Entrepreneurs: Money is not the only metric
While Elite Entrepreneurs still keep their eye firmly on their company’s bottom line, they are now more focused than ever on achieving positive social impact.
Money was famously described as simply a way of keeping score, but today’s Elite Entrepreneurs are measuring their success in terms of more than simply profitability, according to the 2018 BNP Paribas Global Entrepreneur Report. While profitability remains the primary determinant of business success, the second most critical metric for Elite Entrepreneurs is creating positive impact.
The survey, in association with Scorpio Partnership, uncovered a fascinating rise in the importance accorded to positive impact, with 39% of Elite Entrepreneurs now ranking it as a key measure of their company performance. This represents a dramatic shift in mindset among Elite Entrepreneurs, as just two years ago, only 10% classed it as a measure of success.
Around 80% of the 2,706 entrepreneurs interviewed as part of this fourth edition of the Global Entrepreneur Report series, felt that entrepreneurship was the most effective way to create positive global and local impact.
The new focus on impact is likely the result of a greater public consciousness about the daunting developmental challenges facing humanity, and refers to activities that help support positive social, economic and environmental outcomes.
Read more: Social Impact as a Business KPI
“Entrepreneurs are increasingly having to integrate sustainable development into their companies’ operations. Once they start, it is only natural to also start applying it in their own life and in their investments, if it wasn't already the case. That's how sustainable development has become more core to entrepreneurs’ activities.”
Head of Responsible Investments at BNP Paribas Wealth Management
Engines Of Environmental Change
The study also uncovered how different geographical regions identified different priorities for positive impact: While Chinese entrepreneurs sought to be engines of change in the environmental sphere, the priority in Europe was clean energy, while in the USA and the Middle East the focus was job creation.
The report categorises Elite Entrepreneurs into five profiles: Ultrapreneurs – the wealthiest business founders with net investable wealth of $25m or more; Serialpreneurs – who have started four or more businesses; Millennipreneurs – who were born in or after 1982; and Boomerpreneurs – born before 1962 during the Baby Boomer era. Women Entrepreneurs are also analyzed in a separate category.
Two-thirds of Ultrapreneurs describe themselves as responsible investors, with environmental and social business investments their most frequently-used vehicles, meanwhile, Serialpreneurs are more focused on using their wealth strategically, allocating 15% of their portfolio to angel investments and private equity. Women Entrepreneurs are more motivated to hold impact investments compared to their male counterparts, 37% versus 33% respectively, while Boomerpreneurs are least engaged in achieving impact outcomes, although those who do prefer to invest via equity funds and environmental investments.
The report provides detailed insight into these business owners, revealing that Elite Entrepreneurs’ average net worth is now $13.4m, with their companies’ annual turnover totalling $25.1m, and 62% reporting an increase in profits during the past 12 months.