ABSTRACT. Do entrepreneurs who start their first business after a corporate career differ from those who do while in school or shortly thereafter? This study sought to examine the premise that while a person’s career evolves through stages which have distinct characteristics (Timmons and Spinelli, 2004), the patterns associated with entrepreneurial entry will be different for individuals at different stages of their careers. We examine differences between those who have not had a significant career or work experience before launching their first business (first career entrepreneurs) and those who have had significant experience working for another organization, before starting their first business (second career entrepreneurs). Theory suggests that those with previous work experience will be pushed into entrepreneurship to a greater extent than those without such work experience, will rely more upon diverse social networks, use financial institutions more for financing and use more work related information channels to help launch their businesses. Our results support some but not all of these theorized outcomes. pp. 18-45


Keywords: Entrepreneurial heterogeneity; First Career Entrepreneur; Second Career Entrepreneur; Prior Knowledge 

Bruce H. Kemelgor
Rodney D’Souza
University of Louisville
Greg Henley
University of South Florida

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