With the growing financial crisis and collapse of the bubble economy of Japan, small, innovative, companies can offer the catalyst the economy needs. Yet the traditional culture of Japan, its educational system, and entrenched employment and promotion practices have not encouraged risk‐taking. This exploratory study surveys Japanese managers' views on entrepreneurship as well as the challenges that face their own personal self‐employment. Results indicate the lack of a risk‐taking culture as well as fear of failure will continue to hinder rapid new business start‐ups in Japan in the coming future. Findings include ways to encourage entrepreneurship intraditional companies.
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