Abstract

Few entrepreneurship researchers have focused on entrepreneurs as leaders, particularly in the initial stages of a new venture. We build on theories of authentic and transformational leadership to develop a model of how entrepreneurs exhibiting key leadership behaviors —trustworthiness, coachability, and passion —more successfully gain the support of critical stakeholders. We test the model in the angel investment context and examine how angels’ perception of entrepreneurs’ authentic transformational leadership behaviors impact angels’ evaluations of funding potential. Results indicate that the three authentic leadership behaviors mediate the relationships between personal characteristics of the entrepreneurs and evaluation of the funding potential.

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