IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wiw/wiwrsa/ersa10p531.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The strength of a good example: How important are role models for early-stage entrepreneurs?

Author

Listed:
  • Veronique Schutjens
  • Niels Bosma
  • Jolanda Hessels
  • Mirjam Van Praag
  • Ingrid Verheul

Abstract

The decision to become an entrepreneur is in essence an individual decision. But even when the endowments of inhabitants are taken into account, some regions have persistently higher entrepreneurship rates than others. Proposed explanations for this regional variation are numerous: market potential, unemployment rates, knowledge spillovers and agglomeration effects. Regional differences in entrepreneurship have also been linked to the availability of role models (Fornahl 2003; Sternberg 2009; Malecki 2009). It can be argued that in regions with high rates of entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial role models are abundant. These role models may serve as good examples of entrepreneurial activity and inspire individuals in the region to become entrepreneurs or attract other entrepreneurs to the region, thereby reinforcing the entrepreneurial process. We take a new approach by combining existing approaches, i.e., the geographical and individual-level studies of entrepreneurship in empirically exploring the importance of role models for early-stage entrepreneurship. We use a rich data set of over 300 owner-managers of young firms across four different sectors for three regions in the Netherlands. For each of the regions, a random sample was drawn from the registration data base of the Dutch Chamber of Commerce. Semi-structured interviews were held with entrepreneurs in Utrecht, Amsterdam and Rotterdam between March and October 2009. The first descriptive results suggest that role models are indeed an important phenomenon that deserves further attention. About 45% of the entrepreneurs indicated that the start-up decision was influenced by another entrepreneur, mostly by providing a positive example. Some 70% of these respondents have received tangible support from these exemplar entrepreneurs at start-up, whereas 40% indicate that they would not have started the business if they would not have had this example. So, according to the respondents, role models are important and our first analyses seem to support the idea that entrepreneur characteristics affect the value attached to specific types of role model. These results have implications for the organization, timing and target group of support initiatives, network meetings and the involvement of specific established (regional) exemplar entrepreneurs in the early-stage entrepreneurship arena.

