What Really Makes An Entrepreneur? Hiscox Report Reveals All

Amongst other things, this year's results can reveal that two key drivers for the success of businesses are optimism and innovation.

Hiscox’s annual DNA of an Entrepreneur

report always gives us a fascinating insight into the inner workings of business owners’ minds. What makes them and their companies successful? What do they find most challenging? What are their attitudes towards the future, and do these ultimately affect how things turn out?

Well, amongst other things, this year’s results can reveal that two key drivers for the success of businesses are optimism and innovation. We can also see that bank finance and the difficulty involved with securing it, remains one of the most challenging stumbling blocks facing businesses today. So, with 4000 small business owners and managers across Europe and the US taking part, let’s take a closer look at what exactly makes an entrepreneur.


The Future Is Bright

This year’s report showed that optimism levels amongst business owners/managers have reached a three-year high, with 62% of companies asked saying they felt positive about the coming twelve months. But which nation had the brightest outlook for the future? Perhaps unsurprisingly, the US came out on top with 69% of respondents declaring they had an optimistic view of the next year. They were, however, followed very closely by the UK, for whom there was only a fraction of a difference in positive-thinking respondents (64%).

Innovation: The Time Is Now

A dramatic increase in innovation proves to be one of the biggest findings of the seventh Hiscox DNA of an Entrepreneur report. Results reveal that small businesses are progressively turning to the development of new products and services to promote healthy and rewarding expansion. In fact, a sizeable 51% of respondents claimed that they were aiming to launch a new product or service in the coming year. When compared with the 36% of last year’s respondents who introduced a new product, it seems there’s been a sudden surge in the desire to progress, invent and improve. We can also glean from the report that innovation is strongest in those that export with a huge 72% of them saying they had plans to produce new products/services in the pipeline for the next year.

The Road To Success Never Did Run Smooth

Of course to run a business without facing any difficulties at all is a highly unlikely reality, no matter how optimistic you are. This year’s report tells us that access to bank finance remains a key challenge, with almost a fifth of those that took part admitting to thinking that credit has become harder to acquire in the past year. Another challenge that was repeatedly mentioned across Europe was that of late payment. This was particularly the case for France and Spain, with 47% of respondents saying that they face late payment by customers regularly.

Despite these challenges though, the outlook of business owners according to the study is largely positive. But who came out as the most entrepreneurial nation? When asked to rate their foreign counterparts in terms of entrepreneurial spirit, the US was ranked at the top, followed by Britain and then Germany. Spain came out at the bottom, and the Dutch demonstrated oodles of self-confidence, coming out as the only nation not to rank the US at the top, but themselves instead.

All in all, another fascinating look into the world of business. If this study is anything to go by the coming year is going to be a very exciting one indeed.



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