Entrepreneurship has often been proposed as a way to lift huge numbers of people around the globe out of poverty. A new report from HSBC private bank, released Tuesday, examines just how big a phenomenon entrepreneurship has become in the rest of the world. But it also details some of the unique characteristics of U.S. business owners, who are among the most successful globally. Here are five that the report identified.

1. Serial entrepreneurship

Most U.S. business owners surveyed, like their counterparts in Western Europe, have created an average of between six and seven businesses. And 56 percent say they have always regarded themselves as entrepreneurs.

2. Self-motivation

Contrary to popular opinion, having a family history in business is not a dominant characteristic among successful entrepreneurs. About 40 percent of U.S. business owners come from entrepreneurial families, according to HSBC. That compares with 62 percent in China, and 63 percent for Middle Eastern countries. (The U.S. percentage is about equivalent to the percentage in the U.K. and Germany.)

3. Use of personal resources

It takes money to have a business. The majority of entrepreneurs in the survey said they use their own wealth, or the wealth of their families, to start a business. Less than 30 percent use a bank, and less than 20 percent use crowdfunding or peer-to-peer lending.

4. High net worth

The average net worth of U.S. entrepreneurs surveyed is $4 million.

5. Older is better

The average age for starting a business in the U.S. is 55, compared with 30 in France and Germany.

HSBC compiled its results between August and September of 2015, from interviews with 2,834 private bank clients who have owned or been part owners in businesses.

Published on: Mar 8, 2016