Dyslexia and entrepreneurial tendencies

13 02 2008

At this week’s Guardian Higher Education summit, the higher education independent adjudicator, Lady Deech, called on universities to offer concessions to dyslexic students. Her speech is a follow-up to research that indicates that the UK education system fails to identify whether pupils have dyslexia at a young age, leading to fewer dyslexic entrepreneurs in Britain.  

Financed by the Kauffman Foundation, the international comparative study by Prof Julie Logan (Cass Business School) is the first study that attempts to measure the percentage of entrepreneurs who had dyslexia.   The research indicates that dyslexics are more likely than non-dyslexics to delegate authority, to excel in oral communication and problem solving, and are twice as likely to own two or more businesses.  Dyslexics may be drawn to entrepreneurship because they can apply strategies they have used since childhood to offset their weaknesses in written communication and organizational ability to businesses. 

The study discovered that one in five British entrepreneurs are dyslexic, compared to 10 per cent of the general public, but more American entrepreneurs (35%) have dyslexia than in the UK.  Logan says that the US has more dyslexic entrepreneurs because it has better systems for identification, intervention and support of those with dyslexia at a young age, giving them a much better chance of success.

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