Setting up a Business in the Netherlands

25 april 2001

The explanation of firm performance is a central issue in the field of entrepreneurship. Most research, however, deals with the success of existing firms. The first success of a firm is that it becomes one. What are the characteristics of the people who actually start a business in comparison to those who give up the effort or who are still busy organizing?

The present research report investigates this question using a panel of Dutch nascent entrepreneurs (people currently engaged in setting up a business) over a period of one year. Of an initial sample of 526 nascent entrepreneurs, 330 (63%) were contacted one year later to assess the then current status of the start-up effort. Of these 330 persons, 47% actually started, 27% were still trying, and 26% had abandoned the effort. The differences in characteristics between the three groups (started, still trying, abandoned) were investigated.

Some intriguing results from our analyses are the following. First, people who wish to start with large start-up capital and third-party loans are more likely to give up. Second, women take a longer time to prepare for eventual start-up. Third, industry experience is a success factor, while work experience, management experience, and experience in setting up a business, as well as education, are not. Finally, relatively often, people who are already entrepreneurs actually manage to get their (new) business started.

Knowledge of predictors of pre-start-up performance has significant benefits for entrepreneurship practice, education, and policy measures. The model described in this report may encourage the work yet to be done.

Voor inlichtingen: 079 343 06 04

Setting up a business in the Netherlands

25 april 2001

Onderzoekt de kenmerken van mensen die de plannen voor het starten van een onderneming realiseren, vergeleken met de mensen die opgeven of bezig blijven met het opzetten van de onderneming.
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Auteur(s): dr. M.W. van Gelderen, dr. M.W. van Gelderen, dr. N.S. Bosma, dr. N.S. Bosma, prof.dr. A.R. Thurik, prof.dr. A.R. Thurik


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