An estimated 31% of Americans have considered starting a business but haven’t taken the plunge. Many of these “wannabe” entrepreneurs aren’t sure what to expect, or whether they are cut out to start companies.
There are lots of misconceptions about what it takes to start a business. Many people hear “entrepreneur” and picture a 22 year old computer prodigy, or a newly-minted M.B.A. with a Blackberry full of venture capital contacts. Others picture a seasoned veteran, who has started several companies over the course of many years.
In reality, entrepreneurs don’t fit neatly into demographic buckets.
Myth 1: Most entrepreneurs are fresh out of school, or experienced veterans.
A quick glance at the age of the 2009 Inc. 500 list dispels that one:
Myth #2: Entrepreneurs from top schools have a big advantage.
If you want to raise Venture Capital funding, it’s helpful to have classmates in high places. Peruse the bios of Venture Capital partners, and you’ll see a lot of Harvard, Stanford and Wharton MBAs, for example. But most startups don’t raise Venture Capital; how important is a fancy degree to them? Not very. According to a Kauffman Foundation research study of 549 founders of successful high-growth businesses, only 6% went to Ivy League schools.