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Proactive Entrepreneurs: Who Are They And How Are They Different?

Raymond K. Van Ness, Charles F. Seifert, Janet H. Marler, W. Wales, M. Hughes
Published 2020 · Economics

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The uniqueness of entrepreneurs is a common theme in academic literature and yet, scholars have expressed scepticism about the generalisability of any specific personal characteristic. We argue that the relationship between personal characteristics and entrepreneurial propensity is likely nuanced and will vary by type of entrepreneurial engagement. We compared a specific subset of entrepreneurs, those who willingly risk their personal finances, careers and reputations to pursue their business ventures on a full-time basis, to their non-entrepreneur counterparts. We found these entrepreneurs, termed proactive, differed significantly within four key psychological characteristics: openness to new experiences, work centrality, self-reliance and entrepreneurial self-efficacy.
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