Suggested Citation

  • Veronique Schutjens & Niels Bosma & Jolanda Hessels & Mirjam Van Praag & Ingrid Verheul, 2011. "The strength of a good example: How important are role models for early-stage entrepreneurs?," ERSA conference papers ersa10p531, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa10p531
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www-sre.wu.ac.at/ersa/ersaconfs/ersa10/ERSA2010finalpaper531.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Simeon Djankov & Yingyi Qian & Gérard Roland & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2006. "Entrepreneurship in China and Russia Compared," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 352-365, 04-05.
    2. Robert W. Fairlie & Alicia Robb, 2007. "Families, Human Capital, and Small Business: Evidence from the Characteristics of Business Owners Survey," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 60(2), pages 225-245, January.
    3. Joop Hartog & Mirjam Van Praag & Justin Van Der Sluis, 2010. "If You Are So Smart, Why Aren't You an Entrepreneur? Returns to Cognitive and Social Ability: Entrepreneurs Versus Employees," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(4), pages 947-989, December.
    4. Blanchflower, David G & Oswald, Andrew J, 1998. "What Makes an Entrepreneur?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 26-60, January.
    5. Parker, Simon C. & van Praag, C. Mirjam, 2006. "Schooling, Capital Constraints, and Entrepreneurial Performance: The Endogenous Triangle," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 24, pages 416-431, October.
    6. Parker,Simon C., 2009. "The Economics of Entrepreneurship," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521728355, March.
    7. Esteban Lafuente & Yancy Vaillant & Josep Rialp, 2007. "Regional Differences in the Influence of Role Models: Comparing the Entrepreneurial Process of Rural Catalonia," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(6), pages 779-796.
    8. C. Praag & Peter Versloot, 2007. "What is the value of entrepreneurship? A review of recent research," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 351-382, December.
    9. Pia Arenius & Dirk Clercq, 2005. "A Network-based Approach on Opportunity Recognition," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 249-265, February.
    10. Ajzen, Icek, 1991. "The theory of planned behavior," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 179-211, December.
    11. Davidsson, Per & Wiklund, Johan, 1997. "Values, beliefs and regional variations in new firm formation rates," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 18(2-3), pages 179-199, April.
    12. Dirk Fornahl & Thomas Brenner (ed.), 2003. "Cooperation, Networks and Institutions in Regional Innovation Systems," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 2713, December.
    13. Donald E. Gibson, 2003. "Developing the Professional Self-Concept: Role Model Construals in Early, Middle, and Late Career Stages," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 14(5), pages 591-610, October.
    14. Koellinger, Philipp & Minniti, Maria & Schade, Christian, 2007. ""I think I can, I think I can": Overconfidence and entrepreneurial behavior," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 502-527, August.
    15. Minniti, Maria, 2005. "Entrepreneurship and network externalities," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 1-27, May.
    16. Schutjens, Veronique & Stam, Erik, 2003. "The Evolution and Nature of Young Firm Networks: A Longitudinal Perspective," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 115-134, September.
    17. Dunn, Thomas & Holtz-Eakin, Douglas, 2000. "Financial Capital, Human Capital, and the Transition to Self-Employment: Evidence from Intergenerational Links," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 282-305, April.
    18. Marco Caliendo & Frank Fossen & Alexander Kritikos, 2009. "Risk attitudes of nascent entrepreneurs–new evidence from an experimentally validated survey," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 153-167, February.
    19. Thomas Dunn & Douglas Holtz-Eakin, 1996. "Financial Capital, Human Capital, and the Transition to Self-Employment:Evidence from Intergenerational Links," NBER Working Papers 5622, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Michael Hout & Harvey Rosen, 2000. "Self-Employment, Family Background, and Race," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(4), pages 670-692.
    21. KruegerJR, Norris F. & Reilly, Michael D. & Carsrud, Alan L., 2000. "Competing models of entrepreneurial intentions," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 15(5-6), pages 411-432.
    22. Ozgen, Eren & Baron, Robert A., 2007. "Social sources of information in opportunity recognition: Effects of mentors, industry networks, and professional forums," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 174-192, March.
    23. Nicos Nicolaou & Scott Shane & Lynn Cherkas & Janice Hunkin & Tim D. Spector, 2008. "Is the Tendency to Engage in Entrepreneurship Genetic?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(1), pages 167-179, January.
    24. Mirjam van Praag & Arjen van Witteloostuijn & Justin van der Sluis, 2009. "Returns for Entrepreneurs versus Employees: The Effect of Education and Personal Control on the Relative Performance of Entrepreneurs vis-a-vis Wage Employees," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 09-111/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    25. Robert F. Scherer & Janet S. Adams & Susan S. Carley & Frank A. Wiebe, 1989. "Role Model Performance Effects on Development of Entrepreneurial Career Preference," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 13(3), pages 53-72, April.
