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Top 5: Personality Tests

March 11, 2016


When selecting ventures to support, there are some useful tools that can reveal more about the personality of the entrepreneur you will be supporting.

It is true that there is no one ‘entrepreneur’ personality trait (compare Steve Jobs with Richard Branson!). But certain personality characteristics do correlate with entrepreneurial aptitude and success, and they can help assess applicants and provide useful guidance when working with them during the programme.

  • The General Measure of Enterprising Tendency (GET), a test established at Durham University Business School in the UK. (Free)
  • The Big Five (also called OCEAN), a leading personality test not specifically tailored to entrepreneurship, although Extraversion and Agreeableness have been found to correlate with entrepreneurial drive and success. (Free)
  • META, a project by researchers at Goldsmith’s university in London. (Paying, but free trial)
  • the Entrepreneur Test, from an inter-university research project in the UK. (Free)
  • has a quick test for someone wondering if entrepreneurship is for them. (Free)

Some tests don’t assess whether you would be a good entrepreneur, but rather what kind of entrepreneur you are likely to be. These are more useful for personal/team growth and self-awareness. Try Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck or OCEAN. Meyers-Briggs (MBTI) is a popular tool for this, although its value has been questioned by recent research.

And what about personality traits to avoid? The Founder Institute found that excuse-making, predatory aggressiveness, deceitfulness, emotional instability and narcissism all predict failure as an entrepreneur. You have been warned! (And if you live in a FI city, consider applying and taking the test yourself!)

I don’t know of any good tests focused on social entrepreneurs, although one study suggests that they are more creative, risk-taking, and have a greater need for autonomy than traditional entrepreneurs.

Do you use any of these personality tests, or know any other personality tests that we should have included? Let us know!

This short piece is meant to be starter for conversations, discussions, and shared learning!

Next week we will be writing about fundraising resources: if you have any suggestions or requests, please let us know so we can include them.

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