Reasons for the Almost Complete Absence of High-Growth Ambition and Innovation Activity of Early-Stage Entrepreneurs in Brazil

  • Ronald Jean Degen
  • Nicholas Harkiolakis
Part of the Studies on Entrepreneurship, Structural Change and Industrial Dynamics book series (ESID)


This multiple case study contributes to identifying the reasons behind the almost complete absence of high-growth ambition and innovation activity of early-stage entrepreneurs in Brazil by investigating why they did not develop similar cognitive frameworks as the countries high-growth entrepreneurs. The understanding of the reasons can assist in the planning of programs and policies directed toward the creation of the necessary conditions to increase the number of early-stage entrepreneurs with high-growth ambition and hence promote the country’s economic growth. The reasons identified by the study were that high self-efficacy in the cognition/personality traits, knowledge (human capital) acquired from family and education complemented by task-related professional knowledge, and social capital that provided support from the professional network based on professional reputation and from family are the key factors in the cognitive framework of high-growth that explains their high-growth ambition and innovation activity are rare in Brazil. These factors are rare in Brazil, particularly the high self-efficacy and knowledge (human capital) acquired from family and education, because only those who belong to the country’s very small well-educated and empowered elite like the high-growth entrepreneurs possess them, whereas most early-stage entrepreneurs in Brazil that don’t belong to this elite did not acquire these key factors in their cognitive frameworks and so don’t have high-growth ambition and develop innovation activities.


Ambition of entrepreneurs Innovation activity of entrepreneurs Cognitive-framework of entrepreneurs High-growth entrepreneurs Self-efficacy of entrepreneurs 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald Jean Degen
    • 1
  • Nicholas Harkiolakis
    • 2
  1. 1.International School of Management (ISM)ParisFrance
  2. 2.University of LiverpoolLiverpoolUK

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