Insurance · 19 January 2017

Links between hyperactivity and entrepreneurship revealed

The study uncovered several links between hyperactivity and successful entrepreneurs

People that suffer from high levels of hyperactivity are more likely to become successful business owners, according to a new study that uncovered a link between hyperactive behaviour and entrepreneurship.

The research, published by the Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), based survey findings of over 20,000 people to conclude that individuals with high levels of hyperactivity – a symptom of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – have the same skills as the perfect entrepreneur.

The study highlighted three entrepreneurial traits in particular that were characteristic of ADHD sufferers – high energy levels, a risk averse nature as well as strong initiative.

It also found a tendency among hyperactive people to be more creative, have greater multi-tasking skills and display an ability to “hyperfocus” – a heightened form of mental concentration.

Ingrid Verheul, the RSM professor who led the study, stated that the findings could boost the employment prospects of ADHD sufferers and possibly give way to a new wave of entrepreneurs.

“This research could have a significant effect to destigmatise hyperactivity or ADHD because it demonstrates that they have the potential to turn their hand to entrepreneurship,” she said in a statement.

Citing the traditional stigma associated with ADHD sufferers and their ability to succeed in the working world, Verheul added that the findings could have a particularly positive effect on younger people who are yet to make the transition to full-time employment.

She pointed to the growing number of young people diagnosed with ADHD in recent years, particularly in the UK where there has been a “substantial rise”.

“Coupled with our research this leads to the expectation that many more ‘hyperactive’ entrepreneurs could be on the horizon. That is, providing they are made aware of the potential fit with self-employment, and are guided to take entrepreneurial action,” she concluded.

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Simon Caldwell is deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and communications from the University of Liverpool, and has previously worked as a content editor in local government and the ecommerce industry.


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