Abstract

Is habitual entrepreneurship different? Answering this is important to the field, however there is little systematic evidence, thus far. We addresses this by examining the role experience plays at three possible points of difference: motivations, actions and expectations; and by comparing those currently in the process of starting a business with those who have recent success in business creation. Firstly, we assess the balance of opportunity versus necessity motivation, internally versus externally stimulated decision processes and future growth aspirations. Literature suggests novices are more likely motivated to nascency out of necessity, and favour a manageable business size, while habitual entrepreneurs are more likely motivated by internally stimulated or idea driven processes. Secondly, we examine actions undertaken by successful experienced founders during gestation, contrasting ‘information collection’ and ‘opportunity definition’. Drawing on prior research we expect novices more likely to have enacted ‘information search’ while habitual entrepreneurs enact ‘opportunity definition’. Thirdly, we examine perceptions of venture success, where findings on overconfidence suggest that habitual entrepreneurs expect a higher chance of success for their ventures, while inexperience leads novices to underestimate the difficulty of entrepreneurial survival.

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