Entrepreneurship and its Genetic Basis

Review Article

Austin J Mol & Cell Biol. 2016; 3(1): 1007.

Entrepreneurship and its Genetic Basis

Dastan H¹*, Calmasur G¹ and Turkez H²

¹Department of Economics, Faculty of Economic and Administrative Sciences, Erzurum Technical University, Turkey

²Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Faculty of Science, Erzurum Technical University, Turkey

*Corresponding author: Dastan H, Department of Economics, Faculty of Economic and Administrative Sciences, Erzurum Technical University, Erzurum, Turkey

Received: December 07, 2015; Accepted: February 07, 2016; Published: February 09, 2016


Entrepreneurship is generally considered the most important engine of economic growth. A novel and fruitful research area called as genoeconomics, become popular after global perspicacity of milestone projects of genetic science. Many multidisciplinary research groups consisting economists and geneticist tried to find out underlying genetic mechanisms for remarkable economic behaviours including entrepreneurship. This review evaluates (I) the different definitions of the entrepreneurship term, (II) possible genetic mechanism that is associated with entrepreneurship, (III) candidate gene studies and their challenges, and (IV) discusses some promising avenues for future research.

Keywords: Candidate gene; Genetic basis; Genoeconomics; Entrepreneurship


DNA: Deoxyribonucleic Acid; HAPMAP: Haplotype Map Project; HGP: Human Genome Project; SMEs: Small and Medium Sized Enterprises


It is impossible to consider firms independent of people. Firms are managed by a group of people who try to achieve some results. It is easy to start home-based businesses because they are part time activities. In these kinds of tasks, you can do the task you want to do easily. If the task is more complex and labour-intensive, difficulties emerge. As the operational area if the firm expands, multiple licenses, permits, offers and forms need to be acquired from several governmental agencies. Therefore, an entrepreneur is an important part of the organization [1].

Manufacturers produce by deploying production factors. Production factors are the tools used by the manufacturers to produce goods and services demanded by society. Production factors can be categorized as labour (including entrepreneurship skills), capital and land [2]. The fourth production factor that brings the three factors mentioned together and attempts to produce the goods and services demanded by the consumer by organizing these factors is called the entrepreneur. Entrepreneur is an important and scarce manufacturing factor as he takes on some risks while bringing related production factors together and undertakes some risks when making investment decisions. This entrepreneur is generally accepted as a dynamic manufacturing factor among these production factors and is considered different from labour in terms of administration or production, as it is the driving force of the organization. In order to accomplish the production activity an individual or individuals need to take the responsibilities that may emerge in the future. In this context, an entrepreneur is a strategic manufacturing factor that the economy cannot ignore [3]. Organizations with large production cannot function without entrepreneurship. Clearly, entrepreneurship is a rare human resource when there is a general reluctance to take risks and lack of the skills necessary to coordinate the work [4].

The word entrepreneurship is a French word that means the person who undertakes. More specifically, an entrepreneur is described as the person who organizes production by bringing production factors together, makes commercial decisions in terms of which goods or services are going to be produced, takes the risks that may emerge as a result of commercial decisions and an innovator that promotes new products, new technology and new work forms [5]. The word entrepreneur in modern English has two different meanings in economic literature. Kirzner describes entrepreneurship as a research process consisting of discovering the type of entrepreneurship and profit in a particular market system with insufficient knowledge. In fact, Kirzner’s description of entrepreneurship discovery emerges from sellers asking for less money than the actual market prices while asking for more in other places. This person buys for less and asks for a price that he desires and the profit he makes attracts other entrepreneurs. Schumpteron the other hand defined an entrepreneur as an innovationist who leads economic developments and social improvements. Shumpter’s entrepreneur creates new markets and new products while Kirzner’s entrepreneur finds markets for existing products as well as locating gaps [6].

