Get Give Make Live: An Empirical Comparative Study of Motivations for Technology, Youth and Arts Entrepreneurship
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Purpose This study aims to explore the motivations and business ideation processes of 776 entrepreneurs from three diverse cohorts of technology, youth and arts entrepreneurs. Design/methodology/approach Using an inductive approach inspired by grounded theory, observations resultant from the use of a Web-based digital test environment are openly coded, in which 776 individual entrepreneurs have stated their objectives for engaging in entrepreneurship and performed a business ideation process. Findings The study inductively derives a typology of objectives types – “GET GIVE MAKE LIVE” – and finds that beyond the pursuit of profitable opportunities, there is considerable variation, complexity and combinations to the reasons why individuals engage in entrepreneurship. A total of 76 percent of the population in this study have more than one objective, with 48% having more than one type of objective. While the arts entrepreneurs tended to engage in entrepreneurship to “LIVE” and the tech entrepreneurs were more inclined to “GET,” the most frequently observed objective type in all cohorts was to “MAKE.” A total of 74 percent of the entrepreneurs took an effectual approach and began defining their business idea with their core competency, yet technology entrepreneurs were the most likely to start by defining their key market. Practical implications Entrepreneurship educators, trainers and helpers should refrain from a standardized approach which assumes that entrepreneurs share the same set of singular motivations. Interventions might benefit from a student-centered program which promotes reflection and articulation of the entrepreneurs’ objectives and their diversity. Originality/value This study answers the call for research to embrace entrepreneurial diversity and compliment previous explorations of entrepreneurs’ motivations through an empirically grounded study of three diverse cohorts of entrepreneurs.