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Susana C. Santos and António Caetano

Entrepreneurial activities are inherently dynamic phenomena, but they have largely been treated as static in research. It is well established that they influence and are influenced by processes at different layers (i.e., individuals, teams, ventures, regions, countries). In this chapter we reflect on the reality of entrepreneurship from a complex systems perspective, and as such as a research field that benefits from a multilevel approach. First, we revisit multilevel theory and we expand on the importance of alignment and consistency in the level of theory, the level of measurement and the level of analysis. Next, we take a glance at several studies that have addressed multilevel issues in different topics of entrepreneurship. Finally, we discuss some assumptions of the multilevel perspective and ongoing challenges.

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Susana C Santos, Sílvia Fernandes Costa and António Caetano

This study presents the entrepreneurial potential construct in entrepreneurial teams competing in a venture competition, following a proxy for longitudinal research. We assessed the entrepreneurial potential profile of entrepreneurial teams and, based on the results, we were able to predict four track finalists and the grand finalist of the venture competition. The results based on the socio-psychological aspects of entrepreneurial potential profiles and team productivity of each team allowed us to predict (seven months ahead) the grand finalist of the venture competition awarded by an international expert judge panel. Our results showed that an entrepreneurial potential profile can be a useful tool to pick out successful and high potential teams. We also reflect on the relevance of considering entrepreneurial potential at the team level, considering entrepreneurship in a multilevel perspective. Key words: entrepreneurial teams, entrepreneurial potential profiles, psychosocial dimensions, venture competition

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Xaver Neumeyer, Susana C. Santos and Julia Poncela-Casasnovas

This chapter examines the paths of female entrepreneurs through the lens of social network theory. We collected relational data from novice entrepreneurs, institutional leaders and investors, participating in a team-based entrepreneurship program as well as the wider university ecosystem. These two distinct ecosystem units were subsequently analyzed to compare female and male (novice) entrepreneurs’ connectivity and embeddedness. Our results indicate that the team-based entrepreneurship program created an entrepreneurial ecosystem that shrunk significantly towards the end of the program as the majority of participants did not pursue their entrepreneurial ventures. In addition, we found that the use of teams can dampen the participation of female entrepreneurs-in-training. Depending on the composition of the team and role assignment, female participants were less embedded in the venture development and formation process than male participants. We also found that male participants’ networks contain a larger proportion of investors than female participants, while female faculty and entrepreneurs-in-training were as likely to develop multiplex ties as their male counterparts.

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Charles H. Matthews, Eric W. Liguori and Susana C. Santos

Entrepreneurship education as a discipline is still lacking mutually agreed upon definitive answers. We begin the Volume IV of the Annals of Entrepreneurship Education and Pedagogy by setting the stage with some questions: What Is It We Need to Know? Why is It Important to Know? and How Are We Going to Know It?

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Michael H. Morris, Susana C. Santos and Xaver Neumeyer

While extensively explored as a solution to poverty at the base of the pyramid, this is the first in-depth examination of entrepreneurship and the poor within advanced economies. The authors explore the underlying nature of poverty and draw implications for new venture creation. Entrepreneurship is presented as a source of empowerment that represents an alternative pathway out of poverty.
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Michael H. Morris, Susana C. Santos and Xaver Neumeyer

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Michael H. Morris, Susana C. Santos and Xaver Neumeyer

The extent of poverty and the poverty challenge in developed economies is examined. Emphasis is placed on poverty as a characteristic not of a person but a person’s situation. Attention is devoted to the complex and multi-dimensional nature of poverty. Situational and generational poverty are distinguished from one another. Characteristics of the poor are summarized. The individual, community and societal implications of poverty are explored with a focus on the real benefits of finding ways to reduce the numbers of poor people. Challenges in escaping from poverty are investigated, together with the inadequacies of current solutions to these challenges. Entrepreneurship is introduced as an alternative and potentially complementary solution.

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Michael H. Morris, Susana C. Santos and Xaver Neumeyer

Entrepreneurship is defined and its underlying nature is explored. The concept of an entrepreneurial mindset is introduced, characterized, and its implications for the poor are examined. The process nature of entrepreneurship is investigated, and unique aspects of the stages of this process for a person in poverty are addressed. Entrepreneurship is characterized as an unpredictable, non-linear and often chaotic journey where the individual is creating reality as events emerge. Key competencies that enable the entrepreneur to successfully navigate this journey are then identified. Attention is devoted to understanding the ways in which entrepreneurship can serve as a solution to poverty.

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Michael H. Morris, Susana C. Santos and Xaver Neumeyer

The patterns in entrepreneurial activity among the poor in developed economies are examined. Characteristics of those who start businesses when coming from poverty are reviewed. Critical aspects of the poverty condition and their direct implications for entrepreneurial activity are summarized. In spite of the significant challenges, entrepreneurship is approached as a natural path for the poor. Motives for pursuing this path are then examined. Building on this foundation, the SPODER framework is introduced for increasing entrepreneurial activity among the poor. The remaining chapters of this book are structured around this framework.

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Michael H. Morris, Susana C. Santos and Xaver Neumeyer

Attention is devoted to understanding who starts ventures and what they actually create. The first of these two questions considers what we know about the characteristics, traits and motives of successful entrepreneurs. Acknowledging the significant diversity to be found among these individuals, the patterns in terms of general types or categories of entrepreneurs that tend to emerge are considered. With the second question, patterns in the types of ventures created by entrepreneurs are examined, with four distinct types and their associated characteristics identified. In addressing both questions, implications are drawn for a person in poverty, including the unique challenges they confront, and what is required to overcome these challenges.