You may not be required to prove you have a certain IQ level before you can start a business, but have you ever wondered how smart you needed to be to succeed? Small Business Trends recently took a look at all the statistics to see just how smart most entrepreneurs really are.

As you might expect, more intelligent entrepreneurs do better at running their own businesses than less intelligent ones. In a different article, published a year after the one mentioned above, de Wit and Winden found that the self-employed with higher IQs tended to earn more money than those with lower IQs. And the recent working paper by Djankov, Qian, Roland and Zhuravskaya found that “failed entrepreneurs are less smart” than successful ones.

So what do these studies tell us? Maybe they are little more than a statistical curiosity or maybe they hint at a pattern.

Subject to the caveat that we have only handful of studies and all of them are based on correlations, here’s the pattern suggested by the data: The average person who works for herself is more intelligent than the average person who works for others, but (as my earlier column pointed out) she doesn’t do as well in school.

Photo by Shaheen Lakhan

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