How do great entrepreneurs learn the craft of entrepreneurship?
A number of companies in Endeavor’s network have doubled their revenues and employment figures in the past two years. The analytics team at Endeavor Insight interviewed the founders of the 48 of these very fast-growing companies to identify how they learned to be such successful entrepreneurs. The interviews and subsequent analysis revealed two key lessons about the backgrounds of these founders.
1. Many successful founders come from entrepreneurial families.
The interviews revealed that family background seems to weigh a lot in launching successful companies. Almost two thirds of Endeavor’s most successful founders had an entrepreneurial family member, and this made them view entrepreneurship as an attractive career choice. Interviewees mentioned that they learned a great deal about entrepreneurship from these family members.
2. Practical learning outweighs formal education for entrepreneurship.
Over two thirds of the high-impact entrepreneurs involved in this research also said they learned how to be entrepreneurs through practical experience. Many of them noted that mistakes and failed ventures were especially valuable in the learning process. Less than a third of the entrepreneurs in the study mentioned formal education as their primary method of learning how to start and run a company.
While an entrepreneurial family is admittedly difficult to produce just for the sake of future success, the importance of practical learning is something that can be a valuable lesson for policymakers and administrators in charge of designing business school curricula.
The results of the study will be published soon..
Contributed by Lili Torok.