Elgar original reference
Edited by Alain Fayolle
Entrepreneurship is about ‘heterogeneity’ – entrepreneurs start their ventures from all kinds of backgrounds, with a variety of business ideas, and their way of starting a venture varies considerably. This fact was emphasized by William Gartner in his thesis ‘An empirical model of the business start-up, and eight entrepreneurial archetypes’ (1982) and not least in his well cited article in the Academy of Management Review in 1985, in which he provided a framework for understanding the variation in entrepreneurship – in entrepreneurs, their activities, the kind of organizations they start, and the contexts in which the activities take place – a framework that can be seen as a kaleidoscope for viewing the varying patterns of entrepreneurship. Following this line of argumentation we can say that context matters! The institutional conditions for entrepreneurship differ significantly between countries (Lundström and Stevenson, 2005). The attitudes towards entrepreneurship, risks and failures and the economic environment differ (for example, the growth of the economy, legislation, taxes, administrative burdens for entrepreneurs) and there are variations between countries with regard to support for entrepreneurs and new ventures – all of which are factors that affect the possibility to start new ventures in a society, and make the behaviour needed to start a business quite different in one country compared to another. As a consequence, the rate of entrepreneurial activities and the characteristics of the businesses started vary significantly in different contexts (Bosma et al., 2008). There is also great heterogeneity in terms of the companies started by entrepreneurs. The majority...