Is entrepreneurialism Genetic?


Do the genes that make up the person you are today contain the information needed to become an entrepreneur? Are we pre-coded from birth to inherit this money making qualities of our parents or it is all to do with how we are raised and educated?

Entrepreneurs create wealth and jobs. Because of these two facts, they are considered an essential part of a region or countries economy. Without entrepreneurs we would live in a very different world. Governments, schools, universities and business groups are constantly on the look out for ways to turn entrepreneurship in people. But despite all this, no one knows exactly what it is that sparks anyone to create their own businesses. However, several recent studies suggest that a significant part of the “spark” could be due to individual genetic make-up.

Nicos Nicolaou (lecturer in entrepreneurship at the Tanaka School of Business, Imperial College London), Scott Shane (Mixon Professor of Entrepreneurship, Case Western Reserve Universities Weatherhead School of Management), Janice hunk, Tim Spector and Lynn Cherkas ( Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology Unit, St Thomas Hospital in London, home of the British twin registry of over 10,000 twins), all came together and worked in this unique study.

They compared the “rate” of entrepreneurship between more than 1,250 pairs of identical (fraternal) twins within the UK. They concluded that almost half, 48% of individuals tend to become self-employed and start their own businesses is genetic.

Partnership did a study of self employment among 609 pairs of identical twins, and compared to the self-employment of 657 pairs of same-sex fraternal twins in Britain. Twins share 100% of the genetic composition of each other, while fraternal twins share only about 50% on average. They concluded that the rate of identical twins pairs both became pioneers, and the rate at which both sets of fraternal twins became entrepreneurs can be attributed to genetic factors. “One can look at the pattern matching (the number of pairs of twins, both parties are or are not employers) and reasonably conclude that genetic factors account for the difference,” says Scott Shane.

collaborating scientists have proposed several methods that genetic factors may influence a person’s potential to become an entrepreneur. For example, genetics may cause a person to develop the properties, such as being very sociable, or extrovert. However, can pave the way to this person gain skills such as salesmanship, which is an important skill attributed to entrepreneurial success.

Gen have also been shown to affect the amount or level of education a person could get. Thus, people are getting more education are more likely to become entrepreneurs, as they are likely to be able to identify new business opportunities where others can not.

Finally, their research has shown a clear genetic predisposition to entrepreneurship, which makes it possible to proceed with further research to identify the specific genes involved in being an entrepreneur.


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