Paul Edwards — my friend and coauthor of Home-Based Business For Dummies with his wife Sarah — sent me an interesting study published this month by the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, Missouri. The study — titled The Anatomy of an Entrepreneur: Family Background and Motivation — surveyed 549 company founders in a variety of industries, including services, health care, aerospace and defense, and computer and electronics. And while the results of the study are skewed towards successful entrepreneurs (those entrepreneurs who were at the helm of failed businesses were not a part of this study), they are illuminating nonetheless.
As the title of the study indicates, results in two key areas are presented: the backgrounds of the entrepreneurs surveyed and what motivated them to start their businesses. I found the motivations of the company founders to be of greatest personal interest. According to the survey:
- 74.8 percent stated that building wealth was an important motivation in becoming an entrepreneur.
- 68.1 percent said that capitalizing on a business idea was an important motivation in becoming an entrepreneur.
- 64.2 percent indicated that they have always wanted to own their own companies.
- 66.2 percent stated that the appeal of a startup culture was an important motivation.
- 60.3 percent indicated that working for others did not appeal to them.
What motivates you? Why did you start your business and what is it that drives you to continue to build it?
Do you see your own reflection in the results of the Kauffman study?