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New Firm Creation: A Global Assessment of National, Contextual and Individual Factors


  • Reynolds, Paul D.


The prevalence of individuals actively involved in business creation among 75 countries varies from one in thirty (Japan, Belgium, France) to one in three (Peru, Uganda). Predictive models reflecting five national aspects — economic, structural, centralized control, population potential for entrepreneurship, and cultural support — are able to account for 63% to 93% of the variation in 23 types of business creation. The most important factors associated with the prevalence of business creation are the capacity of the population to participate in business start-ups, a high prevalence of small businesses, participation of women in the labor force, the presence of informal investors, emphasis on traditional rather than secular–rational values, presence of young adults, and income inequality. The use of log linear regression modeling to predict individual participation in 15 types of business creation explained from 14% to 41% of the variance. Personal attributes, national cultural and social norms, and personal context were much more likely to be associated with individual participation in business creation than characteristics of the national economy, economic structure, population readiness for business creation or centralized control of economic activity. The primary policy implication is that efforts to directly prepare individuals for business creation are more likely to have an impact compared to adjustments in regulatory procedures or legal standards. The assessment demonstrates the considerable value from harmonized cross national data on business creation and national attributes. There remains, however, substantial opportunity for improving understanding of the entrepreneurial process.

Suggested Citation

  • Reynolds, Paul D., 2011. "New Firm Creation: A Global Assessment of National, Contextual and Individual Factors," Foundations and Trends(R) in Entrepreneurship, now publishers, vol. 6(5–6), pages 315-496, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:now:fntent:0300000034

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    Cited by:

    1. Kim, Phillip H. & Longest, Kyle C. & Lippmann, Stephen, 2015. "The tortoise versus the hare: Progress and business viability differences between conventional and leisure-based founders," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 185-204.


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