Putting your Best Foot Forward? Assessments of Entrepreneurial Social Competence from Two Perspectives

Candida Brush, Babson College, USA

(with Manuela N Hoehn-Weiss and Robert A Baron)


Socially competent entrepreneurs are likely to gain access to more or better information, generate enthusiasm among venture capitalists, or attract employees or customers. Our study examines the perceptions entrepreneurs have about their own social competence and compares these perceptions to assessments of outsiders. Sixty-six entrepreneurs seeking funding from venture capitalists completed a self-assessment of their own social skills, and they were videotaped as they presented their business plans. Results indicated that entrepreneurs showed a typical "self-serving bias," rating their own social skills and persuasion skills higher than did experts who viewed the videotapes. We conclude by discussing implications for entrepreneurs, educators, and consultants assisting entrepreneurs.


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