Commercial versus Nonprofit Entrepreneurs: How Far Education Influences the Choice for an Entrepreneurial Career?



Nonprofit and commercial (for-profit) enterprises have different characteristics. For nonprofit enterprises, the prime objective is to create social value. Commercial entrepreneurship has the purpose to create profitable operations resulting in private gain, while benefiting the society with valuable goods, services, and jobs. The purpose of this work is to focus on the differences between commercial and nonprofit firms by looking at entrepreneurs’ and firms' characteristics. Human capital remains an important factor or prerequisite for the creation of an entrepreneur. Becker (1964) distinguishes two components of human capital, general and specific human capital. General human capital can be acquired through the investment in education, training and work experience, and it may be transferred to other jobs in economy. Specific human capital, on the other hand, refers to skills that the entrepreneur applies into his own job. The purpose of this work is to extend the literature by focusing on both human capital components and differentiating nonprofit and commercial entrepreneurs according to specific human capital.