How to Become a Billionaire in 1,000 Easy Lessons

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By Alice Tidey

You don't have a buck to your name, but you'd like to have a billion of them and wonder how the Gates and Jobs of this world did it?

A report released by the Centre for Policy Studies entitled "SuperEntrepreneurs: And how your country can get them" on Monday looks at how 1,000 self-made entrepreneurs managed to make their first billion.

The report examined self-made men and women who have earned at least $1 billion – who did not inherit their fortune -- and who have appeared in Forbes's richest people's list between 1996 and 2010.

Creativity, self-confidence, ambition and the ability to deal with failure are only some of the few personality traits that self-made billionaires have in common, the study found. But becoming a "SuperEntrepreneur" takes more than a fearless attitude, mostly, it takes a degree.

"Entrepreneurship", the report states, "is often knowledge-intensive."

You don't have a buck to your name, but you'd like to have a billion of them and wonder how someone like Bill Gates did it? EDGAR SU / Reuters

Only 16 percent of U.S. Super Entrepreneurs do not have a college degree. Half of U.S. super entrepreneurs have an advanced degree – such as an MA, MBA or doctorate – and they are five times more likely to hold a PhD than the general population.

A competitive spirit and a thirst for wealth are also high on the list. Successful entrepreneurs, the report states, "tend to be competitive and economically oriented in their thinking."

For 73 percent of entrepreneurs surveyed, economic profits were motivating factors and wealth, a sign of success and recognition by peers and by society.

Hong Kong has the most of SuperEntrepreneurs in the survey , with around three per million inhabitants, followed by Israel - with close to two per million. The U.S. comes third, followed by Switzerland and Singapore.

As a rule, countries with the most billionaires identified by the survey seem to have more competitive tax regimes, a high rate of venture capital investments as part of the economy and less self-employed people.