Abstract

One of central research issue in entrepreneurship research is opportunity recognition (Baron, 2004; Gaglio & Katz, 2001; Shane & Venkataraman, 2000). Despite the importance of opportunity recognition as a critical entrepreneurial capability (Ardichvili, Cardozo, & Ray, 2003) and source of competitive advantage (Alvarez & Busenitz, 2001), we have limited understanding of factors that influence the manner in which entrepreneurs search and identify opportunities. In this paper we explore how factors such as education, prior work experience, prior start-up experience and biographical characteristics influence the manner in which entrepreneurs search for opportunities. Specifically, we attempt to understand how the characteristics of entrepreneurs who undertook systematic search for opportunities when starting their venture differ from those entrepreneurs who did not undertake systematic search.

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