On the Opportunities and Risks of Examining the Genetics of Entrepreneurship

Genes (Basel). 2022 Nov 25;13(12):2208. doi: 10.3390/genes13122208.


Recent accomplishments in genome sequencing techniques have resulted in vast and complex genomic data sets, which have been used to uncover the genetic correlates of not only strictly medical phenomena but also psychological characteristics such as personality traits. In this commentary, we call for the use of genomic data analysis to unlock the valuable field of the genetics of entrepreneurship. Understanding what makes an entrepreneur and what explains their success is paramount given the importance of entrepreneurship to individual, organizational, and societal growth and success. Most of the studies into the genetics of entrepreneurship have investigated familial entrepreneurial inclinations in the form of parent-offspring comparisons or twin studies. However, these do not offer a complete picture of the etiology of entrepreneurship. The use of big data analytics combined with the rapidly growing field of genetic mapping has the potential to offer a more complete picture of the etiology of entrepreneurship by allowing researchers to pinpoint precisely which genes and pathways underlie entrepreneurial behavior and success. We review the risks and opportunities which accompany this endeavor and make the case that, ultimately, prioritizing more research into the genetics of entrepreneurship has the potential to be of value to both science and society.

Keywords: behavioral genetics; entrepreneurship; genomics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Entrepreneurship*

Grant support

This research received no external funding.