Management skill and strong team building abilities are often perceived as essential leadership attributes for successful entrepreneurs. Robert B. Reich considers leadership, management ability, and team-building as essential qualities of an entrepreneur. This concept has its origins in the work of Richard Cantillon in his Essai sur la Nature du Commerce en (1755) and Jean-Baptiste Say in his Treatise on Political Economy.
Psychological studies show that the psychological propensities for male and female entrepreneurs are more similar than different. A growing body of work shows that entrepreneurial behavior is dependent on social and economic factors. For example, countries with healthy and diversified labor markets or stronger safety nets show a more favorable ratio of opportunity-driven rather than necessity-driven women entrepreneurs. Empirical studies suggest that male entrepreneurs possess strong negotiating skills and consensus-forming abilities.
Research studies that explore the characteristics and personality traits of, and influences on, the entrepreneur have come to differing conclusions. Most, however, agree on certain consistent entrepreneurial traits and environmental influences. Although certain entrepreneurial traits are required, entrepreneurial behaviours are also dynamic and influenced by environmental factors. Shane and Venkataraman (2000) argue that the entrepreneur is solely concerned with opportunity recognition and exploitation, although the opportunity that is recognised depends on the type of entrepreneur; while Ucbasaran et al. (2001) argue there are many different types contingent upon environmental and personal circumstances.
Jesper Sørensen has argued that some of the most significant influences on an individual’s decision to become an entrepreneur are workplace peers and the social composition of the workplace. In researching the likelihood of becoming an entrepreneur based upon working with former entrepreneurs, Sørensen discovered a correlation between working with former entrepreneurs and how often these individuals become entrepreneurs themselves, compared to those who did not work with entrepreneurs. The social composition of the workplace can influence entrepreneurism in workplace peers by proving a possibility for success, causing a “He can do it, why can’t I?” attitude. As Sørensen stated, “When you meet others who have gone out on their own, it doesn’t seem that crazy.” 
Perception of entrepreneurs
The ability of entrepreneurs to innovate is thought to relate to innate traits such as extroversion and a proclivity for risk-taking. According to Schumpeter, the capabilities of innovating, introducing new technologies, increasing efficiency and productivity, or generating new products or services, are characteristic qualities of entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurs are catalysts for economic change, and researchers argue that entrepreneurs are highly creative individuals with a tendency to imagine new solutions by finding opportunities for profit or reward. Largely due to the influence of Schumpeter’s heroic conceptions of entrepreneurs, it is widely maintained that entrepreneurs are unusual individuals. In line with this view, there is an emerging research tradition investigating the genetic factors that are perceived to make entrepreneurs so distinctive (Nicolaou and Shane, 2009).
However, there are also critical perspectives that attribute these research attitudes to oversimplified methodological and/or philosophical assumptions (Gartner, 2001). For example, it has been argued that entrepreneurs are not that distinctive, but that it is in essence unrealistic preconceptions about “non-entrepreneurs” that maintain laudatory portraits of “entrepreneurs” (Ramoglou, 2011).
Classification of entrepreneurs
A. Based on functional characteristics
1. Innovative entrepreneur: Such entrepreneurs introduce new goods or new methods of production or discover new markets or reorganize the enterprise. 1. EX: new product, new ways of product, new markets and reorganise the enterprise. 2. Imitative or adoptive entrepreneur: Such entrepreneurs don’t innovate,they copy technology or technique of others.
1. EX: Chinese mobiles.
3. Fabian entrepreneur: Such entrepreneur display grates situation and scepticism in experimenting with any change in their enterprise. They change only when there is a serious threat to the very existence of the enterprise. 4. Drone entrepreneurs: Such entrepreneurs are characterised by a diehard conservatism and may even be prepared to suffer the losses. 1. EX: Acc. To MC Kinsey in 2015, 110-130 million people will be unemployed out of which 90-100 million people will be Fresher.
B. Based on development angle
1. Prime mover: This entrepreneur sets in motion a powerful sequence of development expansion and diversification of business. 1. EX: Ambani 2. Manager: such an entrepreneur doesn’t initiate expansion and its content in just staying in business. 3. Minor innovator: This entrepreneur contributes to economic progress by finding better use for existing resources. 1. EX: minimum wastage maximum production.
4. Satellite: This entrepreneur assumes a suppliers role and slowly move towards a productive enterprise. 5. Local trading: such entrepreneur limits his enterprise to the local market.
C. Based on entrepreneurs business
Based on personality traits
1. The improver: They have unwavering to run these businesses with high integrity and ethics. 2. The advisor: “Customer is right and we must do everything to please him” because company is built by advisors and advisors become customer focused. 3. The superstar: All depends upon the charisma and on the high energy of the superstar CEO. 1. EX: Richard Branson (400 co’s/Virgin coin), Larry Page (Google), Lt. Steve Jobs (Apple), Ratan Tata (Tata sons). 4. The artists: Are highly creative type, very conscious about business. If feedback is constructive i.e. positive than also lets go with negative self-image. 1. EX: Aamir Khan, Michael Dell (Dell), MC Cormich (EMI).
5. The visionary: Too focused on dreams with little focused on reality. 1. EX: Jack Welch (GE), Bill Gates (Microsoft), Kishore Biyani (Future Group), Warren Buffet (Berkshire Hathaway), Sam Walton (Wall Mart). 6. The analyst: More focused on fixing problems in a systematic way. 1. EX: Gordon Hore (Intel), Rana Kapur (Yes Bank), Gautam Adani (Adani Groups) 7. The fireball: A business owned and operated by a fireball is full of life, energy and optimism. They have “A get it done attitude in a playful manner”. 1. EX: Malcolm Forbes – Forbes magazine
8. The hero: Have an incredible will and ability to lead the world and your business through challenges. 9. The healer: They provide nurturing harmony to their business, they have uncanny abilities to survive and persists inner calm. 1. EX: Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak (Sulabh International), Kumar Manglam Birla (Son of L.M Birla). 1. The Opportunistic: take advantage of opportunities as they occur. 1. EX: Mark Zuckerberg
Recent advances in entrepreneur researcher indicate that the differences in entrepreneurs and the heterogeneity in their behaviors and actions can be traced back to their the founder’s identity. For instance, Fauchart and Gruber (2011) have recently utilized social identity theory to illustrate that entrepreneurs can be distinguished in three main types: Darwinians, Communitarians and Missionaries. These types of founders not only diverge in fundamental ways in terms of their self-views and their social motivations in entrepreneurship, but also engage fairly differently in new firm creation.