Abstract

Recently, research has explored how established entrepreneurs react to adversity, and how variance in responses influences the entrepreneur’s identity and subsequent strategic response to that adversity. Specifically, Powell and Baker (2014) found that ventures functioned as a vehicle for identity transformation following an adversity event. Other recent studies explore changes in identity after a traumatic injury, where entrepreneurial venturing influenced a change from a prior identity (soldier identity) to an entrepreneur-identity, providing a pathway to change. Consistent with these studies is the emerging literature on compassion-motivated ventures, which have extended the scope of the traditional enterprise. While these themes are gradually reshaping traditional perspectives of entrepreneurial venturing and value creation, there is a considerable gap in our knowledge of how venturing to help others impacts the entrepreneur him- or herself. I address this gap by exploring venture creation by victims of a natural disaster and by asking the following question: how does venture creation to alleviate the suffering of others impact those entrepreneurs (and non-entrepreneurs) who are also victims (i.e., are also suffering)?

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