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
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
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
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.”
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
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
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.
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
“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