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Last-born children are more likely to start businesses

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Posted July 16, 2016

Our destiny is not written in the stars – we all chose our own ways and our decisions determine where we find ourselves to be at certain points in life. However, some patterns can be found if you look hard enough. For example, now scientists from the University of Birmingham and the University of Reading found that youngest children of non-entrepreneurial parents are more likely to go into business.

World is full of opportunities for everyone, but it looks like last-born children are more likely to try their hand at business-making. Image credit: ElChicoBlanco via Wikimedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

World is full of opportunities for everyone, but it looks like last-born children are more likely to try their hand at business-making. Image credit: ElChicoBlanco via Wikimedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

Researching effects of birth order is very interesting, but also very difficult, because there is a belief that being youngest or oldest sibling has a life-long impact. This means that such studies have to be long-term. Now this team of scientists took a look at the traits of over 17,000 children born in 1970, who were surveyed again aged 38.

This study revealed that people from non-entrepreneurial families (where parents are not self-employed) are 50% more likely to take risk of creating a business if they are the youngest sibling. In entrepreneurial families this figure increases to 65%. This is very interesting, because it is a well-known fact that entrepreneurship is usually inherited and now scientists found that youngest children are the most likely to immerse themselves in business activities.

Professor Francis Greene, one of the authors of the study, said: “The most surprising finding in this study was if your parents had no entrepreneurial experience and you were a last-born, you were more likely to be self-employed than your older siblings.  This suggests that last borns are more likely to be risk-takers”.

However, different results were found comparing last-borns from entrepreneurial and non-entrepreneurial. Youngest children from entrepreneurial families were 18% less likely to go into business-making than last-borns from non-entrepreneurial. In families already doing business, in comparison to non-entrepreneurial ones, oldest and middle children were more likely to immerse themselves in such activities.

Scientists say that these results have some important implications. Business owners have to think about which children are more suitable to contribute to the success of their entrepreneurial efforts. Although oldest children may be more comfortable and more willing, youngest ones may be the most suitable.

Source: birmingham.ac.uk

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