Habitual Entrepreneurs

Habitual Entrepreneurs

Deniz Ucbasaran, Paul Westhead and Mike Wright

Deniz Ucbasaran, Paul Westhead and Mike Wright use a combination of theory and empirical evidence to illustrate why it is so important for researchers, policymakers, entrepreneurs and investors to distinguish between novice (i.e. first time) entrepreneurs and habitual entrepreneurs. Issues tackled include human capital characteristics, information search and opportunity identification behaviours, and the performance of different types of entrepreneurs. The book also highlights the heterogeneity of habitual entrepreneurs by drawing attention to serial and portfolio entrepreneurs.

Preface

Deniz Ucbasaran, Paul Westhead and Mike Wright

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship

Extract

An important feature of the response to increasingly turbulent market conditions is a renewed focus on entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship as central drivers of economic development. Entrepreneurs, however, are not a homogeneous entity. A distinction can be made between entrepreneurs with regard to their prior business ownership experience. Entrepreneurs with prior business ownership experience who have started or acquired two or more independent businesses can be labelled habitual entrepreneurs. Some have successfully owned several businesses (such as Sir Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin group and Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the founder of Easyjet). While habitual entrepreneurs have been able to move down the experience curve with respect to the problems and processes of owning a business, not all are consistently successful. There is a need, therefore, to understand the contributions and potential liabilities that prior entrepreneurial experience can bring. This book represents the first systematic study of habitual entrepreneurs. We use a blend of theoretical perspectives to explore the behaviour and contribution of habitual entrepreneurs relative to novice entrepreneurs who have no prior business ownership to draw upon. Evidence from a large representative sample of entrepreneurs is used to highlight similarities and differences between habitual and novice entrepreneurs. If habitual entrepreneurs are distinctive in their behaviour and performance there may be important implications for advisers, providers of finance, policymakers seeking to stimulate economic growth, and other newer entrepreneurs seeking to identify opportunities and develop their ventures. If on the other hand, habitual entrepreneurs do not outperform their novice counterparts, it is...