Kieran Salsone

Which kind of entrepreneur are you?

THE Commonwealth Bank has developed a new way of seeing what makes Australian entrepreneurs tick and what influences them the most.

By exploring seven distinctive qualities which form the foundation of the entrepreneurial mindset, Commbank has come up with seven types of entrepreneur.

In partnership with organisational psychologist, Kirsty Bucknell, CommBank surveyed 475 Australian business owners and senior decision makers to reveal which of the seven entrepreneurial types are most dominant in Australian businesses. Being a 'risk taker' (24 per cent) and 'competitor' (20 per cent) were the two most prominent areas of strength. Less prevalent were:

  • 'achiever' (15 per cent);
  • 'individualist' (15 per cent);
  • 'innovator' (10 per cent);
  • 'learner' (8 per cent); and
  • 'self-starter' (8 per cent).

According to Ms Bucknell, the strength of each trait influences how an entrepreneur conducts their business.

"The successful entrepreneur will have strengths across all seven of these factors.  Knowing your personal strengths means you also know where you need support from others," Ms Bucknall said.

"While it's evident there are people out there prepared to take a risk and compete, there are fewer reporting strengths in learning from their experiences and stepping up to bring new ideas to the market. Our research shows that often these less common strengths are the ones that contribute most to an entrepreneurial mindset."

Which kind of entrepreneur are you?

To help entrepreneurs discover their unique make up, CommBank and Kirsty Bucknell have designed a psychometric test to determine what kind of entrepreneur they are. Aimed at helping entrepreneurs to enhance their business, the results from the test highlight the dominant strengths across the seven factors and how these impact their approach to business.

Housed on the CommBank Entrepreneurs Hub, the 'What kind of entrepreneur are you?' test is free and supported by CommBank's Business Specialists who are on hand to help.

Michael Cant, Commonwealth Bank Executive General Manager of Corporate Financial Services, says it's critical entrepreneurs understand their core strengths to help optimise their business skills.

"It's clear from our study many entrepreneurs share similar qualities, however, there is always one trait that shines more brightly and it's this trait entrepreneurs need to be most aware of to ensure they are harnessing their business potential.

"We work with entrepreneurs from many different backgrounds and whilst we know their number one priority is getting on with business, I'd encourage all business people, to invest the time to complete our short psychometric test to uncover new and potential business changing insights about themselves," said Mr Cant.

  • Individualist - they make their own rules, their own decisions and don't like following orders, preferring the freedom to seek out and explore their own unique methods and approaches in business.
  • Learner - they're always looking to grow and independently build their knowledge from experiences such as business successes and failures, and are most engaged when they're learning.
  • Achiever - they like to score goals and set the bar high with challenging tasks and then work exceptionally hard to ensure they get there.
  • Competitor - they fight to be the best and aren't shy about wanting to win or going up against opponents in business.
  • Innovator - they love novelty and creativity, they actively seek out and gravitate towards new ideas, fresh approaches and different methods, frequently merging concepts and always testing the boundaries.
  • Risk-taker - they aren't afraid to take the plunge with business decisions others might consider precarious or uncertain.
  • Self-starter - they are proactive and persistent, they're full of initiative and have no problems getting things going in business or thinking ahead.

Family exerts biggest influence over entrepreneurs

When it comes to the people who have the biggest influence in the journey to becoming an entrepreneur, CommBank's entrepreneurs research found family and parents have the biggest influence according to 38 per cent of entrepreneurs.

Interestingly, a further 28 per cent claim one or more of their immediate family is an entrepreneur. Other major influences include business (16 per cent) and industry peers (14 per cent).

Motivation most important factor for a successful entrepreneur

While family is reported as having the biggest influence on the individual, both internal and external factors are significant in an entrepreneur's success.

Business owners and senior decision makers say motivation (74 per cent), personality (48 per cent), expertise (47 per cent) and originality of ideas (44 per cent) are the most important internal factors.

Financial backing (51 per cent), market dynamics (26 per cent) and access to business networks (25 per cent) were seen to be the most important external factors, with only 24 per cent recognising family support as an important success factor.

Savings primary source of funding for entrepreneurs

It seems the majority of entrepreneurs look no further than their own pockets when funding new businesses, with 65 per cent claiming their primary source of funding is their own savings.

To take the 'What kind of entrepreneur are you?' psychometric test please visit the CommBank Entrepreneurs Hub.


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