It takes a special kind of person to become an entrepreneur. Not everyone can do it; not everyone is willing to take the risk. But, for the people who do become entrepreneurs, they appear to share similar characteristics. Whether this is down to genetics, upbringing or education, it’s hard to tell. But entrepreneurs are natural risk takers, opportunistic, passionate, committed and born to be leaders. Above all, they’re innovative.
As founder of a prominent international company, Norman Peires  is an example of this. Building his company from the ground up, he’s reached business successes that many people only dream of. And, after meeting him, it’s easy to get caught in his spell. While he no longer sits at the forefront of his ever-growing company, Peires has strong interests in other areas.
“The most interesting thing is our work in Africa,” he says. “Honestly it’s great.”
Through his family trust, Peires owns another business based in the Channel Islands, that “owns very large resource deposits in Mali” including gold and iron. The company also works in conjunction with the government to distribute fuel to the country and is helping to build railroads and “all kinds of things” across the north-east African nation.
While Peires has stepped down as head of his company, his entrepreneurship clearly hasn’t fallen by the wayside.
“I don’t want to fall behind,” he urges. But with his drive and ambition, he’s not likely to.
Indian-born Lord Karan Bilimoria is another highly successful businessman who clearly possesses these signature characteristics. He came to Britain as an enthusiastic 19-year-old, and after coming up with the idea as a student, he started his business, Cobra Beer, when Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister.
In an article in the Telegraph, Bilimoria proudly calls himself one of Thatcher’s children and attributes much of his success to the Baroness who he believes transformed Britain’s attitude to enterprise and unleashed the spirit of entrepreneurship in the country.
“Margaret Thatcher was a leader for groups in society who had not been given their chance to shine. There is no way I could have done what I did without everything that she did to enable it to happen.” he wrote.
So, it can’t just be the signature traits that allow a person, with an idea, to flourish. It could be a combination of personality traits and the political environment in which you live in.
There’s also an argument that it’s in fact a person’s education that predisposes them to become prosperous entrepreneurs. At the introduction of the iPad 2, Steve Jobs famously said that “it is technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our heart sing”. This sparked debate among the press as to whether entrepreneurial sense is learnt through a specific type of education, specifically not from a business or engineering background.
It’s thought that it takes both abstract and analytical thinking – two qualities commonly valued in the humanities – to grow a notion into a business, as well as critical thinking. Of course, a business degree, or something along the lines of engineering, isn’t to be ignored, but it’s the forward-thinking associated with the humanities that make it appear the somewhat superior educational requirement for budding entrepreneurs.
Whether you believe its genetics , political environment, or even education that makes a person entrepreneurial, the deciding factor has to be passion. Without belief and excitement in your idea or venture, then you’re not going to have the drive to get it off the ground, fight hard at any hurdles, or remain interested for long enough to see it succeed well into the future.