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We explore the relationship between business ownership and attitudes towards financial risk using individual level data drawn from the US Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF). The SCF includes a measure of individuals’ attitudes towards risk allowing us to explore the implications
of interpersonal differences in risk attitudes for the probability and success of business ownership. Our empirical findings suggest that willingness to take financial risk is positively associated with both the incidence and success of business ownership. We find that this relationship is
particularly pronounced in cases where the individual actually started the business.