Successful energy entrepreneurs share five key competencies EIT InnoEnergy study reveals

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EIT InnoEnergy, Europe’s sustainable energy engine backed by the EIT, launched a report profiling the top characteristics shared by successful entrepreneurs, at its flagship event The Business Booster in Paris.  

Analyzing 800 entrepreneur profiles present at the event, collected by its proprietary team assessment tool, E2Talent®, EIT InnoEnergy’s research indicates sustainable energy entrepreneurs score highly in five key characteristics: achievement orientation, impact and influence, risk-taking propensity, internal locus of control and team work. The study, in conjunction with ESADE Business School, is thought to be the first of its kind into the competencies of sustainable energy entrepreneurs to support the business decisions of investors and the C-suite.

Female entrepreneurs in sustainable energy
The analysis revealed that there are no significant differences between the scores of male and female sustainable energy entrepreneurs, but as only 10 per cent of the profiles belonged to females, the question remains: “what prevents women from becoming entrepreneurs?”.

Notably, females scored higher than males on transformational leadership, although feel less confident than their male counterparts when grading themselves on entrepreneurial self-efficacy. Females were also found to be more confident than males in management skills, but less confident in financial expertise.

Launching the report EIT InnoEnergy Innovation Director, Elena Bou said: “For entrepreneurs and start-ups, having the right team around you with the right dynamic can make or break your success. We have used our E2Talent® tool to help hundreds of sustainable energy start-ups create complementary teams that will accelerate the energy transition. The data that we have collected along the way allows us to share some fascinating insights at The Business Booster into what makes a successful sustainable energy entrepreneur in Europe.

I am pleased to say that there are no significant differences between males and females, or between the countries in which entrepreneurs in Europe operate. This is a positive result as it suggests that there is an opportunity for even more people to make an impact on the energy landscape.

The cultural role in entrepreneurial success
The study considered locational differences with profiles analysed from nine countries in total. While the analysis revealed minor differences in regional competencies, entrepreneurs had very similar profiles in which strengths and weaknesses were shared across the five competencies studied.

Team assessment through the E2Talent® tool is available for any sustainable energy business or investor who wants to assess the entrepreneurial competencies of their team members to inform investment decisions, assign different roles in the business.