LOUISE VAN SCHEERS, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH AFRICA, SOUTH AFRICA
Considerable research has been conducted on the psychological characteristics of the entrepreneur but very little research has, however, sought to identify the critical success characteristics that successful entrepreneurs exhude which less successful or unsuccessful entrepreneurs lack. This study therefore aimed to investigate the differences between successful and less successful respondents to identify trends between the prevalence, or lack thereof, of certain characteristics and the level of business success that has been achieved. Based on the answers to this questionnaire, the respondents were then divided in four groups: very successful entrepreneurs, successful entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs who are making a living and unsuccessful entrepreneurs. The results were collated per group and then comparisons where sought. The research findings highlighted that there are notable differences between the characteristics of the four groups of entrepreneurs. In particular very successful entrepreneurs took direct responsibility for their failures and never sought to blame elements beyond their control. Furthermore, the majority of the unsuccessful and less successful entrepreneurs entered their current industries as a result of opportunities that had presented themselves. Very successful entrepreneurs, on the other hand, made conscious calculated decisions to enter particular industries.
Keywords: Critical Success Characteristics; Entrepreneurs; Initiative; Risk Taking