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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the differential impact of entrepreneurial role models over entrepreneurial activities at different stages of an individual's life cycle in Romania. Design/methodology/approach – To attain this objective, the paper adopts a socio‐institutional approach to entrepreneurship. The authors carry out a rare‐events logit model using a robust Romanian dataset from 2006 comprising 1,449 individuals. Findings – The results indicate that the effect of entrepreneurial role models on entrepreneurial activities differs across age groups. The results indicate that for older individuals the positive effect of role models over entrepreneurship is diluted. In contrast, younger individuals, who have been mainly exposed to a market‐based economy, have a more positive societal valuation of entrepreneurial examples, which increases the positive effect that the knowledge of an entrepreneur has on their attitudes towards entrepreneurial activities. Originality/value – The main contribution of the study lies in the identification of the specific effect that role models have over individuals' level of implication in entrepreneurial activities. This gives ammunition to the argument that, rather than uniform entrepreneurship support programmes, the effective implementation of policies aimed at fostering entrepreneurship should be designed according to the specific profile of the targeted group of beneficiaries. In this case, the implementation of role models as an effective entrepreneurial promotion tool should take into account the differential impact that entrepreneurial examples have over individuals' behaviour towards entrepreneurship.
Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 15, 2013
Keywords: Entrepreneurial activities; Role‐models; Romania; Entrepreneurialism
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