Business Background

* 76% were the original owners, and 24% were outside managers, brought in on an average of 10 years after the launch

* 49% worked in a Fortune 500 company; 16% come from brokerage houses, banks, or accounting firms; 4% come from the military

* 67% of the founders had a partner, three-quarters of whom are still active in the business


* 81% hold undergraduate degrees: 30% in engineering, 13% in economics, 9% in business

* 46% hold graduate degrees: 31% in engineering, 27% in business administration, 12% in law

Work habits

* the average workweek is 60 hours, with one day each week spent away from company headquarters; 65% take at least one week off for vacation a year

* 49% most often turn to colleagues for advice on business matters, 33% to a board member, 9% to a spouse

Outside activities

* 70% attend industry conferences and seminars, 46% are active in trade and lobbying organizations, 39% pursue continuing education

* 27% sit on other corporate boards, 21% have business interests beyond their INC. 100 company

Personal background

* 71% are not hands-on computer users

* 96% share equity with key employees

* 83% plan never to retire

* 50% chose their location because it was where they were living when they founded the company, 32% to be close to markets and trained labor

* 43% had parents who were entrepreneurs; 75% would like to see their children become entrepreneurs; 41% work with family members; 28% have company rules forbidding the hiring of family members