Are entrepreneurs the same the world over? Robert Hisrich, professor of entrepreneurship at Case Western Reserve University, in Cleveland, has been conducting research on that topic since 1989, when he first taught a course on marketing and entrepreneurship in Hungary. Some of his findings, comparing the strengths of entrepreneurs (based on their self-assessments) in Ireland, Hungary, Russia, and the United States:

Irish
1. Organizing and planning

2. Dealing with people

3. Business operations

Hungarians
1. Dealing with people

2. Innovation

3. Planning

Russians
1. Idea generation

2. Business operations

3. Organizing and planning

Americans
1. Product innovation

2. Dealing with people

3. Sales and marketing/ organizing and planning (tied)

Hisrich notes a key difference between the demands on Russian and American entrepreneurs: "Our entrepreneurs think immediately about the market when they are dreaming up a product. When Russian entrepreneurs have an idea, they sell it to a government infrastructure," says Hisrich.

-- Alessandra Bianchi

* * *