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Defining Entrepreneurial Activity: Definitions Supporting Frameworks for Data Collection


  • Nadim Ahmad


  • Richard G. Seymour

    (The University of Sydney)


This paper sets out definitions of the entrepreneur, entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial activity for the purpose of supporting the development of related indicators. The paper recognises the long history in this area and the contention and differences that have existed, and that continue to exist, between academics who have confronted this issue over the last two centuries. It deliberately adopts a more pragmatic approach based on two principles ? relevance and measurability - resulting in definitions that are developed from both a bottom-up and top-down approach. Importantly, the definitions emphasise the dynamic nature of entrepreneurial activity and focus attention on action rather than intentions or supply/demand conditions. The paper concludes with an overview of policy implications arising from the definitions. Ce document propose les définitions de l’entrepreneur, de l’entrepreneuriat et de l'activité entrepreneuriale afin d'étayer le développement d'indicateurs statistiques sur l'entrepreneuriat. Le document reconnaît les controverses et différences qui ont existé, et qui continuent à exister, entre universitaires qui se sont confrontés à cette question au cours des deux derniers siècles. Les auteurs adoptent délibérément une approche plus pragmatique basée sur deux principes - pertinence et mesurabilité - ayant pour résultat des définitions élaborées à partir d’une approche ascendante (à partir de données mesurables) et descendante (basée sur les objectifs à atteindre). Les définitions soulignent en priorité la nature dynamique de l'activité entrepreneuriale et se concentrent sur l’action plutôt que sur les intentions ou les conditions de l’offre et de la demande. Le papier conclut avec une vue d’ensemble des implications résultant de ces définitions pour les politiques économiques.

Suggested Citation

  • Nadim Ahmad & Richard G. Seymour, 2008. "Defining Entrepreneurial Activity: Definitions Supporting Frameworks for Data Collection," OECD Statistics Working Papers 2008/1, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:stdaaa:2008/1-en

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    Cited by:

    1. Michael Peneder, 2009. "The Meaning of Entrepreneurship: A Modular Concept," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 77-99, June.
    2. Han van der Meer, 2016. "Entrepreneurs, Art and Innovation," International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management (IJITM), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 13(05), pages 1-9, October.
    3. Ewa Badzińska, 2015. "Innovative Ict Solutions Of Knowledge-Based Enterprises – A Case Study," Economy & Business Journal, International Scientific Publications, Bulgaria, vol. 9(1), pages 391-398.
    4. Aragon-Mendoza, Juan & del Val, Manuela Pardo & Roig-Dobón, Salvador, 2016. "The influence of institutions development in venture creation decision: A cognitive view," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(11), pages 4941-4946.
    5. Desai, Sameeksha, 2009. "Measuring Entrepreneurship in Developing Countries," WIDER Working Paper Series 010, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    6. Avanzini, Diego B., 2009. "Designing Composite Entrepreneurship Indicators: An Application Using Consensus PCA," WIDER Working Paper Series 041, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    7. Marchetta, Francesca, 2012. "Return Migration and the Survival of Entrepreneurial Activities in Egypt," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(10), pages 1999-2013.
    8. Ing. Matthijs H. M. Hammer, 2012. "How Business Management benefit from Entrepreneurship," Proceedings- 10th International Conference on Mangement, Enterprise and Benchmarking (MEB 2012), Óbuda University, Keleti Faculty of Business and Management.
    9. Tolulope Kehinde, Kayode-Adedeji & Agwu, Dr. Edwin M., 2015. "Application of ICT to Agriculture as a Panacea to Unemployment in Nigeria," MPRA Paper 61394, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Marco Lugo Rodriguez, 2014. "Tax policy effects on entrepreneurship in canada, 1984-2009: A dynamic panel provincial data approach," CIRANO Working Papers 2014s-46, CIRANO.
    11. Lavinia DOVLEAC & Marius BALASESCU & Simona BALASESCU, 2015. "The Perceptions Of Romanian Young Entrepreneurs Regarding The Challenges Of An Innovative Business Environment," Management and Marketing Journal, University of Craiova, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, vol. 0(1), pages 78-91, May.
    12. Ivana Komarkova & Dimitri Gagliardi & Johannes Conrads & Antonio Collado, 2015. "Entrepreneurship Competence: An Overview of Existing Concepts, Policies and Initiatives – Final report," JRC Working Papers JRC96531, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    13. Aragon-Mendoza, Juan & Raposo, Mario & Roig-Dobón, Salvador, 2016. "Gender matters in venture creation decision," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(6), pages 2081-2086.
    14. repec:eco:journ1:2018-02-17 is not listed on IDEAS

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