Entrepreneurship, Sustainable Growth and Performance
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Entrepreneurship, Sustainable Growth and Performance

Frontiers in European Entrepreneurship Research

Edited by Hans Landström, Hans Crijns, Eddy Laveren and David Smallbone

This book provides an invaluable, state-of-the-art overview of current European research in the field of entrepreneurship. It focuses on four themes, each of which illustrates a key dimension in the overall theme: • entrepreneurs and their role in entrepreneurship • entrepreneurship in family businesses • performance of new ventures and • entrepreneurial processes.
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Chapter 10: Entrepreneurs’ Human Capital and Early Business Performance

Espen John Isaksen


Espen John Isaksen INTRODUCTION The creation of new businesses and the various outcomes linked to new businesses are of interest to practitioners, policy-makers and researchers. The interest relates to societal level issues, such as job-generation (Reynolds et al., 1994) and more efficient use of resources (Acs and Storey, 2004). In addition, at the individual level, starting new businesses may constitute a viable and interesting career alternative. In this study the focus is on entrepreneurs’ human capital reported at the time of new business registration and subsequent early business performance. While several studies have investigated factors related to performance in existing businesses, there still seems to be a lack of studies focusing on newly started businesses. Studies identifying factors associated with firm performance using samples of young businesses have clearly made contributions to the entrepreneurship field of research. However, there is also a need to explore factors associated with outcomes in very new businesses. This is important since factors previously found to be related to superior performance in young firms need not be the same as those factors associated with superior performance in new firms. The lack of studies exploring performance in new firms may be related to problems associated with identifying samples of new businesses. This study is based on a large representative sample of businesses over two points in time. Efforts were made to approach the businesses when they were still very new. The founders provided information concerning factors presumed to be associated with new business performance,...

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