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Schutjens, Veronique
Stam, Erik
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
Papers on entrepreneurship, growth and public policy 1006
We know that most businesses fail. But what is not known is to what extent failed ex-entrepreneurs set up in business again. The objective of this article is to explore potential and realized serial entrepreneurship. Based on three disciplines - psychology, labour economics, and the sociology of careers - we formulated propositions to explain (potential) serial entrepreneurship. We tested these propositions empirically with a longitudinal database of 79 businesses that had closed within 5 years after start-up. A large majority of the ex-entrepreneurs maintained entrepreneurial intentions subsequent to business closure, while almost one in four business closures were followed by a new business (serial entrepreneurship). Our results show that the determinants of restart intention (potential serial entrepreneurship) and actual restart realization (realized serial entrepreneurship) are different. Ex-entrepreneurs who are young, who worked full-time in their prior business, and who recall their business management experience positively are likely to harbour restart intentions. Only 'being located in an urban region' transpired to have a significant effect on the start of a new business. Although entrepreneurial intentions are a necessary condition for the start of a new business, this study shows that the explanation of entrepreneurial intentions is distinct from the explanation of new business formation subsequent to business closure.
serial entrepreneurship
business closure
entrepreneurial intentions
new business formation
The Netherlands
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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