We analyse under what conditions personality characteristics allow prediction

  • of the decision to become an entrepreneur, and
  • of entrepreneurial success before businesses have been launched.   

Moreover, we also analyze the impact of incubators on entrepreneurial success and on the predictive power of the character-based approach. For the analysis we make use of a unique data set of 716 business founders who were assessed by two different methods, a one-day assessment centre (AC) and a validated questionnaire, among them 163 persons (NTs) who were not invited and 553 persons (TNs) who were invited to start their business in the incubator. We find that there are high correlations between entrepreneurial abilities and the later success of entrepreneurs, however, only if these persons started their business with no or only little support. Intensive support by incubators seems to compensate for deficits in entrepreneurial abilities.


The Erasmus - EIM - Panteia Entrepreneurship Lectures Series is co-organized by Erasmus Research Institute of Management ( and EIM Business & Policy Research (EIM/Panteia), an independent and international research and consultancy organisation, specialised in SMEs and Entrepreneurship. EIM is part of the Panteia group.


For more research resources visit our joint Entrepreneurship Research Portal


Contact information:

Philipp Koellinger

Ingrid Verheul