Successful and Unsuccessful Routes for Entrepreneurs: Lessons From an Entrepreneurial Regional Project Program

Successful and Unsuccessful Routes for Entrepreneurs: Lessons From an Entrepreneurial Regional Project Program

Susana Cristina Serrano Fernandes Rodrigues (Centre of Applied Research in Management and Economics, Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, Portugal), Vitor Hugo Ferreira (CDRSPt, Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, Portugal) and Gabriel Silva (ISCAC, Coimbra Business School, Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1981-3.ch005
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There is significant research on entrepreneurs, but little on financed entrepreneurial project programs at the regional level. This chapter attempts to identify which of the several activities developed in the “Leiria Entrepreneurial Project Program” helped to promote business acceleration and to identify successful and unsuccessful routes for the stimulus of the entrepreneurship activity. Secondary and primary data were collected. The results reveal that “Mentoring,” “Participation in Workshops,” and “Conferences” activities are the most important to stimulate the spirit of entrepreneurship. The entrepreneurs' success route lies on the competencies of the business promoters, on multidisciplinary teams capable of creating a product/service, and on the maturity of the business idea planning in all its phases. The entrepreneur's failure path lies on the inability to clearly identify the business idea, its development, and its implementation. The findings provide an important theoretical and managerial contributions.
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The Entrepreneurship: Concepts And Impacts

The first use of the term “entrepreneurship” is attributed to Richard Cantillon (1755) and Jean Baptiste Say (1800) cited in Hisrich, Peters and Shepherd, (2012). These authors defined entrepreneurs as risk-taking individuals by investing their own money in ventures. Later Schumpeter (1928) cited in Filion (1998) associates entrepreneurship with innovation by stating that “the essence of entrepreneurship lies in the perception and use of new business opportunities; has always to do with the creation of a new way of using national resources, where they are displaced from their traditional employment and subject to new combinations”

Schumpeter (1928) cited in Filion (1998) also describes the entrepreneur as someone who triggers processes of “creative destruction” that resulted in the creation of new production methods, new products and new markets that would replace the pre-existing ones. Modern entrepreneurship is a preponderant factor in job creation, in introducing innovations in the economy and in driving the economy and society to progress (Gaspar, 2006). According to Sarkar (2007) entrepreneurship is derived from the French 'entre' and 'prendre' meaning 'to be on the market between the supplier and the consumer' “. Entrepreneurship takes a variety of definitions, but has always to be associated with a market, or the execution of something, which must be recognized and valued by an audience.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Entrepreneurship: May be the attempt to create a new business or initiative, such as own employment, a new business organization or the expansion of an existing business, by an individual, or by a team of individuals ( GEM, 2017 ).

Success Factors: There is no consensus among researchers on the factors contributing to business success, but a few variables are discussed more often in previous studies. They may be grouped into the following categories: the first category deals with the psychological and behavioral traits of entrepreneurs, the second concerns managerial skills and training of entrepreneurs, and the third focuses on external environment in which entrepreneurs operate ( Chu et al., 2011 , p. 88).

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