A study conducted by The Centre of Enterprise at Manchester Metropolitan University on behalf of the Business growth service, researched 100 owners of high growth businesses, including businesses that have repeatedly grown.

The study highlights six key elements in the outlook and approach of entrepreneurs that have contributed to their success, with ‘Market expertise’ playing the most important role. Among the entrepreneurs studied, this comprehensive understanding of the market was also combined with a positive attitude towards selling.

Rob Turner, Head of the Business Growth Service’s research team (GrowthObservatory), said:

“Though there has been a significant amount of research into entrepreneurship, there is far less which explores entrepreneurship specifically in relation to business growth.  This study tells us that the leaders of successful growing businesses combine deep understanding of their markets, a vision of what the business will look like in the future and a fundamental commitment to achieving set goals. This visionary leadership enables businesses to innovate products and services that they have confidence in. With certainty that the business is offering something of value to its customers “selling” becomes a given.”

The research shows that all of the elements of the growth mindset can be learnt through experience rather than being innate. This challenges the perception that entrepreneurs are born and not made.

Dr Tamara McNeill, Research Associate at the Centre for Enterprise, Manchester Metropolitan University, said:

“People have long been fascinated by what makes an entrepreneur. Around the middle of the twentieth century there was a quest for the definitive ‘entrepreneurial personality’ but we have seen a shift away from that and researchers have mostly moved on to consider different questions, for example, about how entrepreneurs think, learn and are motivated. The Mindset of High Growth study demonstrates the importance of learnt cognitive processes in the ‘high growth mindset’ such as development of expertise in growing businesses, development of growth intention and the ability to self-regulate decision-making processes.”