Essence of Enterprise - Breaking out from the norm

A common denominator for success among three out of every five entrepreneurs is that they come from a business owning family. Our global research in fact highlights that 62 per cent of entrepreneurs said they are the second or even third generation of business owners in their family.

The early experience of growing up in a business family often provides young entrepreneurs with a head start through connections and capital.

However, this means of course that for every three entrepreneurs from a business owning family, there are two who are not. This second group are the entrepreneurs who break out from the norm and strive for independent success.

For these individuals passion and motivation are key drivers, says Aurélien Drain, Head of Business Development at HSBC Private Bank in France. “It goes a long way in explaining the changing profile of today’s entrepreneur.”

They are also less likely to feel the pressure from family commitments. Instead, they channel their energy into pursuing impressive growth targets.

The annual growth target among self-starters worldwide is 13 per cent compared to 10 per cent among those with a family business background.

This ambition is not borne from a lack of experience. Rather, self-starters have gained resilience as a result possibly of struggle and are stepping forward with a certain mind-set: with higher levels of confidence relating to their leadership, creative thinking and communication skills.

Having taken the risk to go-it-alone, it is important that they make it work.

Aurélien Drain explains that today’s self-starters are much more likely to use their networking and creative skills to climb the ladder quickly.

“Some of the biggest differences in the entrepreneurial journey lie in how entrepreneurs build their business and network,” explains Aurélien Drain. “Today’s self-starters know how to connect to and leverage the start-up ecosystem; they actively forge links with private equity firms, venture capitalists, crowdfunding platforms and other actors in the system, often working collaboratively to come up with creative solutions.”

Graph 1

However, Aurélien Drain adds that in spite of their business knowledge and drive, the early stages of business growth remain challenging for those who don’t have the connections or initial capital and support.

Sixty two per cent of self-starters say they faced headwinds when looking to scale a business, compared to 48 per cent of entrepreneurs from a family business background.

Accessing advice and “savoir-faire” is therefore particularly important as self-starters look to grow their business. In fact, this group are now more likely than their family business counterparts to access professional networks, incubation programmes and professional development.

Many also seek out mentors and if they can find one, it goes a long way to accelerating their growth, says Aurélien Drain.

“Self-starters want to be connected to successful entrepreneurs. They’re looking for mentorship and credibility to add to their Board because this type of backing boosts credentials, signalling confidence in the brand and so helps to attract capital.” he explains.

Graph 2

He adds that there are many rising entrepreneurs who come from different backgrounds, and a high percentage put forward new business models based on disruptive ideas. “This is something that we, as bankers, must embrace and get used to,” he explains.

Aurélien Drain believes it is important for advisers and entrepreneurs to engage in dialogue early in the entrepreneurial cycle. Entrepreneurs, he says, need broad expertise and global support to realise their vision.

Graph 3

“These are new and exciting times,” enthuses Aurélien Drain “The business code is changing, we are seeing a new entrepreneurial culture, especially through Millennial entrepreneurs, so it’s important we continue to evolve and adapt our services too.”

Back to top Back to top