The strength of a good example: How important are role models for early-stage entrepreneurs?
AbstractThe decision to become an entrepreneur is in essence an individual decision. But even when the endowments of inhabitants are taken into account, some regions have persistently higher entrepreneurship rates than others. Proposed explanations for this regional variation are numerous: market potential, unemployment rates, knowledge spillovers and agglomeration effects. Regional differences in entrepreneurship have also been linked to the availability of role models (Fornahl 2003; Sternberg 2009; Malecki 2009). It can be argued that in regions with high rates of entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial role models are abundant. These role models may serve as good examples of entrepreneurial activity and inspire individuals in the region to become entrepreneurs or attract other entrepreneurs to the region, thereby reinforcing the entrepreneurial process. We take a new approach by combining existing approaches, i.e., the geographical and individual-level studies of entrepreneurship in empirically exploring the importance of role models for early-stage entrepreneurship. We use a rich data set of over 300 owner-managers of young firms across four different sectors for three regions in the Netherlands. For each of the regions, a random sample was drawn from the registration data base of the Dutch Chamber of Commerce. Semi-structured interviews were held with entrepreneurs in Utrecht, Amsterdam and Rotterdam between March and October 2009. The first descriptive results suggest that role models are indeed an important phenomenon that deserves further attention. About 45% of the entrepreneurs indicated that the start-up decision was influenced by another entrepreneur, mostly by providing a positive example. Some 70% of these respondents have received tangible support from these exemplar entrepreneurs at start-up, whereas 40% indicate that they would not have started the business if they would not have had this example. So, according to the respondents, role models are important and our first analyses seem to support the idea that entrepreneur characteristics affect the value attached to specific types of role model. These results have implications for the organization, timing and target group of support initiatives, network meetings and the involvement of specific established (regional) exemplar entrepreneurs in the early-stage entrepreneurship arena.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by European Regional Science Association in its series ERSA conference papers with number ersa10p531.
Date of creation: Sep 2011
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Welthandelsplatz 1, 1020 Vienna, Austria
Web page: http://www.ersa.org
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-07-29 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENT-2012-07-29 (Entrepreneurship)
- NEP-URE-2012-07-29 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Ozgen, Eren & Baron, Robert A., 2007. "Social sources of information in opportunity recognition: Effects of mentors, industry networks, and professional forums," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 174-192, March.
- Marco Caliendo & Frank Fossen & Alexander Kritikos, 2009.
"Risk attitudes of nascent entrepreneurs–new evidence from an experimentally validated survey,"
Small Business Economics,
Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 153-167, February.
- Caliendo, Marco & Fossen, Frank M. & Kritikos, Alexander S., 2006. "Risk Attitudes of Nascent Entrepreneurs: New Evidence from an Experimentally Validated Survey," Discussion Papers 252, European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Department of Business Administration and Economics.
- Caliendo, Marco & Fossen, Frank M. & Kritikos, Alexander S., 2006. "Risk Attitudes of Nascent Entrepreneurs: New Evidence from an Experimentally-Validated Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 2168, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Marco Caliendo & Frank M. Fossen & Alexander S. Kritikos, 2006. "Risk Attitudes of Nascent Entrepreneurs: New Evidence from an Experimentally-Validated Survey," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 600, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
- Simeon Djankov & Yingyi Qian & Gerard Roland & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2005.
"Entrepreneurship in China and Russia Compared,"
w0049, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
- Joop Hartog & Mirjam Van Praag & Justin Van Der Sluis, 2010.
"If You Are So Smart, Why Aren't You an Entrepreneur? Returns to Cognitive and Social Ability: Entrepreneurs Versus Employees,"
Journal of Economics & Management Strategy,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(4), pages 947-989, December.
- Hartog, Joop & van Praag, Mirjam & van der Sluis, Justin, 2008. "If You Are So Smart, Why Aren't You an Entrepreneur? Returns to Cognitive and Social Ability: Entrepreneurs versus Employees," IZA Discussion Papers 3648, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Joop Hartog & Mirjam van Praag & Justin van der Sluis, 2008. "If you are so smart, why aren't you an entrepreneur? Returns to cognitive and social ability: Entrepreneurs versus employees," Jena Economic Research Papers 2008-084, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
- Michael Hout & Harvey S. Rosen, 1999.
"Self-Employment, Family Background, and Race,"
NBER Working Papers
7344, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ramana Nanda & Jesper B. Sørensen, 2010. "Workplace Peers and Entrepreneurship," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(7), pages 1116-1126, July.
- Blanchflower, D.G. & Oswald, A., 1991.
"What Makes an Entrepreneur?,"
Economics Series Working Papers
99125, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- C. Mirjam van Praag & Peter H. Versloot, 2007.
"What is the Value of Entrepreneurship? A Review of Recent Research,"
Jena Economic Research Papers
2007-061, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
- C. Praag & Peter Versloot, 2007. "What is the value of entrepreneurship? A review of recent research," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 351-382, December.
- van Praag, Mirjam & Versloot, Peter H., 2007. "What Is the Value of Entrepreneurship? A Review of Recent Research," IZA Discussion Papers 3014, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- C. Mirjam van Praag & Peter H. Versloot, 2007. "What is the Value of Entrepreneurship? A Review of Recent Research," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 07-066/3, Tinbergen Institute.
- Ajzen, Icek, 1991. "The theory of planned behavior," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 179-211, December.
- KruegerJR, Norris F. & Reilly, Michael D. & Carsrud, Alan L., 2000. "Competing models of entrepreneurial intentions," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 15(5-6), pages 411-432.
- Philipp Köllinger & Maria Minniti & Christian Schade, 2005.
""I Think I Can, I Think I Can": Overconfidence and Entrepreneurial Behavior,"
Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin
501, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
- Koellinger, Philipp & Minniti, Maria & Schade, Christian, 2007. ""I think I can, I think I can": Overconfidence and entrepreneurial behavior," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 502-527, August.
- Barton H. Hamilton, 2000. "Does Entrepreneurship Pay? An Empirical Analysis of the Returns to Self-Employment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 604-631, June.
- Schutjens, Veronique & Stam, Erik, 2003. " The Evolution and Nature of Young Firm Networks: A Longitudinal Perspective," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 115-34, September.
- Pia Arenius & Dirk Clercq, 2005. "A Network-based Approach on Opportunity Recognition," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 249-265, 02.
- Minniti, Maria, 2005. "Entrepreneurship and network externalities," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 1-27, May.
- Dunn, Thomas & Holtz-Eakin, Douglas, 2000. "Financial Capital, Human Capital, and the Transition to Self-Employment: Evidence from Intergenerational Links," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 282-305, April.
- Esteban Lafuente & Yancy Vaillant & Josep Rialp, 2007. "Regional Differences in the Influence of Role Models: Comparing the Entrepreneurial Process of Rural Catalonia," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(6), pages 779-796.
- Thomas Dunn & Douglas Holtz-Eakin, 2000. "Financial Capital, Human Capital, and the Transition to Self-Employment:Evidence from Intergenerational Links," NBER Working Papers 5622, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Nicos Nicolaou & Scott Shane & Lynn Cherkas & Janice Hunkin & Tim D. Spector, 2008. "Is the Tendency to Engage in Entrepreneurship Genetic?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(1), pages 167-179, January.
- P. Mueller, 2006. "Entrepreneurship in the Region: Breeding Ground for Nascent Entrepreneurs?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 41-58, August.
- Parker, Simon C. & van Praag, C. Mirjam, 2006. "Schooling, Capital Constraints, and Entrepreneurial Performance: The Endogenous Triangle," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 24, pages 416-431, October.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Gunther Maier).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.