Title: New venture legitimacy and entrepreneurial support

Authors: Karim Messeghem; Sylvie Sammut; René Pierre Beylier

Addresses: University of Montpellier 1, UFR Administration Economique and Sociale, Avenue Raymond Dugrand, CS 59640, 34960 Montpellier Cedex 2, France ' University of Montpellier 1, UFR Administration Economique and Sociale, Avenue Raymond Dugrand, CS 59640, 34960 Montpellier Cedex 2, France ' University of Montpellier 1, UFR Administration Economique and Sociale, Avenue Raymond Dugrand, CS 59640, 34960 Montpellier Cedex 2, France

Abstract: Many of today's entrepreneurs opt for a period in an incubator in order to take advantage of the assistance, support and enhanced legitimacy that incubators offer. Yet these entrepreneurs do not all have the same expectations. To determine the characteristics that differentiate entrepreneurs in the new venture process, we crossed two complementary perspectives: neo-institutional theory and the opportunity-based approach. We developed a conceptual framework to take into account four key variables in the entrepreneurial process: the search for legitimacy, opportunity pursuit, role of networks, and new venture support. Our results showed that entrepreneurs can be differentiated on the basis of competitive and professional legitimacy. Our analyses further indicate that the degree of professional legitimacy possessed by the entrepreneur has an impact on expectations for the incubator.

Keywords: new venture legitimacy; business incubators; networking; entrepreneurial support; expectations; entrepreneurs characteristics; entrepreneurship support; neo-institutional theory; opportunity based approach; opportunity pursuit; opportunities; new ventures; competitive legitimacy; professional legitimacy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2014.065681

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2014 Vol.23 No.4, pp.528 - 551

Available online: 04 Nov 2014 *

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