Abstract

What actually makes an entrepreneur and what is the “essence of being entrepreneurial” (Krueger 2007, p. 123)? A great deal of research dealing with this question focuses on the entrepreneurs’ human capital as success factor. However, a recent studies report low correlations between traditional human capital variables and entrepreneurial success in general (Unger et al. 2011). In search of a distinctive set of skills and abilities as the “essence” of entrepreneurial human capital, Lazear (2005) proposed a model highlighting the importance of a balanced skill set for entrepreneurs. This paper examines the effects and origins of balanced skills among nascent entrepreneurs. In a first step we apply Lazear’s theory to investigate performance effects of a balanced skill set. Second, we investigate potential sources of balanced skills, thereby testing the investment hypothesis against the endowment hypothesis.

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