IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Habitual Entrepreneurs


  • Ucbasaran, Deniz
  • Alsos, Gry Agnete
  • Westhead, Paul
  • Wright, Mike


This review explores the emerging debate relating to habitual entrepreneurs. Habitual entrepreneurs (also known as experienced or, latterly, repeat entrepreneurs) are a widespread phenomenon. An entrepreneur's business ownership experience may differ according to the number of private businesses s/he has established, inherited and/or purchased. The nature of an entrepreneur's business ownership experience may not be homogeneous. Some habitual entrepreneurs may exit one private business before owning a subsequent one (i.e., serial entrepreneurs), while others may start/purchase and retain ownership of several private businesses concurrently (i.e., portfolio entrepreneurs). This review compares the profiles, behavior, and contributions of habitual entrepreneurs (i.e., serial and portfolio entrepreneurs) and novice entrepreneurs (i.e., entrepreneurs with no prior business ownership experience). The theoretical and policy cases for distinguishing between different types of entrepreneur are made. Differences between types of entrepreneur are examined in terms of their human capital profiles (e.g., education, motivations, and skills). Behavioral differences are examined with regard to the acquisition of resources, opportunity identification, pursuit and mode of exploitation, and organizational strategies. Finally, entrepreneur and firm performance differences between the different types are reviewed. Policy and practitioner implications are raised and assuming an interventionist stance, the case for targeted assistance toward habitual, serial, and portfolio and novice entrepreneurs is discussed. Avenues for additional research attention are highlighted relating to the following themes: the nature of opportunities; information search; leveraging human capital; entrepreneurial teams; measures of habitual entrepreneurship; the role of the external environment; contexts for habitual entrepreneurship; and methods and data issues.

Suggested Citation

  • Ucbasaran, Deniz & Alsos, Gry Agnete & Westhead, Paul & Wright, Mike, 2008. "Habitual Entrepreneurs," Foundations and Trends(R) in Entrepreneurship, now publishers, vol. 4(4), pages 309-450, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:now:fntent:0300000014

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Jenkins, Anna S. & Wiklund, Johan & Brundin, Ethel, 2014. "Individual responses to firm failure: Appraisals, grief, and the influence of prior failure experience," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 17-33.
    2. Henrekson, Magnus & Stenkula, Mikael, 2009. "Entrepreneurship and Public Policy," Working Paper Series 804, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    3. Cardon, Melissa S. & Gregoire, Denis A. & Stevens, Christopher E. & Patel, Pankaj C., 2013. "Measuring entrepreneurial passion: Conceptual foundations and scale validation," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 373-396.
    4. Parker, Simon C., 2013. "Do serial entrepreneurs run successively better-performing businesses?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 652-666.
    5. Junfu Zhang, 2011. "The advantage of experienced start-up founders in venture capital acquisition: evidence from serial entrepreneurs," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 187-208, February.
    6. Carpentier, C├ęcile & Suret, Jean-Marc, 2015. "Angel group members' decision process and rejection criteria: A longitudinal analysis," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 808-821.
    7. Obschonka, Martin & Silbereisen, Rainer K. & Schmitt-Rodermund, Eva & Stuetzer, Michael, 2010. "Nascent entrepreneurship and the developing individual: Early entrepreneurial competence in adolescence and venture creation success during the career," MPRA Paper 32021, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 21 Dec 2010.
    8. Toft-Kehler, Rasmus & Wennberg, Karl & Kim, Phillip H., 2014. "Practice makes perfect: Entrepreneurial-experience curves and venture performance," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 453-470.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:now:fntent:0300000014. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Alet Heezemans). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.