Guts, Gall, and Good Luck: What It Takes To Be An Entrepreneur

 
 
What are the ingredients that make an entrepreneur successful? Here is a collection of stories and research that shows the way to making a difference in industries as diverse as green technologies, beauty products, and outer space.
 
 
by Sean Silverthorne
iStock

What do these people have in common? The daughter of former slaves, pioneers in the private space race, and oddball inventors who created the green business industry. They all overcame long odds to become great American entrepreneurs. Here is a collection of recent stories and research reports that attempt to explain the necessary ingredients to becoming a successful entrepreneur—no matter how unlikely.

The Most Successful Startups Have Hands-On Founders

The best-performing startups are those where the founder is hands-on with people management.

'Don’t Show Up Empty-handed' and Other Tips for Finding the Right Job at a Startup

Finding a job at a startup is not the same process as hunting employment at an established business.

The Amazing Life of One of America’s Earliest Black, Female Entrepreneurs

Though not everyone may know her name, Madam C.J. Walker helped invent what have become staples of our modern country and economy: beauty products, national sales forces, and corporate social responsibility.

Who Owns Space?

Entrepreneurs like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are tapping into their vast personal wealth to make commercial space travel a reality. In the process, they're revitalizing a listless national space program. (Published in 2016).

Why Entrepreneurs Must Focus on Building Trust

Legal and social institutions that support entrepreneurs often aren't well established in developing countries. A new book explains how businesses can make up for that by building trust.

Turning One Thousand Customers into One Million

How Uber, Etsy, and Airbnb climbed from one thousand customers to one million.

Skills and Behaviors that Make Entrepreneurs Successful

Research at Harvard Business School takes a unique approach to understanding behaviors and skills associated with successful entrepreneurs.

Meet the Oddball Entrepreneurs Who Invented Green Businesses

Historians have hardly noticed the fringe-of-society entrepreneurs who gave birth to the green business movement starting in the 19th century.

Research Papers

Personality Traits of Entrepreneurs: A Review of Recent Literature

This paper brings together recent findings in the academic literature on the prevalence of various personality traits among entrepreneurs and their impact on venture performance.

Self-Employment Dynamics and the Returns to Entrepreneurship

Why do workers turn to entrepreneurship when many entrepreneurs appear to earn less than what they could earn in paid employment?

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