Characteristics and attitudes of successful entrepreneurs: A comparable study of Norwegian entrepreneurs in Norway and in the US
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As entrepreneurial activity and economical growth are closely connected to each other, it should be desirable for any country to have a high entrepreneurial activity. It becomes important to evaluate the current status of the entrepreneurial situation in order to find areas that require improvement. Norway experienced an all time low measurement of entrepreneurial activity in 2012. The same year, the US experienced the complete opposite, an all time high in measured entrepreneurial activity since 2004. As it seems, Norway and the US have opposite results when it comes to entrepreneurial activity and the development. Due to the lack of research completed on the field of entrepreneurial activity in Norway it becomes a challenge to acquire the required knowledge that would allow the country to actually improve within the field of entrepreneurship. After having gained insight into the current entrepreneurial situation in Norway though the research findings of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) and an initial literature review, it became clear that certain attitudes and characteristics were associated with wanting to become an entrepreneur and that specific attitudes lead to successful startups. As both of these themes can be positively associated with the total entrepreneurial activity in a country, it became desirable to gain insight into potential differences or similarities between Norwegian entrepreneurs in Norway and Norwegian entrepreneurs in the US, in addition to looking at the potential difference between what is defined as successful or discontinued ventures. In this way the research compares the two different entrepreneurial contexts, as well as their impact on a successful outcome. Several hypotheses are composed and tested in order to gain insight into the entrepreneurial attitudes in Norway and their relation to success. The specific hypotheses tested are; H1: An entrepreneurial venture is more likely to not discontinue, in this case referred to as being a success, if the venture has obtained initial sales, received funding and is working with the startup fulltime, H2; Norwegian entrepreneurs display less motivation than entrepreneurs in the US and therefore are less persistent and less successful and H3; Norwegian entrepreneurs in Norway are less successful compared to entrepreneurs in the US due to low risk tolerance. Support was found for hypothesis H1, although no support was found for hypotheses H2 and H3. Although previous entrepreneurial research suggests the entrepreneurial activity being affected by the environment, this research does not confirm that. The variables researched seem to have an impact on success and discontinuance of a startup, but not on the specific country and environment of where it was established. This information is not able to explain why there is a higher level of entrepreneurial activity in the US compared to Norway other than that there is a more supporting culture for entrepreneurs, making it more desirable to become one. The findings suggest that Norwegian entrepreneurs in Norway have the same abilities to succeed as the entrepreneurs in the US. Additional research within the field of entrepreneurial motivation and aspirations in Norway might uncover additional reasons for not wanting to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities and rather be a fulltime employer. By gaining insight into the decision making process and reason comparing non-entrepreneurs to current entrepreneurs in Norway, this might lead to valuable information for potential policy improvement.