Anatomy of nascent entrepreneurship in China

Dan Long (Business School, Research Center of Entrepreneurial Management, Nankai University, Tianjin, People's Republic of China)
Jun Yang (Business School, Research Center of Entrepreneurial Management, Nankai University, Tianjin, People's Republic of China)
Jiayong Gao (Tianjin Foreign Studies University, Tanjin, People's Republic of China)

Journal of Chinese Entrepreneurship

ISSN: 1756-1396

Publication date: 8 June 2010



The promoting effects of entrepreneurship on economic development, innovation, and employment has been explained in the literature. However, research on micro‐level entrepreneurial activity, falls far behind practice. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the general laws of Chinese entrepreneurial activities at the micro level.


The paper takes a combination of stratified and random digital dialing sampling, and conducts a longitudinal survey on nascent entrepreneurs. In total, 293 nascent entrepreneurs were interviewed by telephone.


Preliminary analysis results of the first‐wave survey show that nascent entrepreneurs are featured as young, educated, and experienced. Most entrepreneurial activities are opportunity oriented, which is primarily sought via systematic searching. Most entrepreneurs start their businesses by making full use of available resources or abilities. Saving funds, collecting information of target customers and markets, and analyzing and forecasting financial risks are three main activities most frequently undertaken by Chinese nascent entrepreneurs; and most entrepreneurs create their businesses independently. Most new ventures are small businesses, over half of which take the second‐mover strategy and target mature and developing markets. Only a small number of new ventures exhibit high growth aspiration and entrepreneurs tend to pay more attention to the control of their businesses.

Practical implications

The paper presents an overall deconstruction of Chinese nascent entrepreneurs and the pre‐establishment activities of new ventures. The government and VCs can make decisions based on its findings.


The Chinese Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics is the first survey research program focused on the micro‐level entrepreneurial activities in China. This paper expands understanding of the entrepreneurial process.



Long, D., Yang, J. and Gao, J. (2010), "Anatomy of nascent entrepreneurship in China", Journal of Chinese Entrepreneurship, Vol. 2 No. 2, pp. 129-147.

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