Not just anyone founds a start-up. This much is clear from the picture that is emerging of a start-upper’s background, the focus of a study conducted by researcher Marion Flécher on behalf of the Directorate for Research, Studies and Statistics (Dares), part of the French Ministry of Labour, Employment and Economic Inclusion. Eight in 10 heads of start-ups have a Master’s degree. And graduates of Grandes Écoles (France’s prestigious higher education institutes) are over-represented, with 21% coming from engineering schools and 35% from business schools. In comparison, fewer than one in 10 founders of traditional businesses have this kind of background. It is also common to find a large proportion of managers who have had a bad experience in their first jobs and who see a start-up as a way to find meaning in their work. It comes as no surprise that women have more trouble finding their place in start-ups: they have greater difficulty than men in sourcing funds, they also raise less, and the chances of success are 2.4 times higher for their male counterparts.