Dietmar Grichnik is Professor of Entrepreneurship and Director of the Institute of Technology Management at the University of St.Gallen (HSG). In the interview with the Swiss Startup Group, he talked about happiness and entrepreneurship from a scientific perspective.

Your career is mostly academic. How come you are so interested in entrepreneurship?

Well, the academic part is just one pillar of the qualification actually. I started as a banker and coming from the field of venture capital during my Postdoc time in the US I was infected by the virus of entrepreneurship or in general taking decisions under high uncertainty by the investors and high-tech entrepreneurs. That was quite fascinating and therefore, to figure out what really makes entrepreneurs masters of uncertainty was a main motivator to continue in academia.

Let us look at entrepreneurship from a scientific perspective. What motivates people to become self-employed?

The most important starting point to go into self-employment, worldwide and independent from any kind of culture, is independence, so signing your own declaration of independence. So it does not matter whether you are in the US, in China, Europe, Africa or Latin America. The degree of freedom mainly drives people into entrepreneurship and starting self-employment.

Most people who have ventured into entrepreneurship or self-employment say today that they are very happy with this decision. From your point of view, what are the most important reasons for this?

Actually it is proven by many studies that entrepreneurs are the happiest people in the world, compared to employees at least. So going for your own venture, idea, and developing a business is a great chance to becoming happy because of the direct impact that you feel and receive based on your activities.

 

Read the entire interview on the Swiss Startup Group Blog.