Numerous books, journal articles, and enterprise policy initiatives have stressed the importance of entrepreneurship and the role of entrepreneurs (cf., for example, Shane, 2003). Entrepreneurs have been considered pioneers of economic change (e.g. in building the internet economy) and as an engine of social and economic development (Acs & Audretsch, 2003, 3 and Mahoney & Michael, 2005, 48; also cf. Zahra et al., 2000; Koch, 2001 and Craig et al., 2007). A crucial reason why society, policy makers, scientists and others take an interest in entrepreneurs seems to be the following: Entrepreneurs are assumed to be the ones who sense novel business opportunities that other people do not perceive (cf., for example, Sarasvathy et al., 2003, 146 for a conceptual systemization of why opportunities may arise and how they are perceived by entrepreneurial agents). In particular, it has been supposed that opportunities emerge because of asymmetrically distributed information and the uncertainty inherent in their exploitation (Shane, 2003, 161). Entrepreneurs will bear the risks and uncertainty involved in the allocation of resources to exploit these opportunities, while others may hesitate to do so (cf., for example, Gifford, 2003 for entrepreneurs’ risk bearing role and Sarasvathy et al., 2003, 147pp. for what the authors call the ‘allocative process view’ on entrepreneurial opportunities). In light of this, there may be a fundamental challenge implicit in the unique role of entrepreneurs in exploiting perceived opportunities by allocating resources.


External Funding Entrepreneurial Intention Nascent Entrepreneur External Finance Venture Capital Investor 
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  1. 1.
    Examining the resource-acquisition behaviour of entrepreneurs and its effects has also been generally recommended, e.g., by Morris (2001), Bosma et al. (2003), and Heirman and Claryssee (2005) calling for more longitudinal studies on the role of resources since venture establishment is not static.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Note that the former study concentrates on emerging businesses while the latter focuses on existing new businesses. Note also the mixed evidence regarding the existence of capital rationing as Cosh et al. (ibid.) point out.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Note that this might also be because many entrepreneurs will have no growth aspirations themselves (cf., for example, Davidsson, 1991).Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    Cf. Aldrich (1999), Zimmerman and Zeitz (2002), and Tornikoski (2005) for the application of this definition to the domain of entrepreneurship.Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    Concepts of entrepreneurial intentions have their origin in applications of Shapero’s entrepreneurial event model and applications of Ajzen’s (and Fishbein’s) theory of reasoned action and planned behaviour respectively; cf. Shapero (1985) as well as Ajzen and Fishbein (1980) and Ajzen (1991 and 2002).Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    Commonly, intentions models focus on the perceived desirability and feasibility of a target behaviour as central antecedents of intentions (cf., for example, Reitan, 1997). In contrast to the initial formation of intentions to seek external financing based on its desirability, during the fund-raising struggle, feasibility considerations may take centre stage.Google Scholar
  7. 10.
    For the rationale of theoretical or purposive sampling cf. Miles and Huberman (1994, 28), Curran and Blackburn (2001, 63), or Ghauri (2004, 112).Google Scholar
  8. 12.
    The particular statistical problem in this case refers to Heckman’s sample selection bias (Heckman, 1976), which may occur because of the non-randomness of venture survival from the population of all emerging venture projects.Google Scholar
  9. 14.
    At the population level, institutional frameworks may be influenced and, in fact, built by pioneering entrepreneurs acting in concert (cf., for example, Zimmerman & Zeitz, 2002 for this kind of institutional entrepreneurship; cf. Aldrich & Baker, 2001 and Aldrich & Martinez, 2003 for a differentiation of analysis levels of legitmization).Google Scholar
  10. 15.
    This kind of distinction is considered arbitrary in view of the open-ended evolutionary nature of venture development (cf., for example, Bhide, 2000 and also Aldrich & Martinez, 2003 in this respect). However, commonly assumed differences in challenges to legitimize and raise funding between ventures operating in new versus established industries will still be addressed within the concept of perceived external restrictions.Google Scholar

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