[Journal:] Journal of Global Entrepreneurship Research [ISSN:] 2251-7316 [Volume:] 5 [Year:] 2015 [Issue:] 3 [Pages:] 1-19
Purpose: The main purpose of this study is to examine the antecedents of perceived entrepreneurial ability within a given context. Design/methodology/approach: Taking the cognitive approach we examine the role of several individual-level factors and the entrepreneurial context in the form of personal knowledge of other entrepreneurs and territorial location in influencing positive perceptions of entrepreneurial ability. The proposed hypotheses are tested on a dataset of 1961 respondents randomly selected from the adult population in Catalonia region in Spain. Findings: Our results reveal that among the individual level factors, a median level of education, experience (both prior entrepreneurial experience and job), task specific knowledge and age have a significantly positive influence on perceived entrepreneurial ability in Catalonia. However, among the entrepreneurial context it is the knowledge of other entrepreneurs rather than territorial location that have a significantly positive influence on perceived entrepreneurial ability. Originality/value: Previous studies have reported that nascent entrepreneurs tend to have significantly favourable perceptions of their entrepreneurial ability. In this study using the cognitive learning framework we examined the antecedents of such perceived entrepreneurial ability thereby extending the stream of studies that look at pre-entry factors that influences entrepreneurial cognitions. The value of our research is in identifying and explaining the combined role of individual-level resources and the contextual environment in influencing one of the most important drivers of nascent entrepreneurship in an economy. Implications: The main implication of our study is that favourable perceptions of entrepreneurial ability can be influenced through participatory learning as well as behavioural modelling. Our study points to several ways through which favourable perception of entrepreneurial ability can be influenced within a given context.