Perceptual Variables and Nascent Entrepreneurship

Posted: 18 Nov 2009

See all articles by Pia Arenius

Pia Arenius

Turku School of Economics

Maria Minniti

Syracuse University - Whitman School of Management

Date Written: 2005


This study provides a cross-country examination of the perceptual variables that influence an individual's decision to become an entrepreneur.The theoretical background of characteristics of nascent entrepreneurs is presented, with evidence focusing upon factors such as demographics, economics, perceptual variables, and aggregate factors. The data on nascent entrepreneurs were taken from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) in Spring 2002.The data were then applied to each of five binomial logistic regression models. The results indicate that a nascent entrepreneur's demo-economic characteristics are crucial for understanding their likelihood of creating a new business.Four main perceptual variables were utilized to study the characteristics of nascent entrepreneurs. These perceptual variables included:knowing other entrepreneurs, opportunity perception, confidence in one's skills, and fear of failure.The three former variables were significantly and positively related to being a nascent entrepreneur, while the one latter variable was significantly and negatively related to being a nascent entrepreneur. The overall findings indicate the improvement of the statistical fit of the model as impacted by the perceptual variables. (AKP)

Keywords: U.S. Census International Database, Risk orientation, Self-efficacy, Skills, Startups, Nascent entrepreneurs, Opportunity recognition, Gender, Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), Individual traits, Perceptions, Social capital, Social networks

Suggested Citation

Arenius, Pia and Minniti, Maria, Perceptual Variables and Nascent Entrepreneurship (2005). University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership Historical Research Reference in Entrepreneurship, Available at SSRN:

Pia Arenius (Contact Author)

Turku School of Economics ( email )

Rehtorinpellonkatu 3
TURKU, FI-20500

Maria Minniti

Syracuse University - Whitman School of Management ( email )

721 University Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2130
United States

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