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The secrets to successful entrepreneurship: How occupational experience shapes the creation and performance of start-ups

Wu, Yongqiu, Maas, Gideon, Zhang, Yi, Chen, Fengwen, Xia, Senmao, Fernandes, Kiran, Tian, Kun (2022) The secrets to successful entrepreneurship: How occupational experience shapes the creation and performance of start-ups. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, . ISSN 1355-2554. (doi:10.1108/IJEBR-09-2021-0748) (KAR id:99197)


Purpose: 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.

Design/Methodology/Approach: 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.

Findings: 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.

Originality/Value: 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.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1108/IJEBR-09-2021-0748
Additional information: This author accepted manuscript is deposited under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC) licence. This means that anyone may distribute, adapt, and build upon the work for non-commercial purposes, subject to full attribution. If you wish to use this manuscript for commercial purposes, please contact
Uncontrolled keywords: Occupational experience; Entrepreneurial entry; Entrepreneurial performance
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Department of Marketing, Entrepreneurship and International Business
Funders: University of Kent (
Depositing User: Kun Tian
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2022 20:38 UTC
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2024 14:28 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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