Entrepreneurs are among the most celebrated people in our culture, but little is known about the backgrounds, experiences and motivations of these innovative company founders. For instance, it is widely assumed that entrepreneurs are young and single, or come from already wealthy family backgrounds, but a recent survey conducted by the Kauffman Foundation surprisingly shows quite the opposite.

We at Return on Change find these survey results helpful for filling some of the information gaps in our perception about entrepreneurs. For instance, the common stereotype that an entrepreneur is a childless, unmarried, workaholic with no time for a wife/husband and children appears to be false.

Here are some interesting facts:

  • Average age of company founders was 40 years old
  • 75% of entrepreneurs had previously worked at other companies for 6 years before launching their own
  • 70% were married when they launched their first business

And with over 50% of entrepreneurs married with children when they started their first businesses, we now understand the important correlation between responsibility in raising a family and responsibility in owning and running a company.

That is why we created an infographic to boil down and illustrate the interesting findings in the Kauffman survey. Launched and fueled by a group of passionate entrepreneurs, Return on Change is itself a great example of innovators learning from the socio-economic, educational and familial backgrounds as well as the mindset and motivations of peer entrepreneurs. And while this data was based on information collected in 2009, it will be interesting to see how the anatomy of entrepreneurs shift over time as (1) access to information improves, (2) barriers to business entry are lowered especially for internet businesses and (3) the amount of time and hurdles that go into startup capital raises gets eased with crowdinvesting.

What are your thoughts on this? We’d love to hear from you!

(For a larger image click on the image below)



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Wen Fu
Wen is the Brand Marketing intern at Return on Change. Before graduating from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee in May 2013, she led the social media efforts for a nonprofit climate change media project, volunteered at a local HIV/AIDS support organization, served as a student marketer for the Rhodes Center for International Education, studied and interned for a global ad firm in London, and worked as a digital media analyst for several Memphis-based ad agencies.
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