Entrepreneurial success depends on character, not gender

Entrepreneurial success depends on character, not gender, but female and male entrepreneurs differ significantly when it comes to romance

Fierce in business, kind in love? When it comes to dating, single entrepreneurs are looking for attractiveness, honesty, kindness, openness and natural chemistry above all other factors. But single female entrepreneurs want markedly different things from their dates than their male counterparts, according to research into nearly 14,000 entrepreneurs worldwide from premium online dating platform EliteSingles.

What makes a successful entrepreneur?

Business owners share similar traits, regardless of gender. When asked to describe their traits from a choice of more than 60 characteristics, both female and male entrepreneurs self-identify as “faithful”, “loyal”, and “trusting”. While nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) of single entrepreneurs say they are “ambitious”, just a little more than a third (39 per cent) actually consider themselves to be “successful,” highlighting the belief that entrepreneurs are always striving to be better when it comes to business.

What do entrepreneurs want from dating?

While when it comes to business, the traits entrepreneurs use to describe themselves differ very little between the genders, in dating it’s a different ball game. Female entrepreneurs differ markedly from their male counterparts when it comes to factors like age, education and income:

For female entrepreneurs, it is 27 per cent more important that their prospective date earns a similar income to them than it is for men
Single female entrepreneurs really want a date with substance. Being able to enjoy intellectual conversation with a date is 14 per cent more important a factor for women than it is for men; a love of art and a date’s moral values are both eight per cent more significant for women than men
Women ranked communication as very important when it comes to success with a potential partner
Male entrepreneurs are more likely to be attracted to a date who’s interested in politics and outdoor pursuits than female entrepreneurs
Age is nine per cent more important for single female entrepreneurs than for men, while height is significantly less important (23 per cent) for single male entrepreneurs than women
When it comes to choosing their other half, on the whole, entrepreneurs believe monogamy is essential for a relationship to work and want potential partners to share that belief. Unsurprisingly, the majority believe a good sense of humour is highly important.

Business owners share a direct attitude to dating that is common among senior businesspeople. According to further research commissioned by EliteSingles in 2017, senior staff are the quickest to get back in the saddle after a breakup:

  • One in ten (11 per cent) C-level executives want to be dating within a week of a break-up compared to the seven per cent average
  • Nearly one third (30.5 per cent) of directors want to be dating again within a month versus the 21 per cent average
  • Senior management is also the most direct when it comes to dating, from sending the first message online (41 per cent compared to the 36 per cent average) to going in for a first-date kiss (31 per cent versus the 22 per cent average).

How do entrepreneurs compare with the general public?

What single owners want from love differs markedly from the general public. When asked to score key traits in potential partners, the general public considered “kindness” to be the most important factor. Business owners, however, scored “attractive appearance” as the number one trait, with the advice to “look your best” after a breakup increasing in line with job seniority. But it’s not all about looks; entrepreneurs also want “honesty”, “openness” and “chemistry” from potential partners.

Zoe Coetzee, in-house psychologist at EliteSingles, comments, ‘The characteristics it takes to be successful business builders don’t appear to differ significantly between men and women as, fundamentally, to be an entrepreneur does not depend on gender, but on character.’

Coetzee continues, ‘Entrepreneurs have a certain drive that pushes them to the top of their field. They are innovative and future–orientated. So, when it comes to finding a partner, they desire that special someone who has the loyalty, patience and kindness to support them in the career aspirations. As a result, they focus more on dating others with specific traits to make their relationship successful. Equally, valuing monogamy and openness also expresses their recognition that stability and communication are key to a happy relationship, as in a business. Here an apparent difference comes to the fore between genders, with women’s preference for a partner who won’t be intimated by their drive and success in the long run.’

Further reading on entrepreneurs

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the Smallbusiness.co.uk and Growthbusiness.co.uk titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the Express.co.uk.

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