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Households as a Site of Entrepreneurial Activity


  • Carter, Sara
  • Kuhl, Aniela
  • Marlow, Susan
  • Mwaura, Samuel


Entrepreneurial households have a central role in determining entrepreneurial choices, actions and outcomes. In this monograph we focus on the role of households in new venture creation and growth, arguing that our understanding of individual actions and firm level decisions becomes clearer if they are considered from the perspective of the household. A household perspective implies that the entrepreneur is viewed outwards from the context of their immediate family unit, and implicitly recognizes the blurred boundaries between the business sphere and the private sphere; business strategies and household strategies are interwoven, and business decisions are often made within the household. We review theoretical constructs of the household and examine the ways in which the household has been considered within entrepreneurship research. Not only is the household a vital component in fully understanding entrepreneurial actions, research attention should also be afforded to understanding the effects of entrepreneurship on business-owning households.

Suggested Citation

  • Carter, Sara & Kuhl, Aniela & Marlow, Susan & Mwaura, Samuel, 2017. "Households as a Site of Entrepreneurial Activity," Foundations and Trends(R) in Entrepreneurship, now publishers, vol. 13(2), pages 81-190, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:now:fntent:0300000062

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Zahra, Shaker A., 2007. "Contextualizing theory building in entrepreneurship research," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 443-452, May.
    2. Wright, Mike & Kellermanns, Franz W., 2011. "Family firms: A research agenda and publication guide," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 187-198.
    3. Yilmazer, Tansel & Schrank, Holly, 2006. "Financial intermingling in small family businesses," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 726-751, September.
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    More about this item


    Households; Household strategy; Household resources; Kinship; Business resources; Business growth;

    JEL classification:

    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation


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