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Where do they come from? Prevalence and characteristics of nascent entrepreneurs

Delmar, Frederic & Davidsson, Per (2000) Where do they come from? Prevalence and characteristics of nascent entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 12(1), pp. 1-23.

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Abstract

This article reports on a unique study of a large, random sample of business start-ups that were identified prior to the actual, commercial launch of the ventures. The purpose of this article is twofold. The first is to present frequencies on the involvement of the Swedish population in the small business sector (particularly in firm start-ups) and to compare these with estimates from Norway and the USA, which are based on studies using a similar research design. We also discuss the possible reasons for the country differences that emerge. Secondly, we analyse the characteristics of nascent entrepreneurs (i.e. individuals trying to start an independent business). We also compare these characteristics for sub-groups within the sample and with characteristics of business founders as they appear in theoretical accounts or retrospective empirical studies of surviving small firms.

In order to get a representative sample from the working age population, respondents (n= 30 427) were randomly selected and interviewed by telephone. We found that 2.0 % of the Swedish population at the time of the interview were trying to start an independent business. Sweden had a significantly lower prevalence rate of nascent entrepreneurs compared to Norway and the USA. Nascent entrepreneurs were then compared to a control group of people not trying to start a business. The results confirmed findings from previous studies of business founders pointing at the importance of role models and the impression of self-employment obtained through these, employment status, age, education and experience. Marital status, the number of children in the household, and length of employment experience were unrelated to the probability of becoming a nascent entrepreneur. The sex of the respondent was the strongest distinguishing factor. Importantly, the results suggest that while we have a reasonably good understanding of the characteristics associated with men going into business for themselves, the type of variables investigated here have very limited ability to predict nascent entrepreneur status for women.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 5834
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Per Davidsson, nascent entrepreneur, business founder, start, up, firm formation, socio, demographic, cross, national
DOI: 10.1080/089856200283063
ISSN: 1464-5114
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Small Business Management (150314)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Innovation and Technology Management (150307)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2000 Taylor & Francis
Copyright Statement: First published in Entrepreneurship & Regional Development 12(1):pp. 1-23.
Deposited On: 14 Dec 2006
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2011 23:50

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