Abstract

Making a distinction between entrepreneurs with prior entrepreneurial experience – habitual, portfolio, and serial entrepreneurs – and novice entrepreneurs has permeated the research literature. Based on theories of human capital and cognition, we can hypothesize that habitual entrepreneurs should exhibit superior performance when compared to novice entrepreneurs. However, apart from one exception, previous studies fail to find significant differences. Several explanations exist. They include the view that experience in entrepreneurship provides both assets and liabilities, and the suggestion that entrepreneurs have a limited learning capacity. Another view highlights that an objective evaluation requires longitudinal data to assess the performance of all the business owned by habitual entrepreneurs. Hence, is there really a need to discriminate amongst entrepreneurs when experienced and inexperienced entrepreneurs seem to perform at the same level?

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