nature vs nurture discussions that have been going on for years in regards children. I think genes may lay dormant unless something prompts their use. A poverty stricken person who is interested only in survival may have the entrepreneurial gene but chances are it will never be called into play. On the other hand, a person who has access to the education and support,having entrepreneurial genes and is willing to work hard and take responsible risks will likely succeed as an entrepreneur. It appears to me that in most cases we need the right environment to prompt the nature.

  97. Welli Says:

    I think the environment and influences one is affected by play a bigger role in entrepreneurial mindset than genes do. It is a matter of fear and how one has been conditioned to handle it as well as risk and how one has been conditioned to manage it. I do not necessarily believe those are genetic issues but more environmental and learnt factors.
    My recent post Fear: Breaking the block part 1

  98. William Rusho Says:

    I think we put so much thought into one thing. Is it environment, is it genes? We are a combination of all things, environment, genes, and also plain simple luck. We look at someone successful and we do not measure how much did just plain luck play in their success.
    I am unsure if we can measure which is more important, we are a collage of all the influences in our lives. One item might be more influential on someone, than it is on another.

  99. catarinaalexon Says:

    Yes an entrepreneurial gene makes sense, doesn't it, Leora? But if the professor mentioned in my article is right 60 percent of entrepreneurship is down to the environment. So go for it!

  100. catarinaalexon Says:

    The gene that gives you an entrepreneurial mind is probably part of the reason they had a more care-free attitude towards risk, Tim. It seems that determination, willingness to take risks and perseverance is what the gene is all about. But the environment also have an impact on that. So how much is genetic and how much is the environment?

  101. catarinaalexon Says:

    Seems we have that "description" in common, Michele. The most successful enterpreneurs throught history definitely had the genes. Did you know that most of them lost everything they had on average 3.8 times.

  102. jacquiegum Says:

    Really thought provoking post Catarina. Personally, I think genes play a part in everything about a person! But the most important question you raise, lies in your very astute… "Anyone can learn how to carry out entrepreneurial activity. But how do you learn to have an entrepreneurial mind?" There are many bright minds out here in the world, but not all of them are ambitiously minded. I think that anyone has to learn how to develop any existing good quality
    My recent post Flirt… Where’s The Justice?

  103. catarinaalexon Says:

    Yes the combination makes sense, doesn't it, Debra. Most entrepreneurs don't have an entrepreneurial mind, which is what makes a difference. But don't forget that the negative aspect of an entrepreneurial mind is losing everything you have, on average 3,8 times, I read somewhere.

  104. catarinaalexon Says:

    Sure, Lenie. But when you have the gene it will give you an entrepreneurial mind that makes even dirt poor people in the slums of developing countries succeed.

  105. catarinaalexon Says:

    Welli, people with the entrepreneurial gene are able to handle fear, are determined and persevere. That's what makes the difference between having an entrepreneurial mind and carrying out entrpreneurial activity. On average successful entrepreneurs lose everything they have 3.8 times.

  106. Arleen Says:

    Hi Catarina- I left a comment 69 weeks ago as Rudee. I think this is such an interesting article. We are a product of our environment and there has to be some drive in our DNA to be an entrepreneur or everyone would be one.
    My recent post Shark Tank Judge Daymond John’s Success Through Branding

  107. catarinaalexon Says:

    The most interesting thing about the entrepreneurial gene, William, is that people who don't believe they have it don't like even the idea of such a gene.:-)

  108. catarinaalexon Says:

    Spot on, Jacqueline!!

  109. catarinaalexon Says:

    Yes, I know, Arleen. Didn't think you would post one more comment. Of course the genes play a part as well as the environment.

  110. MinaJoshi Says:

    This is a very thought provoking article. Not sure if you would call it genes playing a part in entrepreneurship but amongst Indians there is a certain caste who are very good at mathematics and setting up their own business and at making money. It could be cultural influences or genes. I am not sure.

  111. Bhagya lakshmi Says:

    well explained theory. even we can express in easy terms like how the coin had two faces just like even entrepreneur would always tend to have two faces. one side of coin is resemble Geneses and another side of coin exhibits environment existence.

  112. catarinaalexon Says:

    Call it genes or whatever you like, Mina. Part of how we are is inherited and part is the environment. Why should determination, perseverance and willingness to take risks be the only charachteristics not inherited? Influence and the environment, however determine if we will develop those charachteristics.

  113. clairecappetta Says:

    I've known entrepreneurs, one was Gerry who started the Comet electrical store which became nationwide in the UK, for him it was the passion of simply being his own boss and a passion to make it successful. My ex husband developed amazing video games back in the 80's, His ideas were usually stolen from him because he always forgot that important element… Patenting! But mention his old company to gamers who have been around since gaming inception and they say "Whoa! Superior Software! That was amazing and groundbreaking!" Still is today to a certain degree although he broke off from the partnership years ago. Having talked to entrepreneurs I don't believe it's genes but a passion and a drive in what they do coming from backgrounds who fathers were blue collar workers.
    So do I believe it's in the genes? No. It's in their passions.. whatever it may be
    My recent post Pretty? Please! Are you serious?

  114. JeriWB Says:

    This the nature vs. nurture argument, but I would personally say society's hegemonic practices are playing a large role as well.
    My recent post #WriteTip: How to Compile an Ebook in Scrivener (PC Version)

  115. catarinaalexon Says:

    In what ways, Jeri?

  116. catarinaalexon Says:

    Claire, of course it's the passion, drive, determination, perseverance and willingness to take huge risks that are the main charachteristics of an entrepreneur. But why should those charachteristics be the only qualities that are not inherited? Having said that, I believe environment has a bigger role to play. By the way, don't forget that not only business owners are entrepreneurs. Mahatma Ghandi and Nelson Mandela were successful entrepreneurs.

  117. Ilaria Says:

    Very interesting topic Catarina! I believe that genes and mindset play a big role, but it's also important to grow up in a stimulant environment, and to have the chance to access a certain kind of experience or education. A very important thing to be an entrepreneur is not to give up and fight to reach your goal.
    My recent post A dream called Santorini #preview

  118. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad you agree with me, Ilaria. It's definitely a combination of nature and environment. Determination, perseverance and willingness to take huge risks seems to be what's embedded in the entrepreneurial gene. Thress charachteristics that are hard to learn. Especially the latter.

  119. JeriWB Says:

    I'm referring to the sociological rather than the political sense. What we think of as the status quo in good business and leadership is often directed by unspoken power structures that are not acknowledged in many cases.
    My recent post #WriteTip: How to Compile an Ebook in Scrivener (PC Version)

  120. catarinaalexon Says:

    True, Jeri. But if a person has a strong drive to succeed he/she often overcomes such obstacles.

  121. Pat Amsden Says:

    By that standard I’m out. However, our world definitely wouldn’t ‘t be the same without entrepreneurs willing to take such chances.

  122. catarinaalexon Says:

    True Pat, what would happen in the world without entrepreneurs?

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