Sunday, February 28, 2010

Entrepreneurs are made, not born

Here is a nice piece by Vivek Wadhwa in TechCrunch.  Some excerpts:
Entrepreneurs aren’t born, they’re made. And they aren’t anything like you think they are. My team surveyed549 successful entrepreneurs. We found that the majority didn’t have entrepreneurial parents. They didn’t even have entrepreneurial aspirations while going to school.
 VP of Research, Bob Litan, says that Kauffman has learnt conclusively that entrepreneurship can be taught. The key is to provide education at “teachable moments” — when the entrepreneur is thinking about starting a venture or ready to scale it. What entrepreneurs need isn’t the type of abstract course they teach in business schools, but practical, relevant knowledge.  
One of the findings of Kauffman research is that of the appx. 600,000 businesses that are started every year, less than a fraction of 1% become high-growth “scale” businesses. These new firms, especially the “scale” firms, have added all of the net incremental jobs to U.S. economy since 1980 (about 40 million), and probably account for about 1/3 of GDP growth since then. So the key to boosting economic growth is to increase the number of successful high-growth startups.