The sociological perspective on entrepreneurship emphasizes the social context in which individuals and their nascent firms exist. In this research, I focus more closely on two characteristics—state-sponsored social protection and individual investments in specific skills—to examine how prior experience shapes the entrepreneurial opportunities individuals pursue. To address the question of how experiences influence the entrepreneurial opportunities pursued, I test empirically if founders are more likely to start certain types of businesses based on the level of social protection available to them. Thus, I bridge two research streams – the organizational basis of entrepreneurship and the political role of social protection – to examine the types of businesses founders establish.