We examine whether founders backgrounds influence new firm survival in the early years after start-up. We develop hypotheses linking founders back-grounds to pre-entry capabilities associated with entrepreneurial human capital, highlighting the cases of spin-offs and habitual entrepreneurs. The subject of unemployment-driven entrepreneurship is also explored. We find that specific human capital more frequently found in spin-off founders plays a key role in enhancing survival chances, while more general forms of human capital may help inexperienced entrepreneurs overcome the barrier posed by the critical early years after start-up.
Founders backgrounds Human capital Start-up Success Pre-entry capabilities Spin-offs Habitual entrepreneurs