Emergence, Newness and Growth
Edited by Candida G. Brush, Lars Kolvereid, L. Øystein Widding and Roger Sørheim
2. The context for entrepreneurship Mark P. Rice and Timothy Habbershon The entrepreneur identifies an opportunity, assesses it – particularly with respect to the market, the competition and how the entrepreneur’s offering might address the market need in a manner that differentiates it from competitors’ offerings – conceives of a business model to pursue it, attracts resources and talent, and launches and builds the new venture. This entrepreneurial activity occurs within a particular context (Ucbasaran et al., 2001). Context does not have a singular or static meaning. Generally, context refers to environmental factors, societies and cultures, modes and organizations, communities, arenas, policies and structures. In order to fully understand the rich phenomenon that we refer to as entrepreneurship, we cannot constrain the definition of context, but rather we must identify the full range of contextual factors that interact with the entrepreneur and entrepreneurial process.1 CONTEXT AS AN INPUT-OUTPUT MODEL Generally the entrepreneur does not start with all the elements for success fully assembled. The context in which the entrepreneur operates is the source from which the entrepreneur accesses or acquires the elements that enable the venture to build the capacity and to deliver value to its marketplace. Typically after a start-up and ramp up period of capacity building, the venture – if it is to survive and succeed – must achieve at least breakeven with respect to resources it accesses or acquires from within its context and the value it delivers to the stakeholders that provide those resources. The rates of acquisition and value...
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