Abstract

Entrepreneurial exit, i.e. “the process by which the founders of privately held firms leave the firm they helped to create” (DeTienne, 2010, p.203), has recently witnessed increased academic interest (e.g., Wennberg et al., 2009; DeTienne, 2010; DeTienne and Cardon, 2010). In a recent contribution, DeTienne (2010) stresses the importance of entrepreneurial exit, not only for entrepreneurs (i.e., all entrepreneurs will inevitably exit at some point in time) and their firms, but also for industries and the economy at large. Exit, for instance, may spur ‘entrepreneurial recycling ’ by making entrepreneurs (and their harvested capital) available for new ventures. Furthermore, DeTienne discusses how entrepreneurial exit varies over the life cycle of the firm, i.e. from gestation to maturity. In her conceptual paper, she for instance provides some initial thoughts about possible determinants for having an exit strategy. This paper aims to contribute both conceptually and empirically to our understanding of entrepreneurial exit, as it considers exit strategies during start-up.

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