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Success and Risk Factors in the Pre-Startup Phase

  • Marco Gelderen


  • Roy Thurik


  • Niels Bosma


Why does one person actually succeed in starting a business, while a second person gives up? In order to answer this question, a sample of 517 nascent entrepreneurs (people in the process of setting up a business) was followed over a three-year period. After this period, it was established that 195 efforts were successful and that 115 startup efforts were abandoned. Our research focuses on estimating the relative importance of a variety of approaches and variables in explaining pre-startup success. These influences are organized in terms of Gartner’s (Academy of Management Review 10(4), 696–706 [1985]) framework of new venture creation. This framework suggests that start-up efforts differ in terms of the characteristics of the individual(s) who start the venture, the organization that they create, the environment surrounding the new venture, and the process by which the new venture is started. Logistic regression analyses are run for the sample as a whole as well as for subgroups within the sample, namely for those with high ambition vs. low ambition and for those with substantial vs. limited experience. The results point to the importance of perceived risk of the market as a predictor of getting started vs. abandoning the startup effort. Copyright Springer 2005

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Small Business Economics.

Volume (Year): 24 (2005)
Issue (Month): 4 (05)
Pages: 365-380

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Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:24:y:2005:i:4:p:365-380
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  1. Teece, David J, 1993. "The Dynamics of Industrial Capitalism: Perspectives on Alfred Chandler's Scale and Scope," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(1), pages 199-225, March.
  2. Douglas Holtz-Eakin & David Joulfaian & Harvey S. Rosen, 1993. "Sticking it Out: Entrepreneurial Survival and Liquidity Constraints," NBER Working Papers 4494, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Delmar, Frederic & Shane, Scott, 2004. "Legitimating first: organizing activities and the survival of new ventures," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 385-410, May.
  4. Paul D. Reynolds & Nancy M. Carter & William B. Gartner & Patricia G. Greene, 2004. "The Prevalence of Nascent Entrepreneurs in the United States: Evidence from the Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 263-284, November.
  5. Reynolds, Paul & Miller, Brenda, 1992. "New firm gestation: Conception, birth, and implications for research," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 7(5), pages 405-417, September.
  6. Cooper, Arnold C., 1993. "Challenges in predicting new firm performance," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 241-253, May.
  7. Gatewood, Elizabeth J. & Shaver, Kelly G. & Gartner, William B., 1995. "A longitudinal study of cognitive factors influencing start-up behaviors and success at venture creation," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 10(5), pages 371-391, September.
  8. Chen, Chao C. & Greene, Patricia Gene & Crick, Ann, 1998. "Does entrepreneurial self-efficacy distinguish entrepreneurs from managers?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 295-316, July.
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