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The Psychometrics Centre

Cambridge Judge Business School

The SEPI (Short Entrepreneurial Personality Inventory) is a 20-item measure of the psychological aspects of entrepreneurial potential. Developed by Professor John Rust and the Psychometrics Centre using data from a multinational study involving 6,880 volunteers, the SEPI provides a short but informative measure of personality in this dynamic area of business. It is suitable for use in research and in a range of occupational settings, for example to help identify employees with entrepeneurial and intrapreneurial mindsets to help lead innovative projects within large organisations, or to detect leadership potential in SMEs, start-up incubators and other entrepreneurial communities.

The SEPI is published by the Psychometrics Centre and available for online administration. Currently we only have an English language version. The cost is £15 GBP per administration. A minimum order of 10 tokens applies. Please contact us to place orders and for further information. Our testing system produces automatic feedback reports, showing a standardised score for the individual and textual interpretation of what their score means. 

Scale Development

The SEPI was developed by selecting the items most predictive of difference between business owners and employees (i.e. those who had started a business and those who had not), out of a longer questionnaire that measured 13 psychological dimensions shown in the literature to be predictive of entrepreneurial activity. These dimensions included Risk Propensity, Initiative, Innovativeness, Attitudes Towards Autonomy, Locus of Control, Need for Autonomy, Achievement Motivation, Self-Efficacy and the Big Five Personality Traits. Data on the long version of the questionnaire was initially collected through a research panel from over 2,000 entrepreneurs and employees from the UK, United States, Germany and Singapore and further supplemented with online response data collected globally by the Psychometrics Centre.

The SEPI has strong psychometric properties, such as Cronbach alpha reliability of 0.78 and responses are predictive of whether the test-taker has started a business with a medium effect size (Cohen's d prime= 0.55). Further information on the construction of the test and its psychometric properties is available in the test manual.


  • The Psychology of Entrepreneurship Report (2015) S. Matz, V. Mahalingam, V.Popov, D. Stillwell
  • The psychological markers of business creation: A parsimonious framework of entrepreneurial personality across cultures and industry sectors. J. Suárez-Álvarez, S. C. Matz, C. Gibbons, V.Popov, V. Mahalingam, D. Stillwell (in prep)

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