Abstract

The wildly unequal rates at which entrepreneurial opportunities are translated into entrepreneurial activity across the world suggest the existence of certain filters that hamper the efficiency of such translation. Because entrepreneurial process implies the nexus of opportunities and individuals (Shane & Venkataraman, 2000), we suggest that human agency plays a filtering role that prevents many opportunities from resulting in entrepreneurial activity. In this study we look at three human agency filters—human capital, perceived capabilities and fear of failure—at two different stages of the entrepreneurial process. First, we propose that human capital acts as a filter preventing objective opportunities from being perceived such that not all objectively existing opportunities are acknowledged. Second, subjectively perceived opportunities need further human agency intervention to be exploited. At this stage, perceived capabilities and fear of failure act as a filter preventing entrepreneurial activity.

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