Abstract

Entrepreneurial self-efficacy (ESE) is defined as a degree to which a person has confidence in their ability to accomplish entrepreneurial tasks (Zhao, Siebert, & Hills, 2005). Grounded in social cognitive theory (Bandura, 1986), it is known that using observational learning and other related interventions or experiences can result in an enhancement of ESE, and as a result can follow a process whereby other outcomes can be affected from a longitudinal standpoint. One key outcome that is theoretically relevant regarding ESE is entrepreneurial persistence, which is defined as the degree to which the entrepreneur continues to expend effort towards launching their venture in the face of resource constraints and other challenges (Shane, Locke, & Collins, 2003).

This study theorized and modeled the relationships between ESE change and entrepreneurial persistence change using nascent entrepreneurs. Our study examined and tested three hypotheses. Our first two hypotheses tested whether ESE and persistence do, in fact, follow a positive trajectory over time. Finally, our third hypothesis tested how changes in ESE are related to changes in entrepreneurial persistence, following a longitudinal process.

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