Though extant literature has mapped various stages of start-up enterprise growth, there is limited research on the phases that an entrepreneur traverses before the enterprise is started and established as a venture. The paper attempts to understand the lived experiences of young Indians as they negotiate the entrepreneurial path.
Qualitative method, where primary data were collected using in-depth interviews of 15 start-up entrepreneurs. These narratives were compared with Bansal's descriptions of entrepreneurs in her book “Connect the dots”. The interview transcripts and the detailed descriptions were analysed for emergent themes.
Results indicated that there are five distinct stages in the development of a start-up entrepreneur; namely – pre-entrepreneurial stage, inflexion point, cocoon period, initial stage, crisis stage and, depending upon the success factors and support received during crisis stage, either a success stage or failure stage.
This is a narrative-based, qualitative approach to understand the lived experiences of young start-up entrepreneurs in India and an attempt to map developmental phases. The fact that India is a fast-growing market for start-ups and the higher rate of failure of start-ups in India makes the study relevant.
This papers forms a part of special section “Management in the Era of Disruption: Insights from India”, guest edited by Vishal Gupta, Naresh Khatri and Karthik Dhandapani.
Samalopanan, A.A. and Balasubramaniam, V. (2021), "How I became an entrepreneur: an exploratory study of young start-up entrepreneurs", South Asian Journal of Business Studies, Vol. 10 No. 3, pp. 342-356. https://doi.org/10.1108/SAJBS-03-2020-0067
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