Abstract

Opportunity identification has always been considered as a central aspect of entrepreneurship (Gaglio, 2004, Kirzner, 1979; Shane and Venkataraman, 2000, Shane, 2003). However, there is no agreement among scholars on how to define and how to operationalize opportunity identification. In this paper, we focus on the process by which individuals interact with the opportunity identified to develop personal business concepts. Opportunities are vague ideas about potential profit making while business concepts are elaborated ideas corresponding to a personal opportunity. Business concepts are thus, subjective constructs resulting from individual interpretation of the opportunity identified. In an effort to document this process of opportunity interpretation, we are conducting an empirical study which explores mental processes underlying new business concepts elaboration. This analysis allows the identification of individual factors influencing opportunity interpretation rather than analyzing properties that prompt individuals to become entrepreneurs (Vankataraman 1997). In doing so, we are focusing on the nexus of the individuals and the opportunities.

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