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A conversation with 590 nascent entrepreneurs

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  • Jeffrey R. Campbell
  • Mariacristina De Nardi

Abstract

This paper summarizes interviews from 1998 with 590 individuals trying to create a business centered around five questions: “Who are you?”, “What are you trying to accomplish?”, “What have you and others put into the business?”, “What have you accomplished?”, “What remains to be done?” There is a great deal of heterogeneity across these Nascent entrepreneurs, but they tend to have more education than the general population. Growing up in a family in which one or both parents had a business does not seem to be an important determinant of entry into entrepreneurship for males, while it seems to be of some importance for females. Most of the nascent businesses are in retail and consumer services, and about 50 percent of nascent entrepreneurs expect to become employers within five years of the business’s birth. Most nascent entrepreneurs have already made personally-significant investments of time and money in their firms; and nearly all of them are saving for their firms out of non-business income. For about half of the sample, these investments have yielded a fully-specified product; and the remainder are still in the product development stage. Family and friends are an importance source of seed money for many Nascent Entrepreneurs. Formal credit markets have been requested for funds only by a minority of Nascent Entrepreneurs, and almost half of these applicants have been denied loans. About 40% of the Nascent Entrepreneurs believe that their businesses require significantly greater equity before they can attract external funds.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in its series Working Paper Series with number WP-07-20.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-07-20

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Keywords: Business ; Business enterprises;

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  1. Neus Herranz & Stefan Krasa & Anne Villamil, 2009. "Small firms in the SSBF," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 341-359, June.
  2. Kameliia Petrova, 2012. "Part-time entrepreneurship and financial constraints: evidence from the Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 473-493, September.
  3. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
  4. R. Glenn Hubbard & William M. Gentry, 2000. "Tax Policy and Entrepreneurial Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 283-287, May.
  5. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 1978. "On the Size Distribution of Business Firms," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 508-523, Autumn.
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  7. Kihlstrom, Richard E & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1979. "A General Equilibrium Entrepreneurial Theory of Firm Formation Based on Risk Aversion," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(4), pages 719-48, August.
  8. Douglas Holtz-Eakin & David Joulfaian & Harvey S. Rosen, 1993. "Entrepreneurial Decisions and Liquidity Constraints," NBER Working Papers 4526, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Marco Cagetti & Mariacristina De Nardi, 2006. "Entrepreneurship, Frictions, and Wealth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(5), pages 835-870, October.
  10. Quadrini, Vincenzo, 1999. "The Importance of Entrepreneurship for Wealth Concentration and Mobility," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 45(1), pages 1-19, March.
  11. April Mitchell Franco & Darren Filson, 2000. "Knowledge diffusion through employee mobility," Staff Report 272, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  12. Erik Hurst & Annamaria Lusardi, 2004. "Liquidity Constraints, Household Wealth, and Entrepreneurship," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(2), pages 319-347, April.
  13. Evans, David S & Leighton, Linda S, 1989. "Some Empirical Aspects of Entrepreneurship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 519-35, June.
  14. Kameliia Petrova, 2005. "Part-Time Entrepreneurship and Wealth Effects: New Evidence from the Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics," Microeconomics 0510006, EconWPA, revised 03 Nov 2005.
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Cited by:
  1. Peter Gibbard & Ibrahim Stevens, 2011. "Corporate debt and financial balance sheet adjustment: a comparison of the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 95-118, February.
  2. Per Davidsson & Scott Gordon, 2012. "Panel studies of new venture creation: a methods-focused review and suggestions for future research," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 39(4), pages 853-876, November.
  3. Poschke, Markus, 2013. "Who becomes an entrepreneur? Labor market prospects and occupational choice," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 693-710.
  4. Mariacristina De Nardi & Anne Villamil, 2009. "Entrepreneurship, finance and employment," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 289-293, June.
  5. Neus Herranz & Stefan Krasa & Anne Villamil, 2009. "Small firms in the SSBF," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 341-359, June.
  6. Vincent Sterk & Petr Sedlacek, 2014. "The growth potential of startups over the business cycle," 2014 Meeting Papers 84, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Ellen Rissman, 2007. "Labor market transitions and self-employment," Working Paper Series WP-07-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  8. Petr Sedlacek & Vincent Sterk, 2014. "The Growth Potential of Startups over the Business Cycle," Discussion Papers 1403, Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM).
  9. Silvia Magri, 2009. "The financing of small entrepreneurs in Italy," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 397-419, June.

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