Fewer than a quarter of serial high-tech entrepreneurs are Sephardim - 22% - and 78% are Ashkenazim, according to a study by Dr. Ze'ev Ganor, a senior lecturer and researcher of entrepreneurship at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology. Ganor is also a serial entrepreneur, who manages Urginea Ventures. His study included 79 serial entrepreneurs, and defined a serial entrepreneur as a person who founded, alone or with partners at least two start-ups.
Ganor found that the average age of Ashkenazi and Sephardi serial entrepreneurs was the same (55), and most were native-born Israelis (73-76%). However, Ashkenazim were scions of wealthier families than Sephardim: 15% of Ashkenazi serial entrepreneurs came from wealthy families, compared with 6% of Sephardi serial entrepreneurs; conversely, 8% of Ashkenazi serial entrepreneurs came from poor families, compared with 25% of Sephardim.
Sephardi serial entrepreneurs have a better education than their Ashkenazi peers: there are twice as many Sephardi Ph.D.s as Ashkenazi Ph.D.s (41% and 25%, respectively) among serial entrepreneurs. Ganor says, "When taking into account the socioeconomic situation of their families, it seems that Sephardim have a lower chance of success, and only the most talented among them dared and succeeded."
The proportion of Ashkenazi serial entrepreneurs from entrepreneurial families is higher than the proportion of Sephardi serial entrepreneurs.
"The public debate that has recently emerged about the ethnic demon, piqued my curiosity whether this gap also existed within the elite group of Israeli serial entrepreneurs whom I have studied over the years," said Ganor.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 30, 2013
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