Businesspeople more risk-averse than general population

British entrepreneurs demonstrate a far more prudent and risk-averse attitude than the general public, according to a psychological study.

A survey carried out by AXA Business Insurance and Psychological Consultancy Limited, in conjunction with the Association of Business Psychologists, finds that small business owners are far more likely to maintain wary, prudent and deliberate (calculated) traits than the general population.

Contrary to stereotypical perceptions of entrepreneurs as maverick individuals with an inherent appetite for risk, the analysis finds that the majority (52 percent) of respondents fall within one of three risk types: wary (22 per cent), prudent (15.2 per cent) or deliberate (14.8 per cent).

Moreover, the entrepreneurs surveyed showed far less adventurous characteristics (3.6 percent) than the average public (12.8 percent).

Despite the seemingly conservative approach taken by entrepreneurs, the research finds that individuals who are more calm, confident, optimistic, organised, methodical and measured have greater financial resources and may, therefore, be more successful small business owners.

Darrell Sansom, managing director at AXA Business Insurance says, ‘We often think of entrepreneurs as being adventurous renegades, renouncing the more common commercial work environment in search of their own fortunes and in support of their passions.

‘It’s encouraging to see the level of vigilance they employ when compared with the broader population, as from our experience, those businesses featuring more diligent management teams have traditionally been more successful in the longer term.’

Alan Dobie

Alan Dobie

Alan was assistant editor at Vitesse Media Plc (previous owner of before moving on to a content producer role at Reed Business Information. He has over 17 years of experience in the...

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