Title: Education and other competency sources for financially successful entrepreneurship

Authors: Tiit Elenurm; Paavo Heil

Addresses: Estonian Business School, Lauteri 3, 10114 Tallinn, Estonia ' Estonian Business School, Lauteri 3, 10114 Tallinn, Estonia

Abstract: Many studies are focused on success of new ventures but little research has been focused on educational background and competency sources of entrepreneurs that have successfully accumulated financial assets in their long-term entrepreneurship during the transition to the market economy. This paper is based on the survey and interviews of such entrepreneurs about their academic learning experience and attitudes concerning relevance and sources of different competencies by using for the representatives sample the Estonian Business Registry data concerning ownership stakes of entrepreneurs. Among entrepreneurs with an academic degree, the share of very successful entrepreneurs is 2.1 times higher than among entrepreneurs with vocational education. Among successful entrepreneurs that have accumulated assets more than 1 million Euro, 43% are graduates of management-, entrepreneurship or economic specialties. Key competencies perceived as crucial by financially successful entrepreneurs are: ability to see and use opportunities, people management skills, persistence and risk taking.

Keywords: entrepreneurship assets; financial success; business opportunities; business growth; entrepreneur education; competencies; knowledge sources; transition economies; innovation; Estonia; educational background; academic degrees; vocational education; entrepreneurial opportunities; people management; persistence; risk taking.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2015.069699

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2015 Vol.25 No.3, pp.314 - 330

Received: 02 Nov 2014
Accepted: 09 Nov 2014

Published online: 29 May 2015 *

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