Successful Entrepreneurship
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Successful Entrepreneurship

Confronting Economic Theory with Empirical Practice

C. Mirjam van Praag

Mirjam van Praag compares and contrasts the economic theory of entrepreneurship with determinants of successful entrepreneurship derived from empirical evidence, in an attempt to discover what makes for an accomplished entrepreneur. The author’s state-of-the-art historical, theoretical and empirical research on successful entrepreneurship – all from an explicit economic perspective – comprehensively addresses questions such as: ‘What are the factors that influence individuals’ decisions to start a business venture as opposed to working as an employee?’ and ‘What are the individual characteristics that make one successful as an entrepreneur?’ thereby supporting or dispelling various existing myths. Individual factors contributing to the success of entrepreneurs that are considered include, amongst others, human capital, financial capital and psychological traits. The importance of such factors for the various phases of entrepreneurship, including start-up, delivery and performance is also measured.
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Chapter 10: Summary, conclusions and policy recommendations

C. Mirjam van Praag


This chapter’s first section gives a summarized overview of the preceding chapters of the book. In the next section I provide the main conclusions from combining the findings of these preceding chapters. Policy recommendations that arise from the results are discussed in the concluding section. Summary Chapter 1 is the first chapter of the introductory part (Part I) of the book. It addresses why and how this book uncovers the magic of successful entrepreneurship in an economic context. Individual determinants of successful entrepreneurship are investigated, because insight into these determinants may lead to better policy measures to increase the quality and number of entrepreneurs. These types of policy measures are important since they increase the economic benefits of successful entrepreneurship, that is, increase labour demand and economic development, and decrease the social, private and psychological costs of unsuccessful entrepreneurship. The established scientific knowledge base of entrepreneurship lacks full insight into these determinants. This insight is gained in the following manner. Chapter 2, the second and last chapter of Part I, reviews some historical contributions to the theory of successful entrepreneurship in such a way that it provides a more thorough understanding of the entrepreneur, entrepreneurial success and the issues that are important in empirical research in this field. The relevant ideas of Cantillon, Say, Marshall, Schumpeter, Knight and Kirzner are reviewed. As of the eighteenth century, an important economic function was imputed to the entrepreneur, both in society and in the firm. The entrepreneur contributes to society and...

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