Abstract

Gaining understanding in the factors that drive start-ups towards high growth is of great interest to academics, practitioners and policy makers. This interest has been fueled by the contribution start-ups are argued to pay to economic renewal and growth. For instance in the Netherlands, start-ups were responsible for 53% of employment creation between 1994 and 2004 (Gibcus et al., 2005). However, researchers have also come to the conclusion that the success of start-ups in generating growth has to be nuanced since not all start-ups equally contribute to economic growth (Autio and Yli-Renko, 1998). More specifically, only a small fraction of these start-ups is responsible for the majority of the created economic growth. We investigate the factors that characterise high growth start-ups and what differentiates them from the majority of start-ups that are slowly growing or not growing at all. Because of the immediate link suggested in literature between innovation and high rather than average growth, we take innovation literature as a point of departure.

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