The Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics I (PSED I) was the first opportunity to collect nationally representative information on a rarely studied group: individuals that engage in business startup activities for many years without establishing operational businesses. For these individuals, entrepreneurship is a costly pursuit in which they expend effort and financial resources on ventures that fail to generate revenues.

Many factors motivate individuals to become entrepreneurs, including self-realization, financial success, recognition, roles, innovation, and independence. Individuals also vary on the level of intensity they have toward entrepreneurial activities, meaning the amount and duration of effort they are willing to devote toward business creation. Finally, entrepreneurs vary in the extent to which they expect favorable outcomes from their efforts to start a business. We examine the ways in which long-term nascent entrepreneurs differ from recent entrepreneurs on career reasons, entrepreneurial intensity, social skills, and expectancy characteristics. We then demonstrate how these differences help predict the status of startups in follow-up interviews.