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Starting a business takes drive, talent, initiative and persistence. But is some indefinable essence also involved--a gift that is bestowed at birth upon natural entrepreneurs? A new survey attempts to answer the age-old question of whether entrepreneurs are born or made.
In the survey, commissioned by Northeastern University in league with Entrepreneur magazine, more than 256 people shared their insights into what inspired them to become entrepreneurs. "We conducted the survey to discover how people were thinking about entrepreneurship," says Paul Zavracky, dean of the School of Technological Entrepreneurship at Boston's Northeastern. "[It] suggests that a pretty even mix of people feel they were born or made."
A whopping 42.3 percent of respondents believe their inspiration came from within--that they were personally responsible for their success. "When I talk to entrepreneurs, most of them tell me they believe there's something in their nature that made them entrepreneurs," says Zavracky. Meanwhile, 22.1 percent and 18.6 percent of those surveyed said their biggest inspiration came from family or a successful entrepreneurial peer, respectively.