Entrepreneurs like Richard Branson are thought of as risk takers, but the average business owner is surprisingly conservative, researchers said By Roland Gribben19 Nov 2012 of The Daily Telegraph.

They found that the majority fell within three of nine risk categories they used to try to identify what galvanised the entrepreneurial community – and revealed a profile of entrepreneurs that is a long way from their buccaneering and risk-taking image.

More than 20pc were “wary”, 15.2pc met the “prudent” criteria and almost 15pc were categorised as deliberate. Just 3.6pc showed adventurous characteristics against 12.8pc of the public.

The results were drawn from a survey of 250 business owners by Psychological Consulting and the Association of Business Psychologists, commissioned by AXA Business Insurance to provide further insight into what makes entrepreneurs tick.

The findings were compared with responses to similar questions from 2,000 members of the general public.

The psychologists concluded, not surprisingly, that the key to success can be found among business owners displaying calmness, confidence and optimism.