Adversity creates entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs owe their success in business to personal adversity, reveals a new study.

Some 69 per cent of entrepreneurs say overcoming personal adversity was their main motivation to achieve. Fifty-six per cent said determination was the most important factor for a successful entrepreneur, followed by passion (22 per cent), claims the survey by social enterprise charity the Aldridge Foundation.

Rod Aldridge, founder of FTSE 100 outsourcing company Capita Group and chair of the Aldridge Foundation, says he was spurred on to prove himself after underachieving at school. ‘It is admirable that so many entrepreneurs have overcome personal adversity to lead incredibly successful lives. It’s a lesson to us all that anything is possible – but we can’t take this resilience for granted.’

Alex Cheatle, founder of corporate services firm TenUK, cites his parent’s divorce as the reason for his determination to succeed. ‘A government minister once asked me how we can boost entrepreneurship in this country. My flippant response was: “More misfortune’’.

Of the 370 entrepreneurs surveyed, 21 per cent said the best way to encourage young entrepreneurs is to provide business mentors, with 20 per cent believing entrepreneurship should be taught at school.

Richard Branson was recently voted the most popular business guru in a poll by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

See also: Five essential characteristics of successful entrepreneurs

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