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Education positively influences entrepreneurship

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A study released by the world famous Kaufmann Foundation for Entrepreneurship has found correlation between education levels and the propensity to start a new business. Here is a segment from the study…

Our survey shows that education provides an advantage in tech entrepreneurship and that most U.S.-born tech founders of technology and engineering companies are middle-aged with sixteen years of work experience before they launch a startup. The twenty-year-old wunderkind is the exception, not the rule. The education a tech founder receives is important in tech entrepreneurship. But, while elite, Ivy-League schools are over-represented in the ranks of U.S.-born tech entrepreneurs and achieve greater business success than others, 92 percent of the U.S.-born tech founders come from other colleges and universities. The biggest difference in business success is between tech founders with terminal bachelor’s degrees and those with terminal high school diplomas. There also are large differences between Michigan, Texas, and Ohio, which rank above average, and Maryland, Indiana, and New York, which are at the bottom. This research raises policy questions on how regions of the country and the country itself can foster greater tech entrepreneurship to boost economic growth. While we do not know how some of the tech founders would have fared had they not obtained higher degrees, the predominance of degree holders suggests that an advanced education has become critical, at least in the sectors covered in our sample. The majority of higher education and graduate degrees in our respondent body fell within tech founders of thirty-five to forty-four years of age.

Author Richard Banfield

As CEO, Richard leads Fresh Tilled Soil’s strategic vision. He’s a mentor at TechStars and BluePrintHealth, an advisor and lecturer at the Boston Startup School, and serves on the executive committees of TEDxBoston, the AdClub’s Edge Conference, and Boston Regional Entrepreneurship Week.

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