Studies show that the psychological propensities for male and female entrepreneurs are more similar than different. Empirical studies suggest that female entrepreneurs possess strong negotiating skills and consensus-forming abilities. Asa Hansson, who looked at empirical evidence from Sweden, found that the probability of becoming self-employed decreases with age for women, but increases with age for men. She also found that marriage increased the probability of a person becoming an entrepreneur.
At least early on, entrepreneurs often "bootstrap-finance" their start-up rather than seeking external investors from the start. One of the reasons that some entrepreneurs prefer to "bootstrap" is that obtaining equity financing requires the entrepreneur to provide ownership shares to the investors. If the start-up becomes successful later on, these early equity financing deals could provide a windfall for the investors and a huge loss for the entrepreneur. If investors have a significant stake in the company, they may as well be able to exert influence on company strategy, chief executive officer (CEO) choice and other important decisions. This is often problematic since the investor and the founder might have different incentives regarding the long-term goal of the company. An investor will generally aim for a profitable exit and therefore promotes a high-valuation sale of the company or IPO in order to sell their shares. Whereas the entrepreneur might have philanthropic intentions as their main driving force. Soft values like this might not go well with the short-term pressure on yearly and quarterly profits that publicly traded companies often experience from their owners.
Financial success – Most entrepreneurs realize they aren't going to be overnight billionaires, but that doesn't mean they aren't at least a little bit seduced by the potential of making a ton of money. Some may want to establish a financial safety net for themselves and their families, while others are looking to make a huge profit by creating the next big thing.
Innovative entrepreneurs may be more likely to experience what psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls "flow". "Flow" occurs when an individual forgets about the outside world due to being thoroughly engaged in a process or activity. Csikszentmihalyi suggested that breakthrough innovations tend to occur at the hands of individuals in that state. Other research has concluded that a strong internal motivation is a vital ingredient for breakthrough innovation. Flow can be compared to Maria Montessori's concept of normalization, a state that includes a child's capacity for joyful and lengthy periods of intense concentration. Csikszentmihalyi acknowledged that Montessori's prepared environment offers children opportunities to achieve flow. Thus quality and type of early education may influence entrepreneurial capability.
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Leadership in entrepreneurship can be defined as "process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task" in "one who undertakes innovations, finance and business acumen in an effort to transform innovations into economic goods". This refers to not only the act of entrepreneurship as managing or starting a business, but how one manages to do so by these social processes, or leadership skills. Entrepreneurship in itself can be defined as "the process by which individuals, teams, or organizations identify and pursue entrepreneurial opportunities without being immediately constrained by the resources they currently control". An entrepreneur typically has a mindset that seeks out potential opportunities during uncertain times. An entrepreneur must have leadership skills or qualities to see potential opportunities and act upon them. At the core, an entrepreneur is a decision maker. Such decisions often affect an organization as a whole, which is representative of their leadership amongst the organization.
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Three thinkers were central to the inclusion of entrepreneurs: Joseph Schumpeter, Frank Knight, and Israel Kirzner. Schumpeter suggested that entrepreneurs – not just companies – were responsible for the creation of new things in the search of profit. Knight focused on entrepreneurs as the bearers of uncertainty and believed they were responsible for risk premiums in financial markets. Kirzner thought of entrepreneurship as a process that led to the discovery.
Some may see the distinction between local and systemic entrepreneurship as similar to the one between the innovation-oriented entrepreneurship described in Schumpeter's (1934) work and the more opportunity-oriented entrepreneurial activity that one can find in Kirzner's research) It would be misleading, however, to view systemic entrepreneurship as based on innovation while the other type is not.
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Entrepreneurship is often associated with true uncertainty, particularly when it involves the creation of a novel good or service, for a market that did not previously exist, rather than when a venture creates an incremental improvement to an existing product or service. A 2014 study at ETH Zürich found that compared with typical managers, entrepreneurs showed higher decision-making efficiency and a stronger activation in regions of frontopolar cortex (FPC) previously associated with explorative choice.
Former Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz initially thought playing Italian opera music over store speakers would accentuate the Italian coffeehouse experience he was attempting to replicate. But customers saw things differently and didn’t seem to like arias with their espressos. As a result, Schultz jettisoned the opera and introduced comfortable chairs instead.
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