    26. Parker,Simon C., 2009. "The Economics of Entrepreneurship," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521899604, March.
    27. Ramana Nanda & Jesper B. Sørensen, 2010. "Workplace Peers and Entrepreneurship," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(7), pages 1116-1126, July.
    28. P. Mueller, 2006. "Entrepreneurship in the Region: Breeding Ground for Nascent Entrepreneurs?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 41-58, August.
    29. Barton H. Hamilton, 2000. "Does Entrepreneurship Pay? An Empirical Analysis of the Returns to Self-Employment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 604-631, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Bosma, Niels & Hessels, Jolanda & Schutjens, Veronique & Praag, Mirjam Van & Verheul, Ingrid, 2012. "Entrepreneurship and role models," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 410-424.
    2. Román, Concepción & Congregado, Emilio & Millán, José María, 2013. "Start-up incentives: Entrepreneurship policy or active labour market programme?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 151-175.
    3. Nadia Simoes & Nuno Crespo & Sandrina B. Moreira, 2016. "Individual Determinants Of Self-Employment Entry: What Do We Really Know?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(4), pages 783-806, September.
    4. Matthew J. Lindquist & Joeri Sol & Mirjam Van Praag, 2015. "Why Do Entrepreneurial Parents Have Entrepreneurial Children?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 269-296.
    5. Magnus Lofstrom, 2013. "Does self-employment increase the economic well-being of low-skilled workers?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 40(4), pages 933-952, May.
    6. Gabriela Boldureanu & Alina Măriuca Ionescu & Ana-Maria Bercu & Maria Viorica Bedrule-Grigoruță & Daniel Boldureanu, 2020. "Entrepreneurship Education through Successful Entrepreneurial Models in Higher Education Institutions," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(3), pages 1-33, February.
    7. Traikova, Diana, 2013. "Determinants of non-farm entrepreneurial intentions in a transitional context: Evidence from rural Bulgaria," Studies on the Agricultural and Food Sector in Transition Economies, Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO), volume 72, number 72.
    8. Arezou Abbasianchavari & Alexandra Moritz, 2021. "The impact of role models on entrepreneurial intentions and behavior: a review of the literature," Management Review Quarterly, Springer, vol. 71(1), pages 1-40, February.
    9. Jana Schmutzler & Veneta Andonova & Luis Diaz-Serrano, 2019. "How Context Shapes Entrepreneurial Self-Efficacy as a Driver of Entrepreneurial Intentions: A Multilevel Approach," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 43(5), pages 880-920, September.
    10. Vladasel, Theodor & Lindquist, Matthew J. & Sol, Joeri & van Praag, Mirjam, 2021. "On the origins of entrepreneurship: Evidence from sibling correlations," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 36(5).
    11. Verheul, Ingrid & Thurik, Roy & Grilo, Isabel & van der Zwan, Peter, 2012. "Explaining preferences and actual involvement in self-employment: Gender and the entrepreneurial personality," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 325-341.
    12. Marco Caliendo & Frank Fossen & Alexander Kritikos, 2014. "Personality characteristics and the decisions to become and stay self-employed," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 42(4), pages 787-814, April.
    13. Mirjam van Praag & Arjen van Witteloostuijn & Justin van der Sluis, 2009. "Returns for Entrepreneurs versus Employees: The Effect of Education and Personal Control on the Relative Performance of Entrepreneurs vis-a-vis Wage Employees," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 09-111/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    14. Michael Fritsch & Alina Rusakova, 2010. "Personality Traits, Self-Employment, and Professions," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 343, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    15. Peter van der Zwan & Ingrid Verheul & Roy Thurik & Isabel Grilo, 2009. "Entrepreneurial Progress: Climbing the Entrepreneurial Ladder in Europe and the US," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 09-070/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 17 Mar 2010.
    16. Werner Bönte & Vivien D. Procher & Diemo Urbig, 2016. "Biology and Selection into Entrepreneurship—The Relevance of Prenatal Testosterone Exposure," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 40(5), pages 1121-1148, September.
    17. Mirjam Praag & André Stel, 2013. "The more business owners, the merrier? The role of tertiary education," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 335-357, August.
    18. Jolanda Hessels & Brigitte Hoogendoorn & Peter van der Zwan & Nardo de Vries, 2013. "Global Entrepreneurship Monitor The Netherlands 2012," Scales Research Reports H201314, EIM Business and Policy Research.
    19. Ivano Dileo & Thaís García Pereiro, 2019. "Assessing the impact of individual and context factors on the entrepreneurial process. A cross-country multilevel approach," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 1393-1441, December.
    20. Paul A. Coomes & Jose Fernandez & Stephan F. Gohmann, 2013. "The Rate of Proprietorship Among Metropolitan Areas: The Impact of the Local Economic Environment and Capital Resources," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 37(4), pages 745-770, July.

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa10p531. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Gunther Maier (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.ersa.org .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.