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Entrepreneurial growth aspirations at re-entry after failure

Lucio Fuentelsaz (Facultad de Economia y Empresa, Universidad de Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain)
Consuelo González (Facultad de Economia y Empresa, Universidad de Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain)
Tomasz Mickiewicz (Aston Business School, Aston University, Birmingham, UK)

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research

ISSN: 1355-2554

Article publication date: 20 January 2023

Issue publication date: 9 February 2023




Utilising the Theory of Planned Behaviour as the conceptual framework, the authors argue that entrepreneurial financial failure enhances entrepreneurial growth aspirations for the subsequent start-up projects. Furthermore, this effect is particularly strong for individuals rich in human capital, both general and specific; for them, financial failure of an entrepreneurial business is likely to be subsequently transformed into higher entrepreneurial growth aspirations.


The authors employ multilevel estimation techniques applied to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor data consisting of annual subsamples, each with at least 2,000 observations drawn from the working age population of 95 countries, for the period 2007–2019.


The results confirm that the experience of financial failure, both individual and societal, leads to higher growth aspirations for subsequent ventures, while exit for opportunity reasons has an even stronger positive effect on growth aspirations. Furthermore, higher education and entrepreneurial experience enhance the positive impact of financial failure on the growth aspirations of subsequent start-ups.


The authors demonstrate that the Theory of Planned Behaviour, which centres on intentions, can be successfully utilised to understand why entrepreneurial failure may be transformed into high growth aspirations for subsequent projects and why this effect may be enhanced by the human capital of the entrepreneur. Furthermore, the authors apply multilevel methods to a large international dataset from Global Entrepreneurship Monitor and produce novel empirical evidence supporting their theoretical predictions.



The authors acknowledge the comments and suggestions of Juan Maicas and of participants of the Spanish Academy of Management (ACEDE) and Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Spain conferences on previous versions of this paper. This research has received financial support from the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry, and Competitiveness and FEDER (ECO2017-85451-R), the Regional Government of Aragón (S64_20R) and Cátedra Emprender, Universidad de Zaragoza (C006/2019 2).


Fuentelsaz, L., González, C. and Mickiewicz, T. (2023), "Entrepreneurial growth aspirations at re-entry after failure", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 29 No. 2, pp. 297-327.



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