Family, Friends, and Money—What Makes an Entrepreneur? Analysis of Data from Poland, 1993–2013
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Polish Sociological Association
Publication date: 2018-04-03
Polish Sociological Review 2018;201(1):47-61
Since entrepreneurship plays an important role in economy, especially in post-communist countries, it draws attention of researchers in the social sciences. Different determinants of becoming an entrepreneur have been already described, including background characteristics, personal motivations and attitudes, and liquid assets. This paper examines the role of social resources—family and friends with entrepreneurial experience—as well as financial resources, in shaping future entrepreneur in Poland in an advanced stage of economic transition to a market economy. The analyses are based on the Polish Panel Survey POLPAN, focusing on the period 1993– 2013. The results show that originating from an entrepreneurial family has a paramount importance on running a company in the future. Also the fact of being surrounded by entrepreneurial friends in 1993 and being able of acquiring even a modest investment capital at that time are significant for becoming an entrepreneur 5, 10, 15 or 20 years later. The analyses of combined effects of independent variables show that social resources influence career choices much stronger than potential financial resources. A person who had an entrepreneurial father and was surrounded by entrepreneurial friends in 1993 might have been even six times more likely to become an entrepreneur in the course of the next two decades; the effect of financial resources is weaker.
This research was supported by the “Polish Panel Survey POLPAN 1988–2013: Social Structure and Mobility” grant from the National Science Centre Poland (No. 2011/02/A/HS6/0238).
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