What Makes a Successful Entrepreneur? Evidence from Brazil
We report the results of a new survey on entrepreneurship in Brazil. In September 2006, we interviewed 400 entrepreneurs and 550 non-entrepreneurs of the same age, gender, education and location in 7 Brazilian cities. The data are used to test three competing hypotheses on entrepreneurship: the role of economic and legal institutions (security of property rights; access to credit); the role of sociological characteristics (family background, social networks); and the role of individual features (attitude towards risk, I.Q., self-confidence) in becoming an entrepreneur. In line with our previous research in China and Russia, we find that sociological characteristics have the strongest influence on becoming an entrepreneur. In contrast, success as an entrepreneur is primarily determined by the individual’s smartness and higher education in the family. Entrepreneurs are not more self-confident than non-entrepreneurs; and overconfidence is bad for business success.
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