One thing most entrepreneurs love to do is talk about being entrepreneurs. Topics range from what is the "entrepreneurial spirit" to who has it and who doesn't, and what it takes to be successful. As co-owner of jacobstahl, a public relations agency, with my husband, as well as a mother of three, my favorite question is whether entrepreneurship can be passed down to the next generation--and whether I want to encourage or discourage it in my own kids.
The nature/nurture issue has provoked Talmudic-level discussions, but there is scientific evidence that entrepreneurship is heritable. Scott Shane posted data in a New York Times blog last year indicating a genetic component. Along with his colleagues, Shane conducted behavioral genetics (twin) and molecular genetics (association) studies of entrepreneurship. His findings suggest the tendency to be an entrepreneur is in the DNA, as is the ability to perform well as an entrepreneur.