The entrepreneur is an important factor among production factors. Entrepreneurship implies the skills for seeing opportunities to bridge resources to find a new and efficient way to produce new or specialized goods. The motivating force of an entrepreneur is the belief in the possibility of high profits. The entrepreneur uses both his own resources and attempts to convince others who have large amounts of capital to present new production techniques and new products to seize these profit opportunities, thus sharing the potential profit [7]. Entrepreneurship is also defined as the process to organize, manage and taking the responsibility for the attempt. That’s why an entrepreneur is a risk-taker [8]. It is difficult to describe or measure the amount of entrepreneurship. During certain periods, visionary entrepreneurship that drew a lot of attention emerged. Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart, the founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates and the founder of Dell, Michael Dell are some examples of individuals who have extraordinary entrepreneurial skills. However, they are the visible entrepreneurs at the top among millions of others who are in small, medium or large ventures [9].

Visionary, entrepreneurial and risk taking individuals who followed efficient ways to acquire, wealth, power and prestige always existed. However, the methods that they used to reach their goals vary in the capitalist system. They are in demand due to their methods of progress: organizing their business ventures like private armies, resembling independent corrupt big businessmen or the military, which supports the rule-making authority. They rent everything but money and compete to achieve the wealth they have. Sometimes entrepreneurs gain economic success through their careers in government bureaucracy. However, these forms of entrepreneurship activities rarely lead to the increase of economic efficiency [10].

Entrepreneurship is a highly complex and disputed concept. From a microeconomics perspective, advocates of Schumpeter suggest that the creative destruction process of an entrepreneur is beyond a single result. Entrepreneurial groups can be seen in a heterogeneous group with passive supporters, highly optimistic and even individuals who avoid unemployment. From the macroeconomics perspective, formation of an innovative new organization can provide permanent economic growth and lead to market irregularity [11].

The Characteristics of an Entrepreneur

An entrepreneur is the most interesting and most difficult to describe among actor that constitute economical analysis issues. For a long time, an entrepreneur was described as the top of the hierarchy that determines the behaviour of a firm. However, an entrepreneur takes extensive responsibilities for the survival of the free enterprise community. An entrepreneur is considered ever-present although it remains as a shadow unit with no defined structure and function in classical economic articles. Only Schumpeter and Knight successfully shed light on entrepreneurship by establishing an appropriate scientific field [12].

The entrepreneur has taken on a broad variety of functional tasks throughout the history of economic thought. An entrepreneur, from Richard Cantillon, who defined the concept before Adam Smith, up to today, is an important actor of production, distribution and expansion theories. An entrepreneur is a coordinator, a mediator, an innovator, and the one who perseveres through uncertainty in terms of determining location, time and problem [13]. When fundamental characteristics of an entrepreneur are listed, an entrepreneur takes risks, makes decisions and runs the organization. He identifies appropriate efforts, products, organization production size, location of production, and organizes production and sales. He supports new inventions, coordinates the processes, arranges raw material and machinery and creates order [14].

The Genetic Bases of Entrepreneurship

A very interesting and novel working area entitled genoeconomics, using Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) or genes for tracing economic behaviours as base, have been introduced in scientific community. Notably, after global perspicacity of milestone projects of genetic science like Human Genome (HGP) and Haplotype Map (HAPMAP), a few multidisciplinary research groups consisting economists and geneticist tried to find out the rational way for testing whether remarkable economic behaviours including becoming an entrepreneur could be influenced by genes [15]. Curiously, some recent reports have dealed with this topic and provided quite convincing evidences for genetic underpinnings of entrepreneurship [16,17]. In fact, it was revealed that between 37 and 42 percent of the variance in the tendency of people to engage in entrepreneurship accounted for by genetic factors [18]. This finding could lead us to interpreting that environmental factors were much more effective than genetic ones in becoming entrepreneurial individual. But it should not be forgotten that genetic factors or genes interact with the environment based on the actions of the individual in a dynamic, transformational, synergistic process that continually changes and refines the individual’s performance [19]. However, the main question that how our genetics play its role in determining how likely we are to be an entrepreneur is still requires certain and substantial answers (Figure 1).

Citation: Dastan H, Calmasur G and Turkez H. Entrepreneurship and its Genetic Basis. Austin J Mol & Cell Biol. 2016; 3(1): 1007.