Is There an Entrepreneurial Personality? CPP Report Reveals the Answer

Staff Report

Friday, February 16th, 2018

New research by OPP, the UK division of CPP, Inc., the publisher of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment, reveals that individuals with certain personality preferences are significantly more likely to become entrepreneurs, and to seek employment at organizations described as "entrepreneurial". The study, Type and Entrepreneurship, is available at [] and investigates the relationship between personality and entrepreneurship, offering guidelines to help individuals leverage self-awareness to become more effective entrepreneurs.

The report measured entrepreneurial orientation on five dimensions--Creativity, Risk-taking, Impulsivity, Competitive ambition, and Autonomy. "We found that a need to be one's own boss is a major distinguishing factor of entrepreneurs, along with an orientation towards creativity, risk-taking and impulsivity," said Head of Thought Leadership for OPP John Hackston. "Surprisingly, competitive ambition doesn't appear to be a factor. It's also worth mentioning that the likelihood of being an entrepreneur was roughly equal for men and women." Additional key findings of the study included:

The "entrepreneurial personality type"
Individuals with certain personality preferences are significantly more likely to become entrepreneurs, and to seek employment at organizations described as "entrepreneurial":

  • Those with a preference for Intuition and Perceiving were significantly more likely to be entrepreneurs than those with a preference for Sensing or Judging

  • In terms of dominant functions, those most likely to become entrepreneurs were Extraverted Intuition types ("Explorers" – ENFP and ENTP), and the least likely were Introverted Sensing types ("Conservers" – ISTJ and ISFJ)

Entrepreneurs of all types succeed, but in different ways
While there are no statistically significant differences between entrepreneurs of different personality types in terms of financial performance, type does influence the attributes that people identify as either having hurt or helped their success. "A person of each type preference has their own likely strengths and possible development needs as an entrepreneur," said Hackston. "Success may depend on how they use self-awareness to become as effective as possible."

There are "entrepreneurial" organizations, and they tend to be more successful
The report also shows that organizations owned or co-owned by entrepreneurs are seen as more entrepreneurial in character than other organizations, and that:

  • Entrepreneurs can influence how 'entrepreneurial' their organizations are--the higher the degree of entrepreneurial orientation the entrepreneur has (especially in terms of Creativity and Risk-taking), the more entrepreneurial their business will be.

  • Entrepreneurial organizations in general perform better financially.

  • As employees, Intuitive types appear to be particularly attracted to more entrepreneurial organizations.

  • Business owners with a higher level of entrepreneurial orientation will, on average, have created more entrepreneurial organizations.