Previous experience is a critical factor affecting entrepreneurial activities; however, it has not been fully studied in the existing literature. This study attempts to comprehensively reveal the routes and mechanisms of occupational experience that affect entrepreneurial activities and assess the entrepreneurial potential of different occupational practitioners.
By matching occupational characteristics with entrepreneurs' competence, this study proposes ten hypotheses about how occupational experience affects entrepreneurial entry and performance. This empirical study is based on the Occupational Information Network database and Chinese survey data. Factor and regression analyses were used in the empirical research.
This study verifies that different occupational practitioners have varied entrepreneurial potential. Occupational experience, including occupational uncertainty, market contact and social capital, gained from previous experience significantly affects entrepreneurial entry. Meanwhile, occupational characteristics, including management experience, marketing experience, social capital, financial capital, risk-taking ability and creativity, accumulated from previous experience, have a significant impact on entrepreneurial performance.
This study is a pioneering attempt to reveal the relationship between occupational experience and entrepreneurial activities. The transmission mechanism of previous experiences affecting entrepreneurial activities is comprehensively revealed by relaxing the assumption of a representative occupation. These findings provide a theoretical foundation for empirical evidence and have important practical value.
Funding: This work was supported by National Social Science Fund of China (Grant No. 18BJY050), National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 72172020), and China Association of Higher Education (Grant No. 21YDD05).
Wu, Y., Maas, G., Zhang, Y., Chen, F., Xia, S., Fernandes, K. and Tian, K. (2023), "The secrets to successful entrepreneurship: how occupational experience shapes the creation and performance of start-ups", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 29 No. 2, pp. 354-384. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEBR-09-2021-0748
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