While entrepreneurs certainly require conventional business skills, they also need intangible qualities that don’t come from books. These so-called soft skills include a self-starting drive, a willingness to handle risk and an ability to deal with the kaleidoscope of challenges in building a business from scratch.

Where does that mindset come from? One major source, according to a raft of studies, is parents. Parents are powerful role models, share practical experience and often provide both emotional and financial support.

The next best way, states Charles Eesley, a professor at Stanford University, is to nurture entrepreneurship by setting up mentoring programmes.

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