New global study details ‘elite entrepreneur’ trends

Kristin Nelson
Posted by Kristin Nelson
Wealth Management Strategy

The third annual global survey of highly successful business owners was recently released by our parent company, BNP Paribas. As usual, the report contains some fascinating insights about the actions and ambitions of these individuals.

Business woman looking out window, which is reflecting back a large urban landscape below.The 2017 BNP Paribas Global Entrepreneur Report surveyed more than 2,600 “elite entrepreneurs” –successful business owners with average wealth of about $15 million, excluding primary residence and investments in their businesses. The research participants came from 21 countries.

Here are some of the top-line findings that struck me:

Family legacy: 71% of the participants had a history of family activity in business ownership. For entrepreneurs who are 35 or under – “millennipreneurs” – the figure is even higher: 79%. There was also an overall correlation that those with the highest fortunes were more likely to have family business-owning heritage.

Top industries: Nearly half (45%) of the elite entrepreneurs said the majority of their wealth comes from at least one of the following industries: Information technology; online, mobile & digital (software development), manufacturing, retail, and engineering.

Business success: 61% reported their business’ profits have increased during the last 12 months, and nearly the same percentage (63%) expects a profit surge for their ventures in 2017.

Top markets for entrepreneurial activity: Participants rated the United States, China, and Germany as the dominant markets for business opportunity.

For the first time, the report identified five segments within the participation group:

  • Ultrapreneurs (net investable wealth in excess of $25 million)
  • Millennipreneurs (born between 1980 and 2000)
  • Boomerpreneurs (aged 55 or older, part of the Baby Boomer generation)
  • Womenpreneurs
  • Serialpreneurs (owns or established 4 or more companies)

As I have written in the past about serial entrepreneurs and women entrepreneurs, I’ll mention a few highlights about millennipreneurs from the report. This is an accomplished bunch of young people! Nearly a third of the group (31%) are also serialpreneurs, having started an average of 6.8 companies.

Not surprisingly, the group is very tech-oriented. The leading three industries for wealth creation in this group are information technology, online/mobile & digital, and engineering.

Looking at their motivations, this younger group is more driven to “do something different” and “make the world a better place” than their older counterparts, according to the report. The “disruptor” impulse is a driver for many in this group, and it will be worth watching how this plays out in the future.

As the report notes about millennipreneurs, “Over time these subtle differences are likely to have a pronounced effect on how the current corporate rebels address the needs of the world and themselves.”

For more insights on these five groups of elite entrepreneurs, please see the 2-page report summary or read the full report.

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