The stereotypical entrepreneur is white, male, middle-class and middle-aged. One theory suggests that it’s these guys who can get away with taking big risks. They’ve got the money, the reputation, and they don’t stand out in a crowd. But surely others have the same skill set required to be successful innovators?

Here are some statistics:




Here at Cognisess we’re keen to carry out research to explore how certain people have specific skills that suit certain roles. We’re currently focussing on encouraging greater diversity in entrepreneurial and innovative job roles.

Can we measure innovation?

In 2014 we carried out research with HAVAS Media Group – one of the world’s largest media groups. We wanted to better understand if the desire to innovate is driven by core attributes such as personality, cognition and/or emotional intelligence.

We found some really interesting results. High openness to experience, high extraversion and high emotional stability all correlated with being innovative, along with low agreeableness and fewer positive emotions.

We also discovered that having lower scores in areas of cognition including spatial recall (i.e. storing and recalling details), impulse control and focus and concentration are also predictive of being innovative.


Following these findings, we’re opening up a brand new study into innovation and entrepreneurial skills and traits.

Get involved: The Global Entrepreneur Study

The Global Entrepreneur Study, in collaboration with TechSPARK and the University of Bath, aims to identify traits typically shared by CEOs, entrepreneurs and innovators.

“We need the help of entrepreneurs and innovators to work this out”


As Einstein once said: “We cannot solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” We want to know what makes people good at thinking differently – and we need the help of entrepreneurs and innovators to work this out so we can share this knowledge with others.

By taking part in this study, you are helping our work with educational institutions to identify the talents of young people and help them to find fulfilling careers and jobs. We want to encourage more young people, women and those from minority groups to consider entrepreneurship and innovation oriented careers.

We aim to facilitate matching those who have entrepreneurial skills with innovative businesses and positions, and even encourage them to consider starting their own business, whether for profit or social good.

Where do you fall on the Innovation Index?

By taking part in the study, not only will you be supporting our research and education work, but we’ll also give you the option of having your results run through our Entrepreneur Profiler, based on our previous research into innovative traits. We’ll show you how similar you are to others who have been identified as innovative and entrepreneurial.

Take part now!

Click here to take part in our Global Entrepreneurial Study. All participants will be offered 6 months free access to the Cognisess platform (or equivalent up to the value of £1200) to assist with their company’s recruitment and employee development. Taking part in this research is entirely voluntary, and you have the right to withdraw from the study at any time, even after data collection (as far as is technically feasible), without having to give any reason. No data will be shared with third parties without permission, and all data will be anonymised.

If you’d like further information on the study, or if you’re interested in finding out more about predictive people analytics and what we at Cognisess are doing for people processes in the data analytics space, please get in touch with our Chief Scientific Officer, Boris Altemeyer:

You can also meet up with the Cognisess team at the SPARK Skills Festival at Bristol’s Watershed tomorrow. 

Hannah Sweet