"Necessity is the mother of invention" and of entrepreneurship motives for inventors (not) to become entrepreneurs in innovation-intensive industries



Entrepreneurship is commonly recognized to be an important generator of economic growth and employment. Therefore governments invest substantial amounts in stimulating entrepreneurship. Surprisingly, however, those countries that spend less on the development of entrepreneurial activities are characterized by higher numbers of new entrepreneurs. The present paper analyzes this puzzle by asking what motivates potential entrepreneurs with a highly promising business idea (not) to open a firm in innovation-intensive industries. It is hypothesized and illustrated through QCA analyses that necessity motives, like job dissatisfaction or unemployment, are important triggers of entrepreneurship. These results suggest: first, that policy-makers may need to fundamentally revise the entrepreneurship policies in place and, second, that the current economic crisis might be beneficial to the extent that it stimulates new entrepreneurial activity.
Andrea Monika Herrmann is Assistant Professor at the Innovation Studies Group of Utrecht University. She was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Max-Planck-Institut für Gesellschaftsforschung (Cologne) from 2006 to 2008. She holds a PhD from the European University Institute (Florence) and an MSc from the London School of Economics (London). Her work includes publications on industrial relations and methodology, and a book (2008) entitled: One Political Economy, One Competitive Strategy? Oxford; Oxford University Press